Winners of the first Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award in 2003, the Claremont Trio is known for their polished sound, exuberant performances, and commitment to commissioning new work and building a 21st-century repertoire for the Trio form. Their return to the Phillips sees a program of all-female composers featuring three works commissioned from Gabriela Lena Frank, Helen Grime, and Kati Agócs. The second half features Fanny Mendelssohn’s large-scale Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 11. Mendelssohn’s career was overshadowed by her younger brother Felix and quashed by 19th-century-gendered attitudes to the musical profession. Fast forward to now and the passionate advocacy of the Claremont Trio’s commissioning strikes a powerful note of change.
GABRIELA LENA FRANK (b. 1972)
Four Folk Songs
(written for the Claremont Trio in 2012)
HELEN GRIME (b. 1981)
Three Whistler Miniatures
(written for the Claremont Trio in 2012)
KATI AGÓCS (b. 1975)
Queen of Hearts
(written for the Claremont Trio in 2017)
FANNY MENDELSSOHN (1805-47)
Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 11
Lauded as “one of America’s finest young chamber groups” Strad Magazine, the Claremont Trio is sought after for its thrillingly virtuosic and richly communicative performances. First winners of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award and the only piano trio ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Claremonts are consistently lauded for their “aesthetic maturity, interpretive depth, and exuberance.” (Palm Beach Daily News)
In 2017 the Claremont Trio recorded and performed Eric Sawyer’s Triple Concerto and John Harbison’s Double Concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. The Trio also gave the world premiere of Kati Agócs’ “Queen of Hearts” as part of a week-long residency at the Chamber Music Northwest festival in Portland, OR. Highlights of the Trio’s 2017/18 season included performances for Newtown Friends of Music in Connecticut; ArtsLIVE at the University of Dayton, OH; Chamber Music Live at Queens College in New York; Chamber Music Monterey Bay and Mill Valley Chamber Music in California; Classical Interludes at the Brooklyn Public Library in New York.
The Claremont Trio’s recent seasons have included engagements at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series, Pasadena’s Coleman Chamber Music Association, Johns Hopkins University, the Austin Chamber Music Festival, Stanford Lively Arts, Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, along with the Chamber Music Societies of Phoenix, Dallas, Sedona, San Antonio, Buffalo, and the Universities of Washington, Wisconsin, and Missouri. The Trio has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with orchestras such as the Nashville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Utah Symphony. The group also appears regularly at festivals including Ravinia, Saratoga, Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Skaneateles, Rockport, Bard, and Norfolk.
American Modern Recordings released the Claremont Trio’s newest recording of Robert Paterson’s works, including Claremont Trio commission “Moon Trio,” in December of 2016. Gramophone Magazine praised the Trio’s “poetry and… thrilling virtuosity” in their Beethoven “Triple” Concerto with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, recently released on Bridge Records. Of their Beethoven & Ravel album, one reviewer raved “These are some of the most impassioned, moving, and notable readings of these favorites that I have ever heard, bar none.” (Audiophile Audition). Their discography also includes Mendelssohn Trios, Shostakovich, and Arensky Trios, and American Trios with works by Leon Kirchner, Ellen Zwilich, Paul Schoenfield, and Mason Bates. A collaborative disc with clarinetist Jonathan Cohler garnered a glowing review in Fanfare magazine and received a Critic’s CHOICE award from BBC Magazine.
The Claremont Trio has commissioned new trios by Nico Muhly, Kati Agócs, Gabriela Lena Frank, Mason Bates, Sean Shepherd, Judd Greenstein, Helen Grime, Donald Crockett, Robert Paterson, Paul Chihara, Sharon Farber, Howard Frazin, Daniel Kellogg, and Hillary Zipper. They have conducted master classes at the Columbia University, Eastman School of Music, Duke University, Peabody Conservatory’s Preparatory Division, and the Boston Conservatory.
The Claremont Trio was formed in 1999 at the Juilliard School. Twin sisters Emily Bruskin and Julia Bruskin grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and they both play old French instruments. Emily's violin is a Lupot from 1795; Julia's cello is a J.B. Vuillaume from 1849. Andrea Lam grew up in Sydney, Australia. The Claremonts are all now based in New York City near their namesake: Claremont Avenue.