Music Masters

Longy School of Music, Berkley College of Music and the airwaves of Asia are a sampling of the credentials boasted by this trio of masters. This past Sunday, the Music Department hosted an accomplished performance by the Kalliope Piano Trio. The group consists of three musicians: Junko Fujiwara Simons on the cello, Kirsi Perttuli-Kehayias on the violin and Sandra Herbert on the piano. Each performer has extensive credentials in classical music and performance experience with renowned ensembles and orchestras. Ms. Simons initially received her Bachelor of Music in cello from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin. She furthered her studies at Northwestern University, where she obtained her Master of Music Degree in cello performance. Simons performed in Wisconsin with prestigious organizations such as the Green Bay Symphony, Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and the Festival City Symphony. She also plays an active role in the Longy School of Music’s new ensemble, Longitude. Violinist Kirsi Perttuli, a native of Helsinki, Finland, received her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music Degrees with profound distinction in the United States. Ms. Perttuli performed as a soloist and was the former principle second violin for the Boston Concert Opera and the Pori Symphony Orchestra of Helsinki. She has imparted her passion for chamber music to numerous students in Finland and is currently a faculty member at the Dana Hall School and the Longy School of Music. Sandra Herbert has demonstrated exceptional skills on the piano throughout the United States and much of Asia. Her solo chamber music recitals have been broadcasted on the radio and televised in China, receiving critical acclaim and success. Ms. Herbert currently teaches at Boston College and the Longy School of Music. This powerful trio performed three complex pieces containing profound melodies and difficult rhythms. Simons and Perttuli opened the concert with Duo for Violin and Cello; Op. 7 composed by Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967). The piece was somewhat offbeat, but the audience was highly receptive nonetheless. The premiere of a new piece followed, titled the Piano Trio and arranged by Whitman Brown. Brown obtained his Ph.D. from Brandeis University, his Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor’s Degree from Berklee College of Music. As of now, he is the Head of Composition and Theory at Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts. Additionally, he served as a teaching associate at Boston University and taught music theory at the Longy School from 2001-2002. His piece was set on the Kalliope Piano Trio and consisted of one movement and three highly contrasting sections. Audience members sat with their eyes closed, completely immersed in the distinct melodies. The final piece, Piano Trio in d minor, Op. 11, by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, was a perfect ending note for the performance. This piece is one of the composers over 500 compositions. The performers executed the piece with poise and ease, despite its difficulty.