On The Vine – March 2014 – The Sitkovetsky Trio
When most chamber groups form, their members commit the bulk of their professional life to performances by the ensemble, with just short periods, generally around summer holidays, left to pursue solo and other musical activities. The Sitkovetsky Trio inverts this paradigm, the players spending most of their time on independently successful solo careers, with concentrated but cherished periods working as a trio. This would normally be untenable, except for the extraordinary background of these three gifted musicians, who have been playing together since pre-teen childhood.
All three were granted places in the exclusive Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England, in the late 1990s. Not only did they get to study intensively with some of the finest musicians in the world, they also learned to live and play with equally talented prodigies while developing a mutual and enduring love of chamber music. Their trio appearances are not exceptional excursions hastily prepared, but treasured returns to experiences shared at the very outset of their musical identities.
The programs that the trio presents on its national concert tour for Musica Viva (20 March to 10 April) are no less special. Smetana’s G minor piano trio, which they have now recorded for their debut CD, was one of the first pieces they played together, and is still considered the core work of their collaborative experience. Tchaikovsky’s A minor trio, alternating with Beethoven’s “Archduke” trio, are pinnacles of their arsenal which showcase individual craftsmanship perfectly alongside communal unity.
The final component of the tour program is my own first piano trio, “The Village”, which was generously commissioned for this concert tour by Julian Burnside AO QC, in honour of my sixtieth birthday. It is naturally an incredible privilege to have one’s music premiered by such gifted performers, and in composing this work I never lost sight of the auspicious talents that would be bringing it to life.