Taking its name from the Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg, this ensemble is made up of three brilliant Russian soloists who now live in the US. Pianist Ilya Kazantsev is a winner of the Nikolai Rubinstein Competition and the International Chopin Competition. Violinist Misha Keylin’s recordings include all seven violin concertos by Henri Vieuxtemps. Cellist Sergey Antonov is a gold medal winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Hermitage Piano Trio’s concert celebrates the music of Russia, beginning with Glinka’s Trio pathétique, followed by Shostakovich’s wartime masterpiece Piano Trio No. 2, and Tchaikovksy’s Seasons, originally for solo piano but particularly effective in the arrangement for piano trio by Alexander Goedicke.
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
The Seasons, Op. 37b (arr. for Piano Trio by Goedicke)
January (At the Fireside). Moderato semplice ma espressivo in A Major
February (Carnival). Allegro giusto in D Major
March (The Lark's Song). Andantino espressivo in G minor
April (Snowdrop). Allegretto con moto e un poco rubato in B-flat Major
May (White Nights). Andantino in G Major
June (Barcarolle). Andante cantabile in G minor
July (Song of the Reaper). Allegro moderato con moto in E-flat Major
August (The Harvest). Allegro vivace in B minor
September (The Hunt). Allegro non troppo in G Major
October (Autumn Song). Andante doloroso e molto cantabile in D minor
November (Troika). Allegro moderato in E Major
December (Christmas). Tempo di valse in A-flat Major
MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857)
Trio pathétique for Violin, Cello, and Piano in D minor, G. iv173
Scherzo - Trio
Allegro con spirito
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
Allegro con brio
Descending from the great Russian musical tradition, the Hermitage Piano Trio is distinguished by its exuberant musicality, interpretative range, and sumptuous sound. In the same way that St. Petersburg’s venerable Hermitage State Museum both represents the very essence and history of Russia while also using its collection to embrace and promote cultures from around the world, the Hermitage Piano Trio embodies the majesty of its Russian lineage while at the same time including in its immense repertoire works from the great European tradition to contemporary American commissions. Following a recent performance, The Washington Post raved that “three of Russia’s most spectacular young soloists… turned in a performance of such power and sweeping passion that it left you nearly out of breath.”
The Trio has performed to similarly tremendous acclaim for audiences on major chamber music series in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Tucson, Portland (OR), San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), and New Orleans. The group’s 2015/2016 season featured performances all over North America, with immediate and enthusiastic re-engagements at many of those series, and the 2016/2017 season continued this trend with performances on notable series in Oklahoma, California, and Oregon, among others.
A hallmark of the Trio is its polished skill in performing an enormous variety of music, and its wide, well-thought-out repertoire ranges from Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Arensky, Glinka, and Tchaikovsky to Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, and Brahms – the source of many of their invitations to return. Recently signed to a multiple-album recording deal with Reference Recordings, the Trio’s debut CD – to be recorded in 2017 – will comprise the piano trios of Sergey Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor; Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9; and Vocalise.
A rarity in the chamber music world, this elite trio is comprised of three musicians who are noted soloists in their own right. In a career already spanning forty-five countries on five continents, violinist Misha Keylin is attracting particular attention with his world-premiere recording series of the seven Henri Vieuxtemps violin concertos, released by Naxos. These recordings have already sold over 150,000 copies worldwide and have garnered numerous press accolades and awards, including “Critic’s Choice” by The New York Times, Gramophone, and The Strad. Hailed as “a brilliant cellist” by the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, Sergey Antonov went on to prove his mentor’s proclamation when he became one of the youngest cellists ever awarded the gold medal at the world’s premier musical contest, the quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Competition. Antonov’s entry into this elite stratum of sought-after classical artists has already placed him on stages at world-renowned venues from Russia’s Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatory to Suntory Hall in Tokyo. And pianist Ilya Kazantsev – hailed by The Washington Post as “virtually flawless” – has performed as recitalist and soloist with orchestras in Russia, Canada, Europe, and the US. Kazantsev’s many awards and honors include first prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein International Competition; he also won the International Chopin Competition and the 2007 and 2008 World Piano Competitions.
Based in the US, members of the Hermitage Piano Trio have taught at prestigious schools around the country and have recorded for Naxos and ALM Records. In addition, cellist Sergey Antonov is the artistic director of the concert series for the Chamber Music Foundation of New England.