The grand finale of this year’s Classically Sundays, Weymouth’s Chamber Music season, features Turnía Trio in the Great Room at Weymouth Center on April 7 at 2 p.m.
Pianist Dr. Kristina Henkel describes the trio as “An eclectic group of musicians with expertise in different musical styles. All of us have strong ties to folk music of various European countries and we like to introduce and perform new music.”
This concert is different, as it will be performed in the round with the audience surrounding the musicians on all sides. Henkel explains how this event differs from the preview concerts.
“The preview concerts will comprise selected trio movements,” she says. “This is to showcase the different flavors of the composer’s music. Our concert in Weymouth will be a cohesive program with the entire trios by Maurice Ravel, Bedřich Smetana, and Bradley Hawkins. The venue itself creates another unique aspect of the concert in Weymouth by providing the perfect setting for a chamber music concert. In this space the audience will be so close to us that they become an integral part of the performance.”
The doors to the gardens will be open so the audience can be one with the music and with the beauty surrounding them. Tables and chairs will be set on the lawn for anyone wishing to experience the concert from that perspective.
Turnía formed in Washington state, originally came together for a recording project of “Chambers: Ballet for Violin, Cello, Piano, and Electronics,” by composer/cellist Bradley Hawkins. In 2016 Turnía released a CD marked with a new commission by Bradley Hawkins as well as a showcase of piano trios from Czech Romantic composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. In addition to Henkel on piano, the trio includes Hawkins and violinistRachel Nesvig.
An award-winning pianist from the Czech Republic, Kristina Henkel, now on staff at Sandhills Community College, has been playing piano since the age of four. At 18, she debuted with a performance of Beethoven’s “Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 ‘Emperor’” with the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra. She collaborated as a soloist with several regional orchestras in the Czech Republic. Henkel did her doctoral studies in the U.S. at the University of Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma she competed and won numerous competitions, leading to a performance with the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra.
Henkel says she likes living in this area because, “Our community shows a continuous support of music and performance. It is encouraging for me and my colleagues to see how classical music is appreciated here and how it became an integral part of our town.”
Bradley Hawkins, cello and composer, believes he comes to performing pieces from the literature in a different way.
“Having composed a lot of music, I tend to view the composer's choices as being made by a real person and subject questioning,” he says. “I'm generally the one saying, ‘Well, there's an odd choice here so how do we make it work?’ Sometimes, we’re just playing pieces that seem amazing, like the Smetana, which is so wonderfully written into notation and super playable while being predictable in structure. Sometimes we are playing pieces like the Ravel in which Ravel was trying to do something musically that is super hard to write down and express but instead starts with the gesture or a rip and then is approximated in the notation. They are both amazing but I do think of them as real people making choices.”
Hawkins composes in a wide range of styles and has composed for orchestras, choirs, theater, film, documentary, animation, rock bands, and avant-garde ensembles. He taught cello at Seattle University and has performed with most of the orchestras in the Pacific Northwest.
Rachel Nesgiv is inspired by her Norwegian roots. Studying in the US and in Norway, she plays with numerous symphonies and orchestras in Washington State as well as several chamber music groups. An avid teacher, Nesgiv conducts the West Seattle Community Orchestras’ Debut Symphony, consisting of players of all ages from 8-80 with 1-3 years of experience on their instruments. She performs across the states and abroad, playing classical violin, jazz violin and Hardanger Fiddler, the national folk instrument of Norway.
Turnía Trio’s program has a 100-year span. Hawkins’ “Taking Up the Cause,” written specifically for Turnía in 2019, was inspired by a multimedia event featuring live players performing with recorded music, Ravel’s “Piano in A minor,” was written at the beginning of World War l (Ravel was an ambulance driver) and Smetana’s “Piano Trio in G minor” was composed at a time of great personal tragedy.
“Each composer on the program comes from different time periods and different countries,” says Henkel. “The audience members can distinguish their unique styles by understanding the background of each composer and their respective work.”
A light reception to meet the musicians follows the concert.
Tickets are $20 for members, and $30 for nonmembers. They are available at www.ticketmesandhills.com or at the door. Students 18 and under are free.
Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization and home to the N.C. Literary Hall of Fame. It is located at 555 East Connecticut Avenue in Southern Pines. Further information is available at www.weymouthcenter.org or Facebook.