String Trio 

for Violin, Viola & Cello (2008) 

Duration: 10 minutes


Availability: Not available 


Program Notes

Premiere: August 1, 2008 at Saint Francis Hall, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (Sante Fe, New Mexico). Rolf Haas, violin; David Medine, viola; Ashley Walters, violoncello


The Friends of the Sibelius Academy, the Sibelius Academy and the Yale School of Music commissioned me to write a new work for one to six strings to be performed as part of the Creative Dialogues series at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in conjunction with Kaija Saariaho’s visit and the American premier of her opera, Adriana Mater. 

I have written a great deal of chamber music for strings: two string quartets, a string quintet, a sextet, a duo for violin and viola, a work for solo viola and work for solo cello. Rather than repeat myself by writing a new string quartet (the next one needs to be a “big” piece, or another work all in harmonics, I chose a new direction. The String Trio is an intensely conceptual piece and, for me, an experiment: a series of high-pitched triads descend in rhythmic unison at varied rates for nearly ten minutes. The string writing is virtuosic in that three instruments play between four and five voices.  

It was premiered at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in July 2008. I have since withdrawn it for further revision and expansion. When complete, I imagine it will be 20-25 minute work in multiple movements.