Middlebury

Award-winning Claremont Trio to perform Nov. 16

November 2, 2007

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? The award-winning Claremont Trio will perform at the Middlebury College Kevin P. Mahaney '84 Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. This concert is presented in lieu of the formerly scheduled performance on the same date by Baiba and Lauma Skride. Tickets already sold will be honored for the updated performance.

The Claremont Trio includes Emily Bruskin on violin, Julia Bruskin on cello and Donna Kwong on piano. The group, whose playing has been called "positively spellbinding" by a reviewer at the Palm Beach Daily News, offers a unique blend of soulful insight into works of the standard repertoire along with an enthusiastic appetite for performing the greatest contemporary works as well.

Twin sisters Emily and Julia Bruskin formed the trio with Donna Kwong in 1999 at The Juilliard School. After winning the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the group launched their touring career with an acclaimed New York debut at the 92nd Street Y.

Emily Bruskin has performed with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and the Milton Academy Orchestra, and has given solo recitals in Boston and at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall. She began studying the violin at the age of four and later attended the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where she received the Frances B. Lanier Award. In May, 2002, she graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University and the following year received her master of music from the Juilliard School, where she worked with Donald Weilerstein and Ronald Copes. She has also studied with Naoko Tanaka, Cho-Liang Lin, James Buswell, Susan Kent Reed, Gregory Fulkerson and David Updegraff.

Julia Bruskin made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 17, after winning their Young Artist Competition. She made her New York concerto debut in Avery Fisher Hall, performing Barber's Cello Concerto with Jahja Ling and the Juilliard Symphony. In 2004, she won the Schadt String Competition and placed third in the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria. She began cello lessons at age four, and her teachers have included Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, Andres Diaz, Norman Fischer and Nancy Hair. She graduated from Columbia University in 2002 and was elected to their chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. When she received her master of music from the Juilliard School, she became one of the few students to complete the five-year exchange program between Juilliard and Columbia University. 

Kwong made her debut with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 13, and has since appeared as soloist with various orchestras, including L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Pacific Symphony, Virginia Symphony and the Vancouver Academy Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Canada and the United States, including Lincoln Center and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. She grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where she began her piano studies at age seven. Two years later she received national recognition, winning top prizes at the Canadian Music Competitions, Dorothy A. Andersen International Piano Competition and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition at Juilliard. She received her bachelor's degree and master of music in the prestigious accelerated degree program at The Juilliard School, where she was a teaching fellow. She has studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Lorraine Ambrose and Jane Coop.

The Claremont Trio spent the past summer returning to such prestigious festivals as the Bard Music Festival, Mostly Mozart and the Chappaquiddick Summer Music Festival, adding debut appearances at the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival and the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. The young trio, first recipients of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award, has been invited to present the complete piano trios of Schumann and Brahms in a 3-concert series at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series. The Middlebury College Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall is located on South Main Street (Route 30). Reserved seating tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors. A pre-performance dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts. Reservations are required. For tickets or dinner reservations, contact the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or www.middlebury.edu/arts.