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CPE Festival and MGConcerts present




Saturday January 14, 2023 - 12 p.m.

MIM, Rue Montagne de la Cour 2, 1000 Brussels


Alice Van Leuven - violin
Amy Norrington - cello (replaces Paul Heyman)
Wouter Valvekens - piano


A. Scriabin: Etude Op. 2 Nr. 1 (arr. Krein)

P. Tchaikovsky: Keyboard Trio in A minor Op. 50 

The rich tradition of Russian music of the 19th and 20th centuries remains a safe bet for each interpreter, the emotional charge being omnipresent there.

The study op. 2 no. 1 by Skriabin serves as a prelude to this Russian program. It is an early work by Scriabin written for the piano and beautifully transcribed for keyboard trio by Alexander Krein, a contemporary and friend of Scriabin. This work is inspired by two of Scriabin's teachers: Sergei Taneyev and Anton Arensky, both students of Tchaikovsky.

Piotr Tchaikovsky is one of Russia's most acclaimed composers. The culture lover will immediately recognize familiar ballet tunes after just a few notes. The keyboard trio in A minor is however less known to the general public. The title “In memory of a great artist” serves as a dedication for the eminent pianist Nikolai Rubinstein who was also a great friend of Tchaikovsky. This trio has two movements; the first is built like a long litany dedicated to Rubinstein. But Tchaikovsky surprises us above all in the second movement where, starting from a very simple theme, he develops a long series of variations, a genre of which he was a past master. According to these variations we discover some traditional dances, such as the mazurka or the waltz. Virtuoso passages alternate with more interiorized interludes. After a very brilliant finale Tchaikovsky returns to the plaintive opening theme. Tchaikovsky here pays vibrant homage to Rubinstein's life, his charisma as a musician, and ends the piece with a renewed lament at the loss of his friend.

Trio Aries, founded in 2018, gathers three Belgian musicians, violinist Alice Van Leuven, cellist Paul Heyman and pianist Wouter Valvekens. The trio’s career took an uplifting turn when it won the 2020 edition of the prestigious Supernova Classics competition organized by the Belgian radio. Meanwhile, Trio Aries was invited to play recitals in high-profile concert halls and festivals among which Klarafestival in Bozar, the Springconcert in the Royal Palace of Belgium, Sound of Ghent in Miry, Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival en Poitou in France, 30CC in Leuven and Amuz in Antwerpen. Their debut in the Henry Leboeuf hall in Bozar was acclaimed by the Flemish newspaper deStandaard « A memorable rendition of Brahms’ first piano trio ».  


2021 marked the release of the trio’s debut album « Awakening » with label Etcetera. This disc, recorded in deSingel in Antwerp, was produced by Beeldenstorm vzw, an organisation that welcomes the trio as artist in residence. The program includes pieces from Scriabin, Suk, Schubert and Mendelssohn and was widely well received in the press, among others France Musique - « Nothing scares these young people! There’s a vision of modernity very present throughout their interpretations. » and deStandaard (attributes five stars) - “Impressive fingers, great ideas, excellent ­vibe: chamber music 3.0.”


The musicians of Trio Aries benefitted an excellent training at three eminent schools in Europe, respectively the Universität der Künste of Berlin, the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in Zürich and the Royal Academy of London. The members of the Trio reunite these different experiences in their search for the groove specific to each piece from their wide repertoire, a synthesis between color of sound and timing. With this in mind, they present not only masterpieces from the piano trio repertoire to the public but also less played pieces. The Trio Aries commits to a collaboration with artists from different branches to create multidisciplinary projects. 

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