The most sought-after trio in the world, the Grammy®-nominated Eroica Trio thrills audiences with flawless technical virtuosity, irresistible enthusiasm and sensual elegance. Whether playing the great standards of the piano trio repertoire or daring contemporary works, the three young women who make up this celebrated ensemble electrify the concert stage with their passionate performances. The New York Times writes,"They play chamber music for the concert hall. There is an edge of the seat intensity to every note they produce". The Trio won the prestigious Naumburg Award, resulting in a highly successful Lincoln Center debut and has since toured the United States, Europe, and Asia. While maintaining their demanding concert schedule, the Eroica Trio has released eight critically lauded recordings for Angel/EMI Classics Records, garnering multiple Grammy® nominations.
The Eroica Trio performs the Beethoven Triple Concerto more frequently than any other trio in the world, having appeared with renowned symphonies such as Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Mostly Mozart Orchestra, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Houston, New Jersey and Seattle. In addition, The Trio has performed the work abroad with Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi in Spain, Haydn Orchestra in Italy, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Budapest Symphony in Germany, and on multiple tours in the United States with the Cincinnati Symphony as well as with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, culminating in a Lincoln Center performance. The Eroica Trio's recording of the Beethoven Triple with the Prague Chamber Orchestra was so successful it landed this piece on Billboards Top 20 for the first time in recording history. The Trio appeared on the German television program "Klassich!" performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Munich Symphony, which was aired throughout Europe.
During the 2010-2011 season they will be debuting their new series of concerts, "Eroica Trio and Friends", presented by the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Concerts will be held in November 2010, January and May of 2011 and guests artists this season are clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, violist Lawrence Dutton and tenor Robert White. In November 2011 they will be touring North America with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Fabio Luisi. Venues will include the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, in New York City.
The Eroica Trio is on the vanguard of a new generation of artists who are changing the face of classical music. The first all-female chamber ensembles to reach the top echelon of its field, the Eroica Trio broke an age-old gender barrier. As the Chicago Sun Times remarked, "Our image of the piano trio is largely formed by groups like the celebrated [original] Beaux Arts, three middle-aged gentlemen who apply their wisdom and artistry to their chosen repertory. That image is about to change." The Trio took its name from Beethoven's passionate Third Symphony. Italian for "heroic," eroica is a word that aptly reflects the ensemble's approach to music. As critics have noted, "It's been decades since this country has produced a chamber music organization with this much passion." (The San Francisco Examiner)
The Trio has established a unique identity by creating innovative programs that span 300 years of music. A typical Eroica Trio concert might include the Baroque symmetries of Vivaldi, the passion of Brahms, and Mark O'Connor's Bluegrass and rock-a-billy ode to Johnny Cash, "Poets and Prophets" which was written for them. The Eroica Trio is a strong champion of new composers; each season includes an American or world premiere of a new work. Recently, the Trio premiered a new Triple Concerto by the American wunderkind Jay Greenberg and the world premiere of a work by acclaimed American composer, Kevin Puts, commissioned by Music Accord. Whatever the repertoire, "the Eroica's artistry is powerful enough that it could play the back of a cereal box and make it compelling." (The Charleston Gazette)
As the official representative for New York's Carnegie Hall, the Eroica Trio opened the sold-out "Distinctive Debuts" series at Weill Recital Hall. This touring series, created to showcase rising stars of classical music, was internationally sponsored by a consortium of European halls and included performances at Konzerthaus in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Cologne, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Symphony Hall at ICC in Birmingham, and Konserthus in Stockholm. The Eroica's performances were received with rave reviews. "The Trio plays with technical flair, raw, driven energy and high spirits. The ensemble also has plenty of charm and stage presence. It was obvious that all three musicians were having as much fun as the [Carnegie Hall] audience." (The Wall Street Journal)
Immediately following its acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut, the Eroica Trio was offered an exclusive five-record contract by EMI Classics Records, which was extended in 2002 to include three additional recordings. The Trio's self-titled debut CD, which features works by Ravel, Benjamin Godard, a commissioned arrangement of the Gershwin Preludes, and Paul Schoenfield's Café Music, was awarded NPR Performance Today's "Debut Recording of the Year" and featured in Time Out New York's "Top Ten Recordings". The ensemble's second disc, "Dvorak/Shostakovich/Rachmaninoff", concentrates on the works of those composers, as well as the Trio's own arrangement of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, and was nominated for two Grammy® Awards. The New York Times noted: "Eroica's musicians have the muscle to be purely dramatic and emotional, but here they stand out for subtler reasons: all three players are soloists who have a lot to say, and every note, no matter how light, has some significance." The Eroica Trio's critically acclaimed third recording, "Baroque" spent the first nine months after its release in the top 20 on Billboard's charts. "Baroque" includes works by Bach, Vivaldi and the Eroica Trio's own arrangement of Albinoni's Adagio. The ensemble's next album, "Pasión" features Argentinean, Brazilian and Spanish composers, including Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos and Turina. The Trio's fifth album for EMI Classics Records, "Brahms Trios Nos. 1 & 2" was released to great critical acclaim "This is a hugely stirring recording, full of strength and soul. It's very romantic very lush but well within bounds (that is, Brahmsian bounds). Over the past several weeks, I have found it hard to stop listening to this CD." (The National Review). This disc features the composer's lullaby arranged for piano trio by Sara Sant'Ambrogio. The Trio's sixth recording for EMI, "Beethoven's Triple Concerto Op. 56 and Piano Trio Op. 11" was recorded with the Prague Chamber Orchestra. The release came just prior to a four-week coast-to-coast tour of the United States with that celebrated ensemble. The Trio's most recent album, An American Journey, was acclaimed by NPR "One of the Best CD's of 2008". It features new arrangements of music from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" and Bernstein's "West Side Story" commissioned by the Eroica. Also on the CD is Mark O'Connor's "Poets and Prophets", written for Eroica and inspired by the music of Johnny Cash.
In addition to its demanding concert and recording schedule, the Eroica Trio is committed to music education, giving concerts, master classes and special children's shows at schools and colleges throughout the country. The trio feels so strongly about the benefits of music that they have performed at homeless shelters, senior centers and prisons to bring the music to people who might not normally have the chance to hear live performances. Each summer, the Trio performs at music festivals throughout the world, including the Hollywood Bowl, Aspen, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, and Spoleto, Italy.
The women who make up the Eroica Trio are all top-ranked, award-winning soloists and have performed on many of the world's great stages. Pianist Erika Nickrenz, who made her concerto debut in New York's Town Hall at the age of 11. A recipient of the Rockefeller Tanglewood Fellowship, she began her studies with German Diez and received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School as a pupil of Abbey Simon. Nickrenz was a soloist with the Jupiter Symphony in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall ; as part of Steinway's 150th anniversary celebration, she enjoyed the unusual honor of ringing the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange after her solo performance. Nickrenz has toured with Music from Marlboro and with Charles Wadsworth and Friends in addition to tours of Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Tasmania and Colombia. Nickrenz was a featured soloist on the PBS series "Live from Lincoln Center" and in 2009 performed George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at the Music in the Mountains Festival. She has recorded several CDs on the MusicMaster and ASV London labels and now records exclusively for EMI Classics. A native of Sydney, Australia, Susie Park's international lauds include top prizes in the Indianapolis, Menuhin and Wieniawski International Violin Competitions. Concertizing around the world, her major solo appearances include collaborations with the Indianapolis and Memphis Symphonies, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Australian orchestras including those of Sydney and Melbourne, Korea's KBS orchestra, the Lille Orchestre National and in venues including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd Street Y and Boston's Gardner Museum. She made her solo debut at the age of five and holds her Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied under Jaime Laredo and her Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory where she studied with Donald Weilerstein. Cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio's international successes include winning a medal at the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition in Moscow, resulting in tours across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, culminating in a recital at Carnegie Hall which was broadcast on national television. She has performed with the Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis and Dallas Symphonies among others. Sant'Ambrogio has won a Grammy®Award for her recording of Leonard Bernstein's "Arias and Barcaroles." Continuing the groundbreaking of the Eroica, Sara has enjoyed collaborating with singers Rufus Wainwright, Angela McCluskey, the rock group VAST, the Spanish hip hop artist Beatrice and with the New York City Ballet in 5 sold out Solo Bach shows at Lincoln Center. Her first solo CD, "Dreaming" was released on Sebastian Records and was featured on the soundtrack of the documentary "Jones Beach Boys". Gramophone Magazine called her latest CD of Bach Solo Cello Suites a "miracle of sound" and said Sara "comes impressively close to the soul of Bach". Sara received her High School Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with David Soyer and later was Leonard Rose's only 2nd generation student at The Juilliard School, following in the musical footsteps of her father.
The women of the Eroica Trio share many personal and musical connections; indeed, Nickrenz, Park and Sant'Ambrogio's paths have crossed at many artistic junctions. When they were just 12 years old, Erika and Sara studied both piano and chamber music with Isabelle Sant'Ambrogio, Sara's grandmother. As teenagers, Erika and Sara coached chamber music with Sara's father and first teacher, John Sant'Ambrogio, principal cellist of the St. Louis Symphony. In the early years of the Eroica Trio, coaches included Mr. Sant'Ambrogio as well as Erika's father, the noted violist Scott Nickrenz. Since the Trio signed with Angel/EMI Classics Records, five of its CDs were produced by Erika's mother, three-time Grammy®Award winner Joanna Nickrenz. Park and Sant'Ambrogio both attended the Curtis Institute of Music, and all three women performed at the Marlboro Music Festival and toured nationally with Music from Marlboro. Jaime Laredo, a teacher and mentor of Park's, was instrumental in bringing Sara to Curtis and presented the Eroica Trio's New York debut. Many years ago, Park's teacher, Donald Weilerstein, formed a piano quintet with Nickrenz's mother (pianist Joanna Nickrenz) and father (violist Scott Nickrenz) and two others, the New Chamber Quintet.
The Eroica Trio has appeared on numerous television programs, including ABC's The View, CNN's Showbiz Today, CBS and ABC News, the CBS Morning Show and Saturday Morning, A&E's Breakfast with the Arts, The Isaac Mizrahi Show, Pure Oxygen, Bloomberg TV and Fox's The Crier Report. In addition, the ladies will be featured in the international broadcast of The Artists' Way At Work, an in-depth exploration of artistic creativity. Eroica!, a special documentary about the Trio and its commissioning of a new triple concerto by Kevin Kaska, premiered on the PBS series Independent Lens and has had multiple airings worldwide.
The group has been featured in such magazines as Elle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Detour, Marie Claire, Gotham, Entrée, Bon Appétit, Time Out New York, Gramophone, Piano, Vivace, Auditorium, and Chamber Music. In addition, the ladies have graced the covers of magazines as diverse as Fanfare, Cigar, Strings, Tall, and Strad. Grand Marnier®created a new cocktail dubbed "The Eroica" which was unveiled for the release of the "Pasión" recording. Chateau Sainte Michelle, a vineyard in Seattle, also named one of their vintage Rieslings in honor of the Trio.