The Gryphon Trio’s all-Beethoven program showcase came to OU

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Sophie Hume

The Gryphon Trio performs its “all-Beethoven” program on Sunday, Jan. 26 in Varner Recital Hall.

Rachel Yim, Staff Reporter

One of the most preeminent piano trios showcased its performance on Sunday, Jan. 26 in Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

The Gryphon trio performed a series of three concerts called the “all-Beethoven” program this past weekend in three different venues throughout the Detroit area, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit (CMSD).

Each program consisted of performances of Beethoven’s trios, and the Gryphon Trio’s third and final program in this series was presented at Varner Hall. This performance included the “Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3, the Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 70, No. 2 Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op.11,” played with OU faculty member and clarinetist George Stoffan.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the artistry of one of Oakland’s faculty members in consort with these other world class musicians,” said Gregory Cunningham, professor of music and director of bands and music director of the Oakland Symphony.

The “Piano Trio in E-flat major” was performed by Stoffan and two of the Trio members – cellist Roman Borys and pianist Jamie Parker. Also known as “Gassenhauer Trio,” the piece is consisted of a melody of a popular tune, “Pria ch’io l’impegno,” meaning “Before I go to work” in English.

“In addition to this happy and catchy tune heard in the third movement, I think listeners will find in each of these movements the fountain of youth, energy, drive, wit and charm of a young Beethoven,” Stoffan said.

For over 25 years, the trio Annalee Patipatanakoon, Roman Borys and Jaime Parker — has been redefining chamber music of the 21st century with a broad range of repertoire. With its dynamic and memorable performances during the tours, the trio has impressed its audience from across the world, according to Stoffan.

While Varner Hall has established itself as an important venue for chamber music in the Detroit area through this series, OU’s collaboration with CMSD has provided a unique opportunity not only to the faculty but also to the students and the community, according to Stoffan.

Through this opportunity, students and the community could experience music written by different musicians and performances by world class ensembles or trios.

“It has also allowed our students and community to experience significant chamber works performed by outstanding ensembles from throughout the world,” Stoffan said.