Amelia Piano Trio primed to play Beethoven trios

Beethoven was such a prolific composer that classical music organizations never run out of material when presenting all-Beethoven programs. Such concerts often focus on specific aspects of that great German composer's output.

This certainly will be the case when the Amelia Piano Trio appears for Candlelight Concerts on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m., at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre.

The upcoming concert is billed as Beethoven Complete Piano Trios Concert No. 3. The third and final installment in this Candlelight project, the concert features Beethoven's Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1; Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11 "Gassenhauer"; and Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 "Ghost."

Composed of violinist Anthea Kreston, cellist Jason Duckles and pianist Andrew Armstrong, the Amelia Piano Trio was formed in 1999. Serving as an early mentor for the group was the late violinist Isaac Stern, with whom the group participated in a chamber music workshop at Carnegie Hall in 2000. The group also performed in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall.

Although the Amelia Piano Trio is well-grounded in the standard trio repertory of which Beethoven is a supreme example, it's such a versatile group that it also likes to commission new music. The distinguished contemporary American composer John Harbison, for instance, wrote his first full-length piano trio for it.

By way of making itself known on the classical music scene, the Amelia Piano Trio has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Meany Hall in Seattle, and the Library of Congress in Washington.

In order to reach additional audiences and work with young musicians, the group is in residence at the Green Lake Chamber Music Camp.

It also has issued CDs on the Cedille Records and Naxos labels. The group's new CD, "The Patroness," has recordings of trios by Tchaikovsky and Debussy.

Besides concerts, camps and CDs, the group reaches an even larger audience through its status as the Young Ensemble in Residence at National Public Radio. This includes doing such programs as NPR's "St. Paul Sunday."

The Amelia Piano Trio performs on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. There is a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $32, $30 for seniors, $12 for students. Call 410-997-2324 or go to

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