This preview has been provided by St. Stephen’s Concert Series.

On Sunday, October 30 at 4:00PM violinist Nicholas Kitchen, cellist Yeesun Kim, and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu will present an all Russian program at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham. Their program, which is part of the current season of the St. Stephen’s Concert Series, will consist of Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Schnittke’s Cello Sonata No. 1 (1978), and Tchaikovsky’s piano trio. A half-hour Pre-Concert Discussion will take place at 3:00PM and a reception will follow the concert. As usual, tickets ($25) will be available at the door (cash or check only) and the concert is free for those 18 or under.

Nicholas Kitchen and Yeesun Kim, husband and wife and founding members of he Borromeo String Quartet, hold some sort of record for the number of times they have performed on concerts at St. Stephen’s, whereas the Taiwanese-born pianist Meng-Chieh Liu will be appearing at the church for the very first time. The three musicians were classmates at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and are now colleagues at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston. In addition to teaching at NEC, Mr. Liu is on the faculties of Roosevelt University in Chicago and Curtis. He is also artistic director of Chicago Chamber Musicians.

Although the three musicians will be performing as a trio for the first time at St. Stephen’s, the trio has appeared previously in Durham. On May 14, 2006 the trio performed three works with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle under the direction of Lorenzo Muti, namely, Beethoven’s triple concerto, Robert Ward’s Dialogues, and Tripolo Concerto a tre by Gian Carlo Menotti. On the day following the concert a recording was made of Ward’s Dialogues; it is available on a CD along with other works by Ward.

In a CVNC review of the concert in 2006 William Thomas Walker wrote the following:
“Kitchen played with rich timber and great care for color and phrasing, coaxing gorgeous sound from his violin. Cellist Yeesun Kim’s Zanetto 1576 instrument projected the quietest sound and the most subtle gradation of dynamics. Her intonation and phrasing plumbed the depths of the score. Pianist Meng-Chieh Liu’s long fingers seemed magical as he articulated very fast passages with remarkable clarity. He created a resplendent sound that carried well regardless of the dynamic level.”

Faithful attendees of the St. Stephen’s Concert Series have grown used to seeing Nicholas Kitchen and Yeesun Kim playing from their laptops. But pianists who have played with them, Alexander Beyer and Andrew Tyson, have played from printed scores and concert board member, Claire Doerschuk, has turned their pages. At the October 30 concert Claire will be out of a job. Mr. Liu will be reading his music off a computer screen, just like Nicholas and Yeesun. In fact, Meng-Chieh was reading music off computer screens even before the Borromeos. Hard to believe, but true.