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Three is plenty Claremont Trio tackles Beethoven, Martin and Schumann

The Claremont Trio has established itself as one of the finest young classical music ensembles in the country -- if not the world.

The group has only been together as a unit since 1999 when three talented young musicians, pianist Donna Kwong and the Bruskin twins -- violinist Emily and cellist Julia -- first joined forces at the Juilliard School. Since that time, their playing, both in the concert hall and on recordings, has garnered rave reviews.

Their latest release on Arabesque Records features warm, polished and nimble performances of Felix Mendelssohn's piano trios (Op. 49 in D minor and Op. 66 in C minor). But when they come to Western New York on Tuesday for a concert presented by the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, they will showcase works by Ludwig von Beethoven, Frank Martin and Robert Schumann.

According to the BCMS Web site, Beethoven's "Archduke" Trio hasn't been performed in the series since 1982 (by the Beaux Arts Trio), while the first of Schumann's piano trios was last played by the Weilerstein Trio in 1998.

The "Archduke" Trio is one of the cornerstones of the piano trio's relatively limited repertoire while the Schumann piece has, as Julia Bruskin put it in an interview with The News, "all the joy and sweetness of Schumann at his best."

Bracketed by the two major works is Martin's "Trio on Irish Folk Tunes," a debut in the series and perhaps the Swiss composer's most popular chamber music score. This probing yet approachable experiment in folk rhythms from 1925 was created just prior to Martin's exploration of Eurythmics (a system of rhythmical gymnastics espoused by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze that meshed music and movement).

"We always choose [to play] what we like," Bruskin said.

"We try to program works where there is a contrast in style," she added.

Those statements, taken together, reveal a multifaceted attitude toward what the Claremont Trio prefers to play.

In addition to including works on their programs by major composers such as Beethoven and Schumann (and midlevel ones like Martin), the group also has affection for newer scores by Martin Bates, Hilary Zipper and Daniel Kellogg, many of which were written specifically for Kwong and the Bruskins. As a result, the group's next release (on their own label this time and with the assistance of the Classical Recording Foundation) will be devoted to new American pieces written for the trio.

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PREVIEW

WHO: The Claremont Trio

WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Presented by the Buffalo Chamber Music Society in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall

TICKETS: $20 general, $10 students

INFO: 462-4939 or www.bflochambermusic.org

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