A jazzy, joyful premiere

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich/photo by Bill Keefrey
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich/photo by Bill Keefrey

“I don’t like the ivory tower,” said Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. “When I’m writing for musicians, I can hear them in my head.”

Indeed, there was no “ivory tower” here. On Sunday, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer was in the house — First Unitarian Church, home of the Linton Music Series — to hear the world premiere of her delightful “Pas de Trois,” honoring the 40th anniversary of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, to whom the piece is dedicated. It was her sixth piece for the ensemble: Pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinst Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson.

Her Piano Trio marked their 10th anniversary, and she has also written a Double Concerto (violin and cello), a Triple Concerto, a Septet and a Quintet for the musicians:

Creator and performers discuss their longtime collaboration.
Creator and performers discuss their longtime collaboration.

Admitting that she had “butterflies,” Zwilich said “When there’s a commission, I feel like people are betting on me, and that inspires me…. This is not my piece. This is their piece. Performance breathes life into music.” Continue reading

AndrĂ© Previn and more: A celebratory afternoon at Linton Music

rsz_klr_colorCincinnati has an impressive tradition of chamber music. For 36 years, the Linton Music Series has added to the landscape with rewarding “music making among friends.” On Sunday, a packed house was on hand in the beautiful First Unitarian Church in Avondale to hear the local premiere of AndrĂ© Previn’s Piano Trio No. 2, as well as Dvorak’s Piano Trio in G Minor. Schumann’s gorgeous Piano Quintet in E-flat Major concluded the program. Continue reading