Powerful performances and imaginative programs are hallmarks of the Thoreau Piano Trio.
Three internationally acclaimed artists, with concert appearances on four continents and numerous accolades, including a Grammy nomination, formed the Thoreau Piano Trio in 2011 during a philosophical back-stage conversation at a music festival in Vermont.
rawn together by a shared spirit, violinist Susan Jensen, cellist Darry Dolezal and pianist Paul Jacobs created the Thoreau Piano Trio with a mission to cut through tradition, engage with audiences, reveal unexpected connections in music of different styles and periods, transform conventional viewpoints, and explore links between music, art, literature and philosophy.
he capstone of the current season was a Beethoven Trio cycle entitled “Untamed Trios,” a celebration of Beethoven’s revolutionary music and a play on the Thoreau Piano Trio’s motto, “Art is Not Tame,” taken from an essay by Thoreau. Other programs honored the bicentennial of the trio’s namesake with a series of concerts exploring connections to Thoreau’s writings, including “Walking,” a deep homage to nature’s influence, and “Night and Moonlight,” an invitation to transform one’s perspective and discover hidden beauty.
lans for the upcoming season include: “Significant Others,” a series concept weaving works by women composers, from Clara Schumann to Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, into every program; “Notes and Letters” combining readings from composers’ letters along with performances of their concurrent compositions; “For the Birds,” a program referencing birds, but also in service of animals. Mozart rescued and kept a starling for several years, so a Mozart trio will launch this program which will be presented as a benefit for animal shelters, and as educational outreach events for children.
One recent multimedia collaboration was a performance of Martin Boykan’s Rites of Passage paired with the artwork by Susan Schwalb which inspired the piece. Another partnership was with maverick composer William Pfaff, who wrote his evocative, otherworldly Departing Landscapes for the Thoreau Piano Trio, who premiered the piece in New York.
Taking the music “to the people,” the Thoreau Piano Trio has performed in churches, libraries, private homes, coffee shops, pubs and jazz/rock venues as well as traditional concert halls.
The Thoreau Piano Trio has appeared in festivals and concerts throughout the US, was a featured ensemble at the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in Vermont and at the White Lake Chamber Music Festival in Michigan, and is the resident ensemble of the newly-renovated, acoustically superb Chelmsford Center for the Arts in Massachusetts.