October 14, 2014

Celebrating 23 Seasons Of Chamber Music








Trio Navarro (from left) Victor Romasevich, Marilyn Thompson and Jill Rachuy Brindel











Trio Navarro celebrates its twenty-third season as Chamber Artists-in-Residence at Sonoma State with three Sunday concerts in Schroeder Hall on October 26, January 25 and March 29. All performances begin at 2 p.m.

The first two programs will be devoted to piano trios by Bruch, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Haydn, Dvorak and Arensky, while the season closer features piano quintets (two violins, viola, cello and piano) by Shostakovich and Taneyev.

The addition of Russian-born violinist Victor Romasevich to the trio’s roster has brought an uptick in Russian programming. Navarro’s recent performances have brought distinction to deserving, if lesser known Russian composers, including Catoire, Andriasov, Arensky, and Taneyev. Romasevich, who plays in the first violin section of the San Francisco Symphony, joins trio founders Marilyn Thompson, piano, and SFS cellist Jill Brindel.

Tickets are $8 for all seats, parking included, and available for purchase at the SSU Student Center, online or at the door. For information email the University Box Office or call 707-664-4246.

Schroeder Hall is located at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center near the intersection of Rohnert Park Expressway and Petaluma Hill Road. Parking is available in lots L and O.



Trio Navarro 2014-15 Season
Sonoma State University
Schroeder Hall
Green Music Center

October 26, 2 p.m.

Rachmaninoff – Trio élégiaque No.1 in G minor (1892)
Bruch – Selections from Trio Op. 83 )
Beethoven – Trio No. 7 in B-flat Major, “Archduke”


January 25, 2 p.m. cancelled

Haydn – Trio in B-flat (Hob. XV:20)
Dvorak – Trio No. 4 in E Minor, “Dumky”
Arensky – Trio No. 2 in F Minor


March 29, 2 p.m.

Shostakovich – Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57
Taneyev – Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 30
Guest musicians Philip Santos, violin, and Nancy Ellis, viola



Piano Trio No.1 in G Minor Élégiaque
First performance: November 2, 1892 in Moscow by the composer at the piano with violinist David Kreyn and cellist Anatoly Brandukov.
Rachmaninoff composed his first trio for violin, cello and piano at age 19 in 1892, although it was not published until 1947. It is in a single movement, with 12 sections in ever-changing moods, from più vivo to con anima to appassionato to tempo rubato. The Trio “élégiaque” is deeply romantic, ending with a funeral march that harkens back to the 1882 piano trio of Tchaikovsky. Coincidentally, Rachmaninoff’s second piano trio, composed shortly after the first, is also subtitled “élégiaque,” and this one is in memory of Tchaikovsky.

BRUCH – 8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83
First performance: January 20, 1909 in Bonn by Max Felix Bruch, clarinet, Hugo Grüters, viola, and Joseph Schwarz, piano.
The long-lived Max Bruch (1838-1920) either knew or was one step removed from the composers Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and the performers Ignaz Moscheles, Clara Schumann, Joseph Joachim and Ferdinand David. Immersed in this heady romantic-era atmosphere, Bruch’s music developed a flowing, melodic style that he exercised with masterful assimilation of orchestration and harmony. He composed opus 83 for clarinet, viola and piano in 1910 with his son, the gifted clarinetist Max Felix, in mind. With clarinet trios in rather short supply, the piece was also marketed in multiple versions, including supplemental parts for violin and cello. Bruch even envisioned an obbligato harp in places, notably the “nachtgesang” and “Rumanische melodie” movements.

BEETHOVEN – Piano Trio in B-Flat, Op. 97 – “Archduke”
First performance: April 11, 1814 in Vienna by Beethoven (at the very end of his playing career) on piano with violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh and cellist Josef Linke.
Beethoven’s opus 97 trio for violin, cello and piano, the “Archduke,” was composed in 1810-11 and dedicated to his friend, Archduke Rudolph of Austria. Beethoven’s loss of hearing by this time was so profound that violinist and composer Louis Spohr wrote, "On account of his deafness there was scarcely anything left of the virtuosity of the artist which had formerly been so greatly admired.” The piece is symphonic in scale, having four rather than the traditional three movements. The piano is at the fore in the stately first movement, in contrast to the dancelike scherzo movement, where the melodies begin in the strings. The elegiac third movement is a luxuriant theme and variations that segues to a jollyfinale.


Pianist Marilyn Thompson received her Bachelor’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Adolph Baller. She was awarded a Fulbright grant to the Vienna Academy of Music, and subsequently received her Master’s Degree from Stanford University, where she studied under the Helen Evans Memorial Scholarship on a full-tuition grant. While at Stanford, she gave the West Coast Premier of Roger Sessions’ Piano Concerto. She has given countless recitals in the United States and abroad, and has been the featured soloist in concerti of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Martinu, Hindemith, Barber and others. She has performed virtually the entire standard chamber music repertoire. Her recordings include performances of the Thomas Beversdorf Cello Sonata, the Brahms Trio, Op. 87, and Ravel’s Violin-Piano Sonate. Miss Thompson has performed in chamber music concerts in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center; the 92nd Street “Y” in New York City; the Philip’s Gallery, Washington D.C.; Boston’s Symphony Hall; Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco; and in the Teatro Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica. In the 1980s she was the pianist member of the Chamber Soloists of San Francisco and the San Francisco Trio. At the present time Miss Thompson is the pianist of the Navarro Trio, a group which performs frequently throughout the Bay Area. Marilyn Thompson has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; the College of Holy Names, Oakland, California; at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and is presently on the faculty of Sonoma State University where she has taught since 1976.

Jill Rachuy Brindel has been a cellist with the San Francisco Symphony since 1980 and a co-founder and member of Trio Navarro since 1992. This ensemble was hailed as “the premier trio of  Northern California” by Classical Sonoma.  Ms. Brindel studied at Indiana University and Chicago Musical College and was formerly Assistant Principal Cellist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, Principal Cellist of the Mendocino Music Festival for its first six years, cellist for the Navarro Quartet and a member of the Houston Symphony. She has performed chamber music at Kohl Mansion, the Russian River Chamber Festival, Old First Church, the Ralston Chamber Series and Chamber Music Sundaes.  In 2006 she returned to the Mendocino Music Festival as Principal Cellist and chamber soloist and in 2009 she became co-director of the Emerging Artists Program at the festival.  Ms. Brindel actively promotes the music of her late father, composer Bernard Brindel.  She is  a private instructor of cello as well as the coach for the cello section of the SFS Youth Orchestra. Ms. Brindel has given seminars on audition techniques to students at the University of Nevada at Reno and the New World Symphony. 

Violinist Victor Romasevich was born in Minsk, Belarus. His mother, Lena Lubotsky, began teaching him piano at the age of four. When five, he started violin studies with Anna Silberstein. At six, he enrolled in the violin class of Mikhail Garlitsky and Lev Sharinov at The Gnesin Music School in Moscow. As a youth he studied violin with Rostislav Dubinsky of the Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory with Boris Belenky and Nadia Beshkina. Following his emigration to the United States in 1977, he studied at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Mr. Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Violist in 1990, and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist, and keyboard player.

Violist Nancy Ellis attended Oberlin College and graduated from Mills College, where she studied with Nathan Rubin. She attended the Marlboro Music Festival, was a founding member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has performed at the Telluride, Cheltenham, Ojai, and Marlboro Music Festivals, and with the Chamber Soloists of San Francisco. She has been a member of San Francisco Symphony since 1973.

In addition to teaching violin at CSU-East Bay, Philip Santos performs frequently with many established groups in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Symphony's Chamber Music Series, Chamber Music Sundaes, Sierra Chamber Society, Music on the Hill, Old First Church Concerts, and Composers, Inc. Currently, Mr. Santos is concertmaster of the Fremont Symphony, assistant concertmaster of Marin Symphony and principal second violin of California Symphony. He has also played with the Chicago Symphony and has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and Berkeley Symphony. Mr. Santos is also on the faculty of the University of California's Young Musicians Program and has a very active studio where he teaches many private students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.



Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicist
Program Book Consultant, Green Music Center

Sonoma State University
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