It has been said of the Calyx Trio, “whether you’re a confirmed fan of chamber music, or simply curious about this time-honored genre, Calyx Piano Trio never fails to delight audiences.” (New Bern Magazine)
Formed in 2001, the Calyx Piano Trio takes its name from the botanical term meaning the sepals of a flower, often in multiples of three, that encase a flower bud. This organic and protective imagery and its creative application to chamber music inspires the performers of the critically acclaimed Calyx Piano Trio. Catherine French, violin, Jennifer Lucht, cello, and Nina Ferrigno, piano, the group’s bright and accomplished musicians, have earned Calyx the reputation of defying stereotypes with a repertoire that combines classical masterworks with original pieces by living composers.
The Trio performs extensively in the United States, exciting audiences with expressive ensemble playing and brilliant virtuosity. They have been featured on the Morrison Artist Series (CA), at the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Kranzberg Arts Center (St. Louis), and on series at the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music (NY), Pamlico Musical Society (NC), Newton Free Library (MA), Curtisville Consortium (MA) and James Library Center for the Arts (MA). Calyx presents concerts and educational programs at Washington University (St. Louis), Webster University (St. Louis) as well as East Carolina University (Greenville). Festival residencies include those, ongoing, with the Carolina Chamber Music Festival (NC) since 2008 and the Missouri Chamber Music Festival (MOCM) since 2011.
Committed to illuminating the genre through juxtaposition of master works and fresh pieces by living composers, the Calyx Piano Trio champions new music. The Trio’s keen intelligence, expert ensemble playing, detailed sound and passionate expression bring new works to life providing deeper insight into the traditions of chamber music while helping to establish new traditions and standards for the genre. This dynamic group has been described as “a composer’s dream come true”. They have premiered many pieces written for them including kiss to the earth by composer Amy Beth Kirsten, (premiered at the 2013 Missouri Chamber Music Festival, St. Louis), made possible by a grant from Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program. Recent projects include those with such composers as Derek Bermel (2015), Christopher Stark (2017), and Beth Denisch (2018).
The Calyx Trio has presented workshops and performance/discussions to audiences throughout the U.S.. They have coached chamber music at the University of Missouri- Columbia, East Carolina University (Greenville, NC), San Francisco State University, the Walnut Hill School (MA), and the Longy School of Music (Boston). While in residence at the the Carolina Chamber Music Festival, the Calyx Trio developed “Conversations with Calyx”, an educational outreach presentation. Included in these relaxed presentations are points of intersection for performers and audiences on a variety of musical topics. Recently, such presentations have included The Calyx Trio offering historical perspective on the development of the piano trio, discussing their experiences working and performing in an ensemble, lecture-demonstration of extended techniques in contemporary music, and interacting with audience members through question/answer.