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Program Bio

Violaine Melançon, Violin

Natasha Brofsky, Cello
Seth Knopp, Piano

Since winning the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1989, THE PEABODY TRIO has established itself as an important presence in the chamber music world as vivid interpreters of the classics of the repertoire, advocates for new music, and dedicated teachers and mentors to a generation of young musicians. They bring to their music making what The Washington Post calls “the romantic fervor of the 20th century greats.”

groupThe Peabody Trio gave its New York debut in 1990 at Alice Tully Hall and has since performed in the most important chamber music series in North America, including New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Vancouver, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Internationally, they tour frequently in England, making repeat appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, and in Japan and Israel. Their reputation as champions of new music garnered them an invitation to the first Biennale for contemporary music, Tempus Fugit, in Tel Aviv.

Festivals including Tanglewood, Skaneateles, Cape and Islands, and Rockport have played home to their summer performances. Their radio broadcasts include performances on Saint Paul Sunday Morning, NPR’s Performance Today, Morning Pro Musica, CBC, Radio-Canada, WGBH in Boston, and WQXR in New York. The Peabody Trio collaborates frequently with such eminent artists as clarinetist Charles Neidich, violists Roger Tapping and Maria Lambros, soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and actor Andre De Shields. Working with Walter van Dyck and Elizabeth Mansfield, The Peabody Trio is at the forefront of chamber music theater with a series of innovative, collaborative projects involving piano trio and actor.

The Peabody Trio currently serves as the resident faculty ensemble of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, a position they have held since 1989. They are frequently asked to perform educational residencies for chamber music organizations and have served as visiting professors at universities and conservatories both in the United States and abroad. They spend summers as ensemble-in-residence at the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival in Putney, Vermont.

The Peabody Trio celebrated its twentieth season in 2007-08 with the release of the Beethoven Trios Opus 1, Nos. 1 and 3 on Artek Records, the second in their series of the complete piano trios of Beethoven. Gramophone Magazine called this recording a "bold, flexible and vibrant" performance in which Beethoven's music received "consummate consideration." In 2004 the trio released their recording of the Beethoven Opus 70 Trios on Artek, praised by Strad Magazine as "some of the most accomplished Beethoven Trio playing …heard in many a year." Previously they have recorded for New World Records and CRI.

www.peabodytrio.org

 

The three musicians of the Peabody Trio come from diverse musical backgrounds. Violaine Melançon serves on the violin and chamber music faculties of the Peabody Conservatory. An artist deeply dedicated to the range of violin and chamber music repertoire, she has a special affection for the music of today. The Israeli composer Shulamit Ran wrote a violin concerto for her and she has premiered several works by other leading composers. During the spring of 2012, she presented the complete works for solo violin by J.S. Bach, a project which will continue for the next few years.

Ms. Melançon is from Quebec, Canada. After receiving First Prize in violin at the Conservatoire de Musique, she continued her studies with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music, with Isadore Tinkleman at the San Francisco Conservatory and with Arthur Grumiaux in Belgium. While at Curtis, she was a member of the Nisaika Quartet, prize winner of the 8th International String Quartet competition in Evian, France. Ms. Melançon is also the recipient of many awards for solo performance including the 1984 Prix d¿Europe. In 1983, she formed the Knopp-Melançon Duo, who was appointed USIA Artistic Ambassadors in 1987, toured abroad extensively and made their Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center. Since then, her activities as a chamber musician, soloist with orchestras, and teacher have taken her to major music centers in United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Japan. During the summer, she serves on the faculty of the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival. Her performances are heard on the Naxos, Artek, CRI, and New World Records labels.

Cellist NATASHA BROFSKY has enjoyed a career in both the United States and Europe. In addition to her work with the Peabody Trio, Ms. Brofsky has performed as guest with numerous ensembles, including the Takács, Prazak, Norwegian, Borromeo, Jupiter and Ying Quartets. During nearly a decade in Europe, Ms. Brofsky held principal positions in the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra under Iona Brown. In addition she was a member of the Serapion Ensemble, performing with them in Germany and Austria, and the string trio, Opus 3, which performed throughout Norway. She recorded Olav Anton Thommessen's concerto for cello and winds for Aurora Records and was a regular participant at Open Chamber Music in Prussia Cove, England.

A sought after teacher, Ms. Brofsky serves on the cello faculties of the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School. Since 2001, she has been on the faculty at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont. She was previously on the faculty of the Barratt-Due Musikk Institutt in Oslo Norway and she has given master classes at many colleges and conservatories in the US and abroad, including for El Sistema in Venezuela. She will give a featured master class at the 2013 American String Teachers Association National Conference.



Pianist SETH KNOPP is a founding member of the Peabody Trio and serves on the piano and chamber music faculties of the Peabody Conservatory where the trio has been ensemble-in-residence since 1987. In 2000 he was named Artistic Director of the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival, an international gathering of artists who meet each summer to explore the vast riches of the chamber music repertoire. Knopp studied at the New England Conservatory with Leonard Shure, at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Nathan Schwartz, and with Leon Fleisher. In 1983, Mr. Knopp met violinist Violaine Melançon forming the Knopp-Melançon Duo, an artistic collaboration which would eventually expand to become the Peabody Trio. In 1987, as a result of having been appointed USIA Artistic Ambassadors, the duo made their Washington D.C. debut at the Kennedy Center and subsequently toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Egypt. Seth Knopp’s solo and chamber music performances can be heard on the Albany Records, Analekta, Artek, CRI, Koch and New World Records labels. Since 2010 he has been curator of Soundings, a concert series presented at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, drawing on the relationship between musical traditions and innovation, and the unique lens through which music helps us to better understand the world.







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