• Steve Ambler

The Zodiac Trio

Photo courtesy Hudson Chamber Music

The first concert of the 34rd season of the Hudson Chamber Music Series will take place on October 30 at 4 pm in St. James Church Hall, 642 Main Road, Hudson. The Zodiac Trio will present a programme of works by Piazzolla, Prokofiev, Ben-Amots and Stravinsky, and will include the world premiere of Comment révéler un secret by Nicolas Gilbert.

The Zodiac Trio consists of Kliment Krilovskiy (clarinet), Vanessa Mollard (violin) and Riko Higuma (piano). The Trio was formed at the Manhattan Scool of Music in 2006 under the guidance of renowned clarinetist David Krakauer and Beaux Arts Trio violinist Isidore Cohen. They have performed on three continents and have received accolades wherever they have played: the French newspaper La Marseillaise called the Trio “one of the best chamber ensembles of its generation,” and Radio France called them a “breathtaking ensemble of virtuosity and sensitivity.”

Given their somewhat unusual combination of instruments, they have unearthed some forgotten repertoire, adapted music by well-known composers (including Bartok, Khachaturian, Piazzolla, Saint-Saëns and others), and commissioned their own works. They have also gone on to found the highly acclaimed Zodiac Music Academy and Festival in the south of France, which wrapped up its fourth season this past July. Their promotional video can be seen on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZBr_lk6CXo.

It includes part of a performance of another world premiere, Klezmer Fantazye, written for them by composer Andrew List.

The Trio have called their programme Stories and Images. Its centrepiece will be the world premiere of Comment révéler un secret by Quebec composer Nicolas Gilbert. Nicolas studied composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and at McGill University.

He has composed over 40 orchestral, chamber and vocal works, which have been premiered by the MSO, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and other national and international groups. He is currently composer in residence of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval and teaches composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.

Of the remaining works on the programme, two are sets of pieces arranged for the Trio by Riko Higuma. The first set consists of Astor Piazzolla’s Milonga and Muerte del Angel, two of his “new tango” pieces from the 1960s that shook up the conservative world of Argentinian tango music.

Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is an arrangement of the children’s favourite. Igor Stravinsky’s famous Histoire du Soldat is a theatrical work for actors, dancers and a septet of musicians. Stravinsky himself adapted five of the numbers from the full score into a suite for clarinet, violin and piano. Niggun: Dance of the Seven Circles by Ofer Ben-Amots was originally written for viola and piano as part of his chamber opera The Dybbuk, and will be performed with the clarinet replacing the viola. It is a dance-like piece based on the Jewish wedding tradition of a bride circling her bridegroom seven times before the marriage ceremony can begin. It includes a free-form cadenza for the clarinet.

As usual, patrons will be able to meet and discuss with the artists after the concert. Albums by the artists will be available for purchase. Tickets will be available at the door for $25 (seniors $20, children under 14 free). Season tickets for the four-concert series will also be available at a substantial discount ($70/$50). For more information phone 450-458-4088 or 450-458-5107 or log on to the Hudson Chamber Music Series web site at http://www.hudsonchambermusic.ca/index.html.

The web site includes the full schedule of concerts for the season.