The final installment of the Chamber Music Series of Greater Johnstown will have an international flavor.

The Pittsburgh Piano Trio comprises two native Russians and a Canadian who meld their talents to delight audiences with a blend of classical and modern chamber music.

The concert will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 309 Lincoln St. in downtown Johnstown.

Dr. Albert Mall, an organizer of the chamber music series, said the Pittsburgh-based trio is no stranger to Johnstown audiences.

“This is a dynamic group with whom many people in Johnstown are familiar,” Mall said.

“The Pittsburgh trio joined us for a weeklong workshop last summer at Our Mother of Sorrows School. They instructed youngsters and presented a concert to close out the session.”

Members of the trio are pianist Igor Kraevsky, violinist Jennifer Orchard and cellist Mikhail Istomin.

Orchard, a native of Canada, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the Juilliard School in New York.

Istomin is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. In 1987, he joined the Leningrad String Quartet.

During the summer of 1989, following an extensive tour of western Europe, the quartet was invited to perform in the United States.

At the end of the tour, Istomin defected and sought political asylum in the United States.

Kraevsky also graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. As a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, he has won several national music competitions in Russia and Ukraine.

Since arriving in the United States in 1993, Kraevsky has continued to perform extensively, concertizing throughout eastern Europe, France, Germany and Spain as well as in the United States.

Formed in 1994, the Pittsburgh Piano Trio created the chamber music program at the City Music Center at Duquesne University and established the annual Shady Side Chamber Music Festival.

The festival has been a popular destination each summer for young performers, many of whom are playing chamber music for the first time.

In keeping with the group’s desire to educate people about all facets of chamber music, the one-hour concert will begin with a half-hour discussion prior to the musical performance at 7:30.

“This approach was taken by the artist at our April concert, and the presentation included a question-and-answer session,” Mall said.

“It’s an enlightening opportunity for those who want to attend the concert but may not be too familiar with chamber music.”

Mall said the intriguing thing about chamber music is its intimacy.

“Chamber music is meant to be played in a small venue for a small audience,” he said.

“The repertoire also offers a lot of latitude in presenting classical pieces and incorporating post-classical, or more modern interpretations.”

Audience members are invited to a “Meet the Artist” gathering after the concert at Harrigan’s Café and Wine Deck in the downtown Holiday Inn, 250 Market St., Johnstown.

Patrons will receive a discount on desserts with the presentation of a ticket stub.

“This is a particularly intriguing group who people will find fascinating,” Mall said of the Pittsburgh Piano Trio.

“Each member has a diverse background, and they blend their talents to form a group that is not rigid or controlled.”

The trio has recorded and produced three CDs in cooperation with WQED-FM, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Pittsburgh Art Institute.

In 2003, they released a CD titled “Fantasie,” dedicated to the music of Frank Bridge (1879-1941).

The trio’s compact disc, “Encore, Encore,” contains a collection of short works from around the world, including “The Four Seasons” by Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla.

Tickets, which cost $15, will be available at the door. Mothers will be admitted free.



Tom Lavis can be reached at 532-5054 or tlavis@tribdem.com.

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