Sat, Nov. 16

An Afternoon of Musical Chestnuts: The Claremont Trio with guest pianist Robert McDonald

The Claremont Piano Trio returns to Sedona Sunday, Jan. 30 for a 2:30 p.m. concert at St. John Vianney Church, 180 Soldiers Pass Road, Sedona. The concert is sponsored by the Chamber Music Sedona Advisory Council.

"Pianist Donna Kwong will not be joining the Trio for this concert, and joining twins Emily and Julia Bruskin is the celebrated pianist Robert McDonald who last appeared in Flagstaff in 1998 with the legendary Issac Stern. The combination of the 'Next-Gen' Bruskin twins as leading American artists joined by Mr. McDonald is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said CMS executive director Bert Harclerode.

Widely regarded as the premier piano trio of its generation, the Claremont Trio is sought after for its thrillingly virtuosic and richly communicative performances. First winners of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award and the only piano trio ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Claremont's are consistently lauded for their "aesthetic maturity, interpretive depth, and exuberance" (Palm Beach Daily News).

The Claremont Trio's 2010-11 season includes engagements at Boston's prestigious Celebrity Series, New York's Symphony Space, Chicago's Dame Myra Hess Series, Johns Hopkins University, Dayton's Vanguard Concerts, and Jacksonville's Riverside Fine Arts Association, along with the Chamber Music Societies of Phoenix and Sedona, and Pasadena's Coleman Chamber Music Association.

American pianist Robert McDonald has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Far East as a renowned solo recitalist and an esteemed recital partner. He has performed with Isaac Stern, Midori, and numerous other artists and has taken stage as soloist with the San Francisco, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Omaha, and Curtis symphony orchestras.

He has also appeared with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Costa Rica, and with the Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn di Bolzano e Trento in Italy. Mr. McDonald is an active chamber musician, and has collaborated with the Juilliard, American, Muir, Takács, Brentano, Fine Arts, Orlando, and Chicago quartets, as well as with Musicians from Marlboro on several of its tours.

Mr. McDonald is a member of the piano faculty at The Juilliard School and gives classes during the year at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

For the past 21 summers, he has been director of the keyboard program at the Taos School of Music and Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico.

Other summer teaching and festival activities have taken him to the Bergen, Besançon, Lucerne, Montreux, Salzburg, Aldeburgh, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals in Europe, as well as the Marlboro, Brevard, and Caramoor festivals in the United States and the International School for Musical Arts in Canada.

Among Mr. McDonald's numerous awards, grants, and prizes are the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy and top prizes at both the William Kapell International Competition and the Washington International Competition.

He is also the recipient of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Grant.

After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Robert McDonald continued his education at the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music.

He has studied with Theodore Rehl, Seymour Lipkin, Rudolf Serkin, Mieczyslaw Horszowksi, Beveridge Webster, and Gary Graffman. McDonald has recorded for the Sony Classical and Vox labels with Midori, Isaac Stern, and Elmar Oliveira. He has also recorded for the Bridge, Musical Heritage Society, and CRI labels, as well as for the British label ASV with violist Helen Callus.

The Claremont Trio continues to attract critical attention. The Boston Globe said, "They play with passion and precision, and they had all the power to carry the great tidal wave of Brahms' final movement."

The Palm Beach Daily News wrote, "The musical growth of the Claremont Trio suggests that these performers, already possessed of technical prowess, are also possessed of real musical intellect and feeling, and should only continue to grow and develop into genuine standard bearers for the piano trio medium."

Tickets are $25 and available on line at

Reserved tickets are $40 and may be purchased by calling Chamber Music Sedona at 928-204-2415. Tickets may also be purchased in Sedona at Bashas' and Rycus' Corners-VOC.

Tickets are available in Cottonwood at Planet Video and Music, and in Flagstaff at Arizona Music Pro and Cedar Music.

Chamber Music Sedona is a 501(c)(3) organization supported in part by grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona Arts & Culture Commission, WESTAF, the Sedona Community Foundation, the Margaret T. Morris and J.W. Kieckhefer Foundations and nearly 300 households and businesses.

For information regarding tickets to The Met: Live in HD at the Sedona Performing Arts Center beginning March 19 with Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor staring Natalie Dessay with Patrick Summers conducting, membership, and chamber music concert details, readers may visit or call 928-204-2415.

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