USD’s acclaimed Rawlins Piano Trio to perform Jan. 28 concert

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The nationally acclaimed Rawlins Piano Trio of The University of South Dakota will present its second concert of the 2009-2010 Vermillion season at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 at Colton Recital Hall of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

All three artists, pianist Susan Keith Gray, violinist Eunho Kim and cellist Marie-Elaine Gagnon, are members of USD Department of Music faculty. They are collaborating with bass-baritone Rick Piersall, a member of the voice faculty at USD, for the Jan. 28 performance, which is free and open to the public.

The program will include the world premiere performance of “Opposites Attract” by James Lentini, an award-winning composer and guitarist, and dean and professor of music of the School of Fine Arts at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The work was commissioned by the Rawlins Piano Trio and consists of two movements that are contrasting in character: “Alpha Meets Omega” and “Dances of the Yin-Yang.” Piersall joins pianist Gray for songs by Johannes Brahms. All four artists will perform Daniel L. Kramlich’s “Flesh and Blood” (2007), three songs on poems by Sylvia Plath for bass-baritone and piano trio. The finale of the concert will be the well-known “Trio in B major, Opus 8” by Brahms.

Since its founding in 1987, the Rawlins Piano Trio has distinguished itself as a dynamic group of performers, teachers and scholars. The ensemble performs regularly throughout the United States and abroad, including recent concert and teaching tours throughout Taiwan and Panama. Owing to its expertise as a preeminent interpreter of American music, the ensemble has recorded four CDs on the Albany Records label. The fourth disc, “American Discoveries” was released in July 2009. The CD presents the Trio’s first commissioned composition, “Volvic Maritim,” by New York based composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. Reviewer J. Scott Morrison stated that this disc is “…another winner from the Rawlins Trio…they continue their work of bringing us American composers' music that is worth hearing…Their playing is artful, suave and pleasing.”

Named for the late Robert and the late Marjorie Rawlins, the Trio continues its commissioning program with a number of new works to be premiered during the next year. For more information see the Trio’s Web site at www.rawlinstrio.com or call the USD College of Fine Arts at (605) 677-5481. To download a high resolution photo, please visit www.rawlinstrio.com/press_kit/rawlins_trio_photo1_lg.jpg.