Columbia Candlelight concert has a MiXt musical message

A young classical music trio that is making a name for itself, MiXt performs for the Candlelight Concert Society on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. It's the first time MiXt has appeared in the Candlelight series.

Formed in 2011, MiXt made its New York City debut at Merkin Concert Hall and its Washington, D.C., debut at the Kennedy Center.


Affiliated with the classical music-promoting Young Concert Artists, MiXt holds that organization's Helen F. Whitaker Chamber Music Chair.

Consisting of the relatively uncommon combination of a piano, violin and clarinet, this trio does repertory that audiences don't hear performed live very often.


The group's Candlelight program features Bartok's "Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano"; Beethoven's "Sonata No. 1 in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1"; Novacek's "Four Rags for Two Jons"; and Schoenfield's "Trio."

For performers who are early in their professional careers, the members of MiXt have accumulated impressive credentials.

The Israeli pianist Ran Dank has a bachelor's degree from Tel Aviv University and a master's degree from the Juilliard School in New York City, and is working on a doctorate at the City University of New York. Dank has performed with ensembles including the Phoenix and Ann Arbor symphonies, as well as the Orchestra of St. Luke's.

Violinist Benjamin Beilman studied at schools including the Music Institute of Chicago and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He received a London Music Masters Award and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. His orchestral performances include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic, and he's given recitals from the Louvre in Paris to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

Playing the clarinet, the Spanish-born Jose Franch-Ballester holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and also received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Ensembles with which this clarinetist has appeared include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra.

MiXt performs Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. There is a pre-concert discussion at 7:15 p.m. and a free "MiXt Mixer" in the theater lobby from 6:30-8 p.m., with refreshments and light snacks. Concert tickets are $32, $30 for seniors, $12 for students. Call 410-997-2324 or go to