Classical Canon and Some Deeper Cuts with Morgenstern Trio

By Tyler Stup, SMTD Publicity Intern

As a part of the Classical Convergence Concert Series, presented in partnership with the Lincoln Center, the Morgenstern Trio are coming to Fort Collins straight from Germany to bring award-winning classical canon to Northern Colorado.

When they make their way over to the United States, the three performers will buy four plane seats. Three for themselves, and one for a cello. The trio consists of Catherine Klipfel, piano, Stefan Hempel, violin, and Emanuel Wehse, cellist, who met during their studies at the Folkwang Conservatory in Essen, Germany. Named after nineteenth century German poet Christian Morgenstern, the group has won numerous awards for their renditions of Ravel, Bernstein, Beethoven, Brahms, and more.

For their Nov. performance, the trio says their approach to concert composition is described like a puzzle. The Morgenstern Trio are seeking to slip in an interesting combination of crowd favorites and lesser-known pieces. When asked what composition they enjoy the most, they answered, “Our favorite piece to play is the piece we’re playing in the moment. Many pieces of our repertoire are true masterpieces. You can’t compare it. They all have their own qualities.”

They’re also looking forward to performing for audiences outside of Europe. Having been to Colorado before, but never Fort Collins, they say new places and faces keep performing from getting stale. “Freshness comes from the circumstances,” said the trio. “Different moods. Different crowds. Sometimes inspiration comes easily and sometimes we have to work for it. We try to forget that we’ve played these pieces already. That way we try to be open to any spontaneous moment that could happen on stage.”

For the Morgenstern Trio, spontaneity comes from the small details. “We notice every single detail that is different from last time. Every time is a bit different and every time a bit spontaneous.” And the way they communicate and express themselves in each piece changes as well. That communication is one of the reasons they feel comfortable on stage. “All of us…we’ve found ways to express ourselves in the trio. It’s just us on stage. And it’s a medium to bring our art to people.”

With prestigious awards recognizing their up-and-coming presence in the classical trio world, including the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio Award administered by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the group has gone on to play stages all over the world. In 2017 alone, they played stages in South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, New York, and more.

The Morgenstern Trio will be playing at Colorado State University’s Center for the Arts in the Organ Recital Hall on Nov. 14, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be found at