Widely regarded as the premier piano trio of its generation, the Claremont Trio is sought after for its thrillingly virtuosic and richly communicative performances. First winners of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award and the only piano trio ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Claremonts are consistently lauded for their “aesthetic maturity, interpretive depth, and exuberance” (Palm Beach Daily News).
During the 2011-12 season the Claremont Trio opens the brand new hall at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with a series of three concerts. Equally passionate about the standard repertoire and the music of our time, the Claremonts pair three world premiere commissions by Sean Shepherd, Helen Grime and Gabriela Lena Frank with a survey of trios by Mozart and Mendelssohn to celebrate this exciting new venue. Their busy touring schedule also includes concerts for Friends of Chamber Music-Denver, the Sanibel Music Festival, New York’s Rubin Museum, Harvard Musical Association, Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem, Boise Chamber Music Series, American Century Music in Boston, Concerts at the Point, and the Brooklyn Public Library. As Central Virginia Ensemble in Residence, the Claremonts also begin a visiting residency at Longwood University, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College and Hampden Sydney College.
Prolific recording artists, the Claremont Trio released their critically acclaimed Beethoven & Ravel CD this year with a performance at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. One reviewer raved “These are some of the most impassioned, moving, and notable readings of these favorites that I have ever heard, bar none. I am especially picky about the Beethoven, one of my favorites and to this point best projected by the legendary Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, but the Claremont has their measure fully, and this is something I never thought I would say” (Audiophile Audition). The Trio eagerly anticipates the release of its newest recording featuring trios by New York composer Robert Paterson, including his monumental “Sun Trio” and a new trio written for the Claremonts. Their discography also includes “Mendelssohn Trios”, a Russian disc including Shostakovich and Arensky, and “American Trios” with works by Leon Kirchner, Ellen Zwilich, Paul Schoenfield and Mason Bates. A collaborative disc with clarinetist Jonathan Cohler encompassing works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Dohnanyi garnered a glowing review in Fanfare magazine and received a Critic’s CHOICE award from BBC magazine.
The Claremont Trio’s recent seasons included engagements at the Kennedy Center, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series, Pasadena’s Coleman Chamber Music Association, Johns Hopkins University, the JCC of Greater Washington, the Austin Chamber Music Festival, St. Paul’s Music in the Park, Stanford Lively Arts, Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, Dayton’s Vanguard Concerts, and Jacksonville’s Riverside Fine Arts Association, along with the Chamber Music Societies of Phoenix, Dallas, Sedona, San Antonio, Buffalo, Bethlehem (PA), and Logan (UT) and the Universities of Washington, Wisconsin, and Missouri. The trio was recently ensemble in residence at the Laguna Beach Live Festival and at the National Conference of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. The Claremonts continue to maintain a strong New York presence with frequent performances at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, and Symphony Space as well as the downtown venues of Joe’s Pub and Le Poisson Rouge. They also appear regularly at festivals such as Ravinia, Saratoga, Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Rockport, Bard, and Norfolk.
Believing that education on all levels is essential to the future of classical music, the Claremont Trio is extensively involved in teaching the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Sought after for their effectiveness in the classroom as well as on the concert stage, the Trio frequently conducts residencies, master classes, and educational outreach activities. In addition to their ongoing residency at Longwood University, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College and Hampden Sydney College, they have conducted master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Columbia University, Duke University, Peabody Conservatory’s Preparatory Division, Boston Conservatory, Purchase College at SUNY, Middlebury College, the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, Longy School of Music, the University of Washington, Kansas State University, and Gettysburg College’s Sunderman Conservatory.
Deeply committed to expanding the trio repertoire, the Trio works actively with composers on new works. They have commissioned new trios by Nico Muhly, Gabriela Lena Frank, Mason Bates, Sean Shepherd, Helen Grime, Donald Crockett, Robert Paterson, Paul Chihara, Sharon Farber, Howard Frazin, Daniel Kellogg, and Hillary Zipper, and have an ongoing collaboration with innovative composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.
The group frequently performs the Beethoven Triple Concerto with orchestras such as the Nashville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Utah Symphony. They have collaborated with Peter Martins, director of the New York City Ballet, on a ballet based on Paul Schoenfield’s “Cafe Music,” and have also been privileged to perform with many distinguished guest artists including Toby Appel, Beth Guterman, Joseph Kalichstein, Martha Katz, Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Robert McDonald, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Sharon Robinson, and Richard Young.
The Claremont Trio has been featured on Japanese and American television and is heard on radio stations throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Australia’s ABC, New York’s WQXR, Boston’s WGBH, Chicago’s WFMT, Salt Lake City’s KBYU, and Columbia University’s WKCR. Since 2006, they have kept a blog that describes their adventures on the road. Through this online tour diary the members of the trio reach out to friends and music lovers of all ages around the world, offering a window into their lives as traveling musicians.
Twin sisters Emily Bruskin (violin) and Julia Bruskin (cello) formed the Trio with Donna Kwong (piano) in 1999 at The Juilliard School. The Bruskins both play old French instruments, Emily’s violin a Lupot from 1795 and Julia’s cello a J.B. Vuillaume from 1849. Donna Kwong is a Steinway Artist. The Claremonts are based in New York City near their namesake: Claremont Avenue.