Beethoven is such a dominant figure in classical music history that the Hermitage Piano Trio's all-Beethoven program will be heard by an eager audience on Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m. at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre.
This second concert in the sponsoring Candlelight Concert Society's Beethoven Piano Trio Cycle presents that composer's Trio in G Major, Op. 1 No. 2; Trio No. 8 in E-flat Major, WoO 38; Trio in G Major, Op. 121a "Kakadu Variations"; and Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2.
These pieces collectively give a sense of how Beethoven was a compositional bridge between the formality associated with 18th-century classical music and the freer and more romantic expression associated with 19th-century classical music.
The Hermitage Piano Trio is known for its skillful interpretations of music by Beethoven and other Central European musical giants including Haydn, Brahms and Dvorak.
And as the group's name indicates, these Russian musicians literally feel at home performing works by such Russian composers as Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. In that respect, the group's 2013- 2014 season will include concert events to mark the 140th anniversary of Rachmaninoff's birth.
All of that Old World musical expertise is shared with New World audiences, because the Hermitage Piano Trio is based in the United States.
Although it has European tours to its credit, most of its concerts are in such American cities as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., where it performed at the Phillips Collection.
The American connection also extends to the classroom, because the group's members have taught at Boston University, Eastman School of Music, Tanglewood and Oberlin College.
The group's members also have flourishing solo careers.
Playing the piano in the Hermitage Piano Trio is Maxim Mogilevsky. He has received attention for performing with the New York Philharmonic under guest conductor Valery Gergiev, and also for his appearances on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" series.
Violinist Misha Keylin has embarked on an ambitious Naxos recording project of the complete works by Vieuxtemps for violin and orchestra.
Cellist Sergey Antonov, who was a gold medalist at the Tchaikovsky competition, was praised by the late Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich as "a brilliant cellist." Antonov is the artistic director of a concert series for the Chamber Music Foundation of New England.
The Hermitage Piano Trio performs Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m. at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. There is a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture by HCC faculty member Cathleen Jeffcoat. Tickets are $30, $28 for seniors, $12 for students 18- 24, and one free ticket for ages 9- 17 when accompanied by a paid adult or senior. Call 410-997-2324 or go to http://www.candlelightconcerts.org.