A Treasury of Trios

Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music gathers outstanding musicians from the Central New York area for an evening of trios from throughout the centuries.

Three is a sacred number in traditions from Greek myth, to Buddhism, to Christianity. In Classical music, even as ideas have fermented and bubbled over into increasingly large-scale undertakings, the genre of the trio has provided composers with fresh inspiration.

Johannes Brahms conceived the idea for his horn trio during a walk through the woods in 1865. “I came to this spot where the sun shone through,” he wrote, “and the subject immediately suggested itself.” Joseph Haydn broke with convention in his “London Trios” by assigning two of the three parts to flutes, which were considered amateur instruments in his time.

The Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music mid-winter concert, scheduled on a Tuesday evening every year in order to accommodate participating members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, will present a program of great trios from the Classical to modern eras. The legendary Brahms trio will feature Syracuse Symphony Principal Horn player Michael Winter, SSO violinist Sara Mastrangelo and Syracuse alumnus Sar-Shalom Strong at the piano, a part which the composer originally undertook himself.

Haydn’s London Trio No.3 in G-Major will be an opportunity for talented young musicians of the region to gain experience with professionals. Flautists Joanna Wu, a senior at Jamesville-DeWitt High School and Katherine Zhang, a junior at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, will form an ensemble with SSO cellist Gregory Wood.

Principal oboist Anna Peterson Stearns, who joined the SSO this season, will join fellow principals flautist Deborah Coble and clarinetist Allan Kolsky in a Divertimento by English composer Malcolm Arnold.  A spirited piece that has become the favorite of many distinguished woodwind players, it was premiered by flute virtuoso Sir James Galway.

Alfred Roussel’s Trio for flute, viola and cello will add to the roster of twentieth-century works.  Popular during the inter-war period, Roussel was influenced by Impressionists Claude Débussy and Maurice Ravel, but retained strong elements of Neoclassicism.

Rounding out the “Three Bs” of the evening, starting in reverse order with Brahms, will be Beethoven’s Serenade for flute, violin and viola and a Bach Trio Sonata in G-Major for violin, oboe and piano.


Tuesday, 8 PM, at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church (5299 Jamesville Road, Dewitt).

Tickets are $5 for students, $10 general admission and available at the door.

Call 682-7720 for more information.

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