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Cho Trio celebrates 30th anniversary
There are notable examples of celebrated Korean classical music soloists performing with siblings and furthering their reputations. However, it is rare for sibling ensembles to participate regularly in international music competitions, but the Cho Trio is such a case.

The Cho Trio; pianist Young-bang, violinist Young-mi and cellist Young-chang, won the Geneva International Music Competition in 1977 and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1980.

For the past three decades, they have been in high demand worldwide both as a trio and soloists, playing at major events like a 1992 Wien Konzert Haus performance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Austria.

But the trio's start was more family interest than career plan, according to the only male member, Cho Young-chang.

¡°My father, classical music vocalist Sang-hyun, seemed to have planned to form a trio with the three of us from our childhood. This may be part of reasons that he made me switch from piano to cello at age eight,¡± the 47-year-old said. ¡°We thought it might be good to have an aim, and that's why we participated in the competitions.¡±

Over time, the trio's color has changed from one of youthful passion to a more cultivated hue. ¡°We used to hear at competitions that we played passionately and sometimes as if we were angry, but we have become easy and composed and able to show what we want to do with music.¡±

The cellist, who has been teaching at Folkwang Hochschule Essen, Germany, since 1987 said it would not have been possible for them to continue performing together for 30 years if they were not siblings since they are so different in character.

¡°We fought a lot and many times swore that we would never perform together. There was a fight right before a concert some 10 years ago, which made it almost impossible for us to perform together, but we somehow managed to do so,¡± Cho said. ¡°If we were friends or acquaintances, we might simply have given up on the trio.¡±

Cho said it helped him grow as a musician to be part of the trio. ¡°You learn a lot from playing chamber music. Korean musicians need to perform more chamber as their playing together is not as good as their performing solo. It makes you listen to others and helps you to maturate,¡± Cho said.

In two concerts in Seoul and in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, to celebrate the trio's 30th anniversary, the team will show off their special chemistry by performing Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major (Op.11), Dmitrii Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor (Op. 67) and Franz Schubert's Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major (D929).

March 08, 2006

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