Apollo Trio Bio
Violinist Curtis Macomber, cellist Michael Kannen, and pianist Marija Stroke play together as the Apollo Trio. The Apollo Trio was formed in 1997 after playing together in the Soirées des Junies Music Festival in the south of France and has performed to critical acclaim in the United States and in Europe. In addition to frequent appearances at American music festivals – from the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York to Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and on chamber music series throughout the United States – the trio has also performed at prominent New York venues, including Caramoor, Bargemusic, Avery Fisher Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The Apollo Trio was featured in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Great Day in New York” Festival at Alice Tully Hall (2001), and among their performances there also gave the New York premiere of David Schiff’s New York Nocturnes (2003) and the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Wind Across the Sky (2007) for piano trio and soprano. The Apollo Trio made its Kennedy Center debut in 2009.
Violinist Curtis Macomber is considered to be one of the most versatile soloists and chamber musicians before the public today, equally at home and committed to works from Bach to Babbitt, and with a discography ranging from complete Brahms String Quartets to the Roger Sessions Solo Sonata (“This is one of the best recordings of 20th Century solo violin music ever made.” American Record Guide) to the complete Grieg Sonatas with pianist Marija Stroke (released in 2002 on the Arabesque label).
Mr. Macomber has for many years been recognized as a leading advocate of the music of our time. He has performed in hundreds of premieres, commissions, and first recordings of solo violin and chamber works by, among others, Carter, Davidovsky, Perle, Wuorinen, and Mackey.
As first violinist of the Naumburg award-winning New World String Quartet for 11 years (1982-1993), Mr. Macomber performed the standard repertoire as well as numerous contemporary works in performances in major halls throughout the United States and Europe, and, with the Quartet, was appointed Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University from 1982-1990; with that group he also recorded 14 discs and performed numerous times on Public Radio and Television in this country, and the BBC in Great Britain.
A founding member of the Apollo Piano Trio, a member of the 20th-Century music ensemble Speculum Musicae since 1991, and the newest member of the Da Capo Chamber Players, Mr. Macomber has also appeared with the New York New Music Ensemble, Group for Contemporary Music, Sea Cliff Chamber Players, and in chamber music series across the country and in Europe. He is a regular participant at La Musica in Sarasota and at the Monadnock Music Festival. He has recorded for Nonesuch, Koch, Bridge, Arabesque, Naxos, and Musical Heritage; CRI has just released his third solo recording, entitled “Casting Ecstatic”; the previous disc (“Songs of Solitude”) was named by the New York Observer as one of 1996’s best instrumental solo discs (“Macomber’s intensely human fiddle…seems an entire universe, sufficient unto itself.”). The complete Grieg Sonatas are available on Arabesque, and the complete Brahms Sonatas will be out on Bridge Records in 2008.
Mr. Macomber is a member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School and the violin faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and has also taught at the Tanglewood Music Center, Taos School of Music and Yellow Barn Music School. Other recent summer engagements have included Chamber Music Northwest and the Bard Festival. He holds his B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Joseph Fuchs and winner of the Morris Loeb and Walter Naumburg Prizes.
Cellist Michael Kannen was a founding member of the Brentano String Quartet and for seven years performed with that group on concert stages around the world, on radio and television, and on recordings. During those first seven years, the Brentano Quartet was awarded the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s award for best debut recital in England for the 1997-1998 season. With the Brentano Quartet, Mr. Kannen appeared regularly in such venues as Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chatelet Theater in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House.
In addition to his work with the Brentano Quartet, Mr. Kannen has been a member of the Meliora String Quartet and the Figaro Trio. He is currently a member of the Apollo Trio. Mr. Kannen has been heard with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Berkshire Bach Society, and has appeared at major summer music festivals, including the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, Italy and Australia, Chamber Music Northwest, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio, the Cascade Head Music Festival in Oregon, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, the Caramoor Music Festival, the Skaneateles Music Festival and has served on the faculties of the Yellow Barn Music Festival and Tanglewood. Mr. Kannen performs regularly with flutist Paula Robison and harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, and has collaborated with such artists as Jessye Norman, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Sergiu Luca, Hilary Hahn, Donald Weilerstein, Eugene Drucker, Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, David Golub, Charles Neidich, Steven Isserlis, Gary Hoffman. Mr. Kannen frequently performs on period instruments, and has recently recorded the music of Robert Schumann on old instruments with the chamber group Context, in Houston. He has also recorded new music on the CRI label.
Mr. Kannen is currently the Director of Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he holds the Sidney Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music. In the past he has been on the faculties of Dartmouth College, the Purchase College Conservatory of Music and the University of Texas, El Paso, as well as on the summer music school faculties of the Yellow Barn School and Festival, the Taos School of Music, and the National Music Camp at Interlochen. He has also given masterclasses at Rice University, Princeton University, the Boston Conservatory and the Caramoor Music Festival. In addition, Mr. Kannen has been a program annotator and lecturer at the “University of Chicago Presents…” chamber music concert series.
Mr. Kannen is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and pursued graduate studies at the New England Conservatory and Indiana University. His teachers have included Orlando Cole, Laurence Lesser and Janos Starker, and he has studied chamber music with Felix Galimir, Joseph Gingold, Misha Schneider and members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Tokyo and Cleveland String Quartets.
Mr. Kannen lives in Baltimore with his wife, violist Maria Lambros, and their son, Daniel.
Pianist Marija Stroke has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia and Hong Kong. Described by the New York Times as “Delightfully extroverted, Stroke’s playing was splendid,” Ms. Stroke performs at such chamber music festivals as Caramoor, the City of London Festival, Soirées des Junies in France, Chamber Music Virginia, the Moab Festival in Utah, La Jolla Summerfest, Juneau Jazz and Classics, and Chamber Music Northwest. Solo performances have included recitals throughout the former Soviet Union, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the United States and Canada, concerto appearances in the United States, France, Germany and Austria including the Vienna Mozart Orchestra and the Solisti New York Orchestra at the OK Mozart International Festival, under the direction of Ransom Wilson.
A founding member of the Apollo Trio, Ms. Stroke is also co-artistic director of the Garden City Chamber Music Society. She has performed chamber music with the Brentano, Miami, Daedalus, Ciompi, Borromeo and Cassatt string quartets. Ms. Stroke has collaborated with such artists as Mark Steinberg, Raphael Hillyer, Karen Tuttle, Gary Hoffman, Eugene Drucker, David Krakauer, David Shifrin and many others. She has appeared in New York chamber music recitals at Weill Hall at Carnegie, Merkin Concert Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufman Concert Hall.
Marija Stroke performs with the PollyRhythm Players, with whom she recorded Bruce Adolphe’s Oceanophony in 2004. Other recordings include chamber music of Bruce Adolphe with the Brentano String Quartet on a CRI disc – Turning, Returning (“Stroke and, in its recording debut, the Brentano String Quartet offer performances that are spectacularly heartfelt, colorful, and technically assured.” Stereophile), released in 1997, and the three sonatas for violin and piano of Edvard Grieg, with violinist Curtis Macomber, released in 2002 on the Arabesque label. A recording with mezzo soprano Laurie Rubin of music by Bruce Adolphe, Joaquin Rodrigo and Gabriel Fauré will be released by Bridge Records in 2011.
Written by mstroke
Posted on July 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm