Denmark’s Trio Vitruvi, the critically acclaimed trio whose concerts have thrilled audiences around the world, are finally landing in New York and slated to mark their debut performance at Carnegie Hall on April 17th amid the release of their forthcoming CD.
With international roots in Denmark, Switzerland and Australia, the youthful trio composed of Nicklas Walentin (violin), Alexander McKenzie (piano) and Jacob la Cour (cello) have developed a global following as they brought Danish composers Carl Nielsen and Vagn Holmboe to audiences in Russia, Belarus, Portugal, China and beyond.
#DenmarkInNY caught up with Trio Vitruvi to talk about the thrills of being a young international ensemble playing at world’s most important concert halls and how the Trio got started.
DKNY: How did your ensemble start and how did the three of you meet
TV: We were brought together for the first time in the summer of 2013 by our professor in Copenhagen, Tim Frederiksen. After wonderful days of work on Fanø — one of the small, windswept islands off Denmark’s western coast, we founded Trio Vitruvi, and were shortly thereafter invited to give a concert at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele in northern Germany. Playing countless concerts during our first years together brought us much closer already at an early stage!
What are your influences and inspirations and where does the name come from?
On a musical level, we have discovered a very large appetite for the constant discovery of new facets of music as an abstract language. Our recent work during the last few years with founding member of the Alban Berg Quartet, Hatto Beyerle, has been particularly intense. We have been pushed to discover the philosophy behind music. A study of Baroque rhetoric has also been a great part of this. Our name was inspired by the writings of the Roman architect and philosopher Vitruvius, whose ideas about proportions, beauty, structure and the relationship between the natural and human worlds we found particularly relevant to the musical universe. We also like the sound and rhythm of the name.
How do you expect American audiences to react to your performance?
The best we can do is to enjoy the music on stage as much as possible and to welcome the improvised elements of chamber music on stage. Hopefully our audiences anywhere in the world will catch that spirit of friendship and feel it as well. This performance [at Carnegie Hall] is the official release of our debut CD recording with Bridge Records. Schubert’s final piano trio in the rarely played Bärenreiter edition and its many extra minutes of wonderful music has become a very special work for us. We have paired this Viennese masterpiece with the youthful lyricism and energy of Shostakovich’s first piano trio, as well as the famous “Dumky” trio by Dvorak, the former director of the National Conservatory of Music here in New York City. We hope this might lead to an exciting Carnegie Hall debut full of contrasts.
What does New York mean to you and what is your favorite spot in the city?
This is our first time traveling to New York together so we hope we’ll find many favorite spots! The experience of releasing a recording in this city, world famous for its extremely high level of music and art, is very exciting. We’ll try to see and hear as much ballet, opera and music while we’re here.
Emma Petrine Søgaard Jensen, Culture and Public Diplomacy Intern at Denmark In NY.