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The Ahn Trio: A Powerful Force in the Music World

February 8, 2011

A few months ago I came across a program on PBS called On Canvas: The Ahn Trio which presented a live performance from Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  Three young ladies, Angella, Lucia, and Maria, are sisters who were born in Seoul, Korea and eventually moved to the United States.  They had the good fortune of being classically trained at The Julliard School of Music in New York City.  Angella is the violinist, Maria is the cellist, and Lucia plays piano within the trio.

Growing up, they learned to play and appreciate the classical compositions of Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak, and Smetana.  But the Ahn Trio have also been performing commissioned pieces by modern-day composers such as Pat Metheny, Michael Nyman, Kenji Bunch, and Paul Schoenfield, just to name a few.  These young ladies are not afraid to think outside the box regarding the music that they play, exploring various forms of artistic expression by combining performances filled with other types of performing and visual artists.  The Ahn sisters have collaborated with painters, dancers, pop singers, DJs, photographers, and other artistic groups, adding even more energy and excitement to their shows while still displaying their classical prowess.

They are also making their presence known on the record charts, too.  They’ve recorded CDs such as Paris Rio; Dvorak, Suk, Shostakovich:  Piano Trios;  Ahn-Plugged;  Groovebox and Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac. They’ve even recorded a European version of Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac made exclusively for iTunes.  This was number eight on the Billboard Classical chart for 26 weeks.  The trio has been touring for the last ten years and are already scheduled to perform in 2011 at high schools, universities, and concert halls within the United States and around the globe.

The Ahn sisters don’t just play concerts, they’ve also been performing and teaching at musical workshops and master classes nationally and internationally.  Their success just doesn’t seem to stop. Their talent, flair and style are recognized by magazines like Time, GQ, People and Vogue.  Photographers such as Walter Chin and Ellen von Unwerth  have captured their young faces  and popular retailers like Anne Klein, Gap and The Bodyshop have featured the Ahn Trio in ad campaigns.  These young ladies will definitely make your ears perk up and take notice of their musical talents when you listen to them play.  Then you’ll truly understand why the Ahn Trio is a powerful force in the music world.

http://www.ahntrio.com/v2/

http://www.ahntrio.com/v2/ahntrio.html

http://video.whyy.org/video/1524351067/

http://www.facebook.com/ahntrio

http://www.myspace.com/ahntrio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VT2SOv2Z0E

Music Advocacy

Witness the Spark

July 27, 2010

On a break from a practice session I walked through downtown Hayward when my ears perked at the sound of an amplifier. The familiar “Test-1-2” reached me as I rounded a corner and discovered a local blues band warming up on the patio of a restaurant.

A few minutes into the start of their first set, a small boy about the age of 8 or 9 walked up fearlessly to the lead singer.  The hulking bandleader motioned for the boy to enter the band’s live performance area to “groove along” while the band vamped the 12-bar blues.  After a few minutes the mic was handed over to the new ringer and the kid proceeded to belt out a few repetitions of the title line ‘I’ve Got My Mojo Workin’.  The crowd went wild!

After all the older members had each taken 24 bars of solo, I spied in the kid’s small hands a harmonica, a gift given to him by the guitar player.   He blew huge gulps of air into the mouth harp and continued to dance while the band played.  In his eyes he was now part of the band.  I couldn’t help but think that this moment was this kid’s musical “spark.”

My personal “spark” experience was seeing STOMP for the first time.  I can remember being in the audience feeling tingles on my spine and picturing myself as a member of the already-famous percussion group.

Can you remember having a music moment similar to our young bluesman?

We all know that instance when music touches us in ways not easily described in words.  The feeling of that musical spark is part of why we are musicians and why we teach children this mysterious form of art.