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String trio adds new dimension

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Cellist Inbal Segev and violist Karen Dreyfus talked about forming a chamber music ensemble in 2007 and tossed around the idea of making it a piano quartet. Segev secretly wanted Dreyfus’ husband, violinist Glenn Dicterow, to be part of the group but thought he was much too busy to play chamber music with them.

“When we all performed together at the Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festival, Glenn had a chance to hear me play,” Segev explained. “We clicked. He was the one who suggested that we form a string trio.”

The Amerigo Trio was born in 2009 and has been busy with engagements during the past three years. The trio plays in Albuquerque next Sunday, sponsored by Chamber Music Albuquerque.

If you go
WHAT: The Amerigo Trio presented by Chamber Music Albuquerque
WHEN: 3 p.m. March 3
WHERE: Simms Performing Arts Center, Albuquerque Academy, 6400 Wyoming NE
HOW MUCH: $30-$40, call 268-1990 or go to www.cma-abq.org

“When we first started playing together, we spent a lot of time reading string trio repertoire,” said Segev. “Karen and I like to play Schoenberg, but Glenn wanted us to be more practical. We gravitated toward romantic repertoire that’s accessible to audiences.”

The Amerigo Trio enjoys programming Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which was written for the keyboard and arranged for string trio by Dmitry Sitkovetsky.

“The strings bring a new dimension to the piece,” said Segev. “People who have heard us play the work have told us that they hear things in the music they ordinarily don’t hear when it’s played on the piano.”

Gideon Klein’s String Trio is a work that The Amerigo Trio frequently performs. Klein wrote the piece while he was a prisoner in Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He died approximately four months later.

“It’s such a wonderful, uplifting piece,” said Segev. “The slow movement has a serious feel, but the rest of the work has a lot of dance and folk tunes in it. It’s a tonal piece that talks to people.”

The Amerigo Trio concludes the concert with their rendition of Beethoven’s Serenade in D Major, Op. 8 for string trio.

Since The Amerigo Trio’s founding in 2009, the ensemble has played at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, for the Concord Chamber Music Society in Massachusetts and on the Phillips Collection Concert Series in Washington, D.C. It already has released its first CD on the Navona Records label, which contains serenades by Dohn├ínyi.

In addition to their work together, each member of The Amerigo Trio has an active solo and orchestral career.

Dicterow, who has been concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic since 1980, has been serving on the faculties on The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. He recently accepted an appointment at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.

Dreyfus, who is a former winner of the Naumburg International Competition, also teaches in New York at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music. She is joining the string faculty at the Thornton School of Music.

A soloist and chamber musician, Segev studied at Juilliard and the Yale School of Music. She is a native of Israel who has been a soloist with all the major orchestras in her home country.

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