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Joan Shaw: Concert Series Scores

Joan Shaw
Special to the Sky-Hi News
Grand County CO Colorado

The Hwang-Ainomae-Hsu Trio was formed only a year-and-a-half ago, yet they already have gained a reputation of excellence. The Grand County audience predicts they will skyrocket to success. Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post described them as a “powerhouse piano trio.” 

These three professional musicians have already mastered the art of playing together as an ensemble by listening carefully to each other.  Often it takes many years to achieve perfect balance in ensemble work after finding the right combination of instruments and players. The violinist Yumi Hwang-Williams explained that listening and intuition are 95 percent of what is necessary to achieve a perfect balance. She felt they were involved in nanoseconds of timing.

This concert was presented by the Grand Concert Series as a part of their 2012 season at the Church of Eternal Hills in Tabernash.



The perfection of playing was evident after the first eight measures of Mozart’s music when they performed his Piano Trio K. 502 as their opening selection. This charming classical music was clearly and crisply played much to the enjoyment of the audience. The beautiful Rachmaninoff “Vocalise ” completed the first half of the program. This piece is often sung as a vocal solo as the title suggests, however, this trio made their own beautiful arrangement so that all three musicians had prominent parts that were clearly discernible, giving the audience a deep and pleasurable experience.

The skill of the pianist Hsing-ay Hsu was most impressive as she played the difficult piano passages with complete confidence.  She was very aware of her role in the trio and avoided the role in which the pianist often dominates music written for this combination. This young woman was sensitive to the violin and cello and was the perfect instrumentalist. Jan Sears, a local musician, turned the pages for her with expertise and later commented that Hsing-ay Hsu never missed a beat or a rest. 



Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Trio” is seldom performed yet, once again, the audience was enthralled not only with this fine classical music but the spectacular interpretation by the trio. This composer heavily influenced the work of Rachmaninoff a century ago and the music was a nice segue from the Vocalise heard earlier. Children attending were very attentive and one child couldn’t help but bounce to the beat until his dad slowed him down. Only Jacob, a 4-month old baby, slept peacefully through these harmonies. 

Tabernash Colorado had the distinction of having an international trio give an outstanding concert. The three artists are global professionals coming from China, South Korea and Estonia. Their resumes clearly indicate they were child prodigies and they have performed ever since in many countries. Denver is fortunate to have their talents and Grand County is their latest concert in which they received a standing ovation. Many people had heard them as orchestral members in the CSO based in Denver where Yumi Hwang- Williams has served as concertmaster of the symphony since 2000 and Silver-Ainomae is the principal cellist. Haing-ay Hsu is the Artistic director of Pendulum New Music in Boulder.

“It is wonderful to provide live vibrations and acoustically balanced sound to this audience. It surpasses any CD listening and we are honored to share our music with you,” said the violinist. She thanked the Church of Eternal Hills for an excellent concert hall. “In addition to this wonderful evening of music, I had the perfect seat where the full moon came through the church window and added to the magnificent setting,” Susan Ellis added.


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