The Mendelssohn Trio, formed nearly 30 years ago in 1988, consists of Erik Peterson, violin; CSU faculty artist Barbara Thiem, cello; and Theodor Lichtmann, piano. The trio will be performing at the University Center for the Arts on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
The spirited group will feature many iconic works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Paul Schoenfield. Both Ms. Thiem, the cellist of the trio, and Mr. Lichtmann, the pianist, are original members from when the ensemble first formed, and have been playing together since 1980. The trio has performed not only nationally across the United States, but also toured internationally in countries such as Thiem’s home country of Germany, as well as Austria and Switzerland. Over the years of performing together and learning one another’s playing style, it is no doubt that they hold a strong presence while performing as a group.
Thiem shared what she was most excited about for their upcoming performance, explaining the process of preparation as long term and ending with a confident professional performance. “The result is much better when we have time,” stated Thiem. As the founder of the Mendelssohn Trio, Thiem felt it was only fitting to name it after her great grandfather, Franz von Mendelssohn, who was not only a banker but a strong supporter of the arts as well. Mendelssohn (who was the nephew of composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) played with a lot of famous musicians and became very devoted to supporting artists and musicians in Berlin during the early 20th century. So it is no wonder that his great granddaughter is as talented as she is.
The three pieces on the program are Trio op. 70, 1 (“The Ghost”) by Ludwig van Beethoven, Trio in e minor op. 67 by Dimitri Shostakovich, and Café Music by Paul Schoenfield. For the upcoming performance, the trio has something special in store for the audience in attendance. The last piece, Schoenfield’s Café Music, has a strong jazz influence and is new to the ensemble’s repertoire this year. “We are going out on a limb this time, playing more of a jazz piece,” Thiem stated.
All the trio members enjoy teaching and will be doing a master class for CSU students Monday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. in the University Center for the Arts, room 202, sharing their love of music and their own expertise to aspiring musicians (the class is free and open to public observation).
“What moves me about music is being able to project to an audience. The concept of what I am doing is important, I pay very close attention to detail,” stated Thiem. The trio has even made an appearance at the International Mendelssohn Festival in Berlin, so clear your calendar on Mon. Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and make your way over to the University Center for the Arts for a sensational performance.
Tickets for the performance are no charge for Full-fee paying CSU students, $1 for youth (under 18), and $12 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com.