The gravitational center of the Telluride Musicfest, June 27 – July 8, is its artistic director,  the beautiful and charismatic violinist Maria Bachmann and the founding trio, The Trio Solisti: Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff. The group is renowned worldwide for sterling technical chops and no-holds-barred passion and lyricism. They play as one with perfect complicity.

“The most exciting piano trio in America,” raved The New Yorker.

Since last year’s knockout festival, the Trio performed at Philip Glass’s Inaugural Days and Nights Festival in Carmel, CA, toured in Canada, and across the U.S. The group’s new CD of Dvorak Trios is scheduled for release in Fall 2012. The Trio has recently received two new works by composers Kevin Puts and Lowell Liebermann, which it plans to premiere in the 2012-13 season in Carmel, CA and Tucson, AZ respectively. The trio’s next big project is to take Telluride MusicFest to New York City and present highlights of past programs. Which brings us to my central point. Like the Telluride Playwrights Festival, Telluride Musicfest is not a high-profile event on Telluride’s chockfull summer Festival calendar. However, like the heavies – Mountainfilm in Telluride, Telluride Film Festival, Telluride Bluegrass and Telluride Blues & Brews – both smaller events attract big-time talent: case in point for Musicfest, cellist Matt Haimovitz, (discovered as a young prodigy by Isaac Stern), and pianist Adam Neiman.

(Neiman and Bachmann just recorded a CD of French Sonatas, the inspiration for which came from their performance together last summer of the Cesar Franck Sonata at Telluride MusicFest. Their new CD, Parisian Nights, is to be released in fall 2012 on the Bridge label.)

Bachmann built the 10th Anniversary of Musicfest around the theme “Vienna to Budapest,” inspired by what she describes as “the most sublime chamber music ever written.” Concerts feature master works by Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Dohnanyi, Elgar, Bartok, Mendelssohn, Mahler and more, performed by the Trio Solisti and  guest artists.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to my conversation with Maria Bachmann.

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