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Paying it Foward

Sunday, January 14, 2024, 4:00pm

Aliento Chamber Players @ The Dance Hall, Kittery

Please join us for Paying it Forward, a “Conversation among Friends” concert presented by the Essex Piano Trio, a regionally recognized trio whose members are all from Essex County Massachusetts.

The Essex Piano Trio, a regionally recognized trio whose members are all from Essex County Massachusetts. will present one of their signature “Conversation among Friends” concerts as part of the Aliento Chamber Series at The Dance Hall in Kittery on Sunday, January 14 at 4 p.m.

Paying it Forward, an expression well-known in our post-Pandemic generation, acknowledges the beneficiary of a good deed repaying a kindness to others instead of to the original benefactor. Certainly, this concept has been very much a part of the trail of musical progress and respect in serious music as relationships between mentor and mentee have extended from Vivaldi and J.S. Bach in the 17 th century through 20 th -century greats Copland and Bernstein. EPT’s “Conversation among Friends” performance focuses on three famous 19 th century masters, Schumann, Brahms, and Dvorák, who famously “paid it forward.” The concert begins with Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces for piano trio, op. 88 (1842), written in a youthful and exuberant style free from the darkness of his later compositions. A preeminent composer and music critic of the time, Schumann was instrumental in welcoming rising composer Johannes Brahms to the musical scene of mid-nineteenth century Germany. Brahms’ monumental Piano Trio, op. 8 (1854), the centerpiece of this program, was completed during the time when Brahms – one of the only friends to do so – faithfully stood by the older master during his devasting battle with mental illness. Although Brahms came to be recognized as one of the leading voices of his generation, he tended to isolate himself from his contemporaries. Brahms did, however, embrace the work of Antonin Dvorák, marking the start of a life-long mentorship and friendship that launched the young Czech composer into the international spotlight. The Dumky Trio, op. 90 (1891), one of Dvorák’s most revered works, is filled with the colorful melodies and rhythms of his heritage, developed, as his mentor encouraged, into a unique style of his own.

About the Artists

After playing together for several years throughout New England, the musical friends known as the Essex Piano Trio (EPT) formalized their working relationship in 2017. Their signature concert title “Conversation among Friends,” borrowing a descriptive phrase from American biographer Catherine Bowen, alludes to their audience-friendly concert format of interesting music interspersed with casual commentary. The trio’s primary goal has been to grow as musicians while making the best music possible to share with audiences. All from Essex County communities along Boston’s North Shore, violinist Ashley Offret of Salem, cellist David Cabral of Lynn, and pianist Beverly Soll of Rockport believe that their “Conversation among Friends” approach reflects their relationship to the music and to each other. EPT members bring many perspectives from their academic backgrounds and professional lives as educators and performers to their collective as a trio. Pianist Beverly Soll (University of Illinois and University of Maryland) holds a DMA in chamber music/piano. Ashley Offret is a violinist (University of Maine) and music historian (MM, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music). Cellist David Cabral studied at the Boston Conservatory but works as the chief echocardiographer at Boston Medical Center’s Department of Pediatric Cardiology. Visit or follow us on Facebook.

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