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Founded in 2012 with their inaugural concert at Wits, The Wits Trio has performed for audiences throughout South Africa at major concert series and festivals ever since. Join us as they return to the newly built Chris Seabrooke Music Hall for a programme featuring three trios: Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Opus 49, Shostakovich’s Piano Trio Opus 67, and Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph’s Wits Trio Tribute, written specifically for this ensemble, and premiered 10 years ago at Wits.
Mendelssohn’s first piano trio was completed in 1839 and was immediately praised by his contemporary Robert Schumann after hearing its premiere.
The work has remained popular ever since. It is laid out on a large scale in four movements with virtuosic piano writing matched by lyrical melodies in the cello and violin.
Shostakovich was a hugely important composer of the Soviet Era and one of the few artistic luminaries of the time to survive his political opposition to Stalin. The Piano Trio in E minor was written towards the end of the Second World War with a similar spirit in mind. It was completed shortly after the death of Ivan Sollertinsky, a close friend of Shostakovich, who was a musicologist and scholar.
The Wits Trio Tribute was written in 2013 by Wits Professor Emeritus and leading South African composer Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph. It was performed by the trio for her retirement concert in 2013.
With the Wits Trio: leading South African musicians Zanta Hofmeyr – violin, Susan Mouton – cello, and Malcolm Nay – piano.