Ensemble Epomeo

String Trio


Ensemble Epomeo_015Founded in 2008 at the Ischia Chamber Music Festival (Italy), string trio Ensemble Epomeo  is fast rising to the upper echelon of international chamber groups. Inaugural tours saw them performing in Italy, the UK and the USA, with broadcasts on New England Public Radio and WKCR Columbia University in New York where they were the subject of a special showcase concert. Ensemble Epomeo has developed vibrant collaborations with leading festivals including the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival (USA), Two Rivers Festival (England), and Scotia Festival (Canada) and they have been Ensemble-in Residence at St. Thomas University (Canada).

Ensemble Epomeo released their debut recording for Avie Records in 2012 featuring the complete string trios of Hans Gál and Hans Krása. The disc is the world premiere recording of Gál’s trios and it received “Critic’s choice” in Gramophone Magazine (“Ensemble Epomeo provide ravishing accounts of both Gal works, fully in sympathy with the idiom…A splendid disc I cannot get enough of” ) with reviews also including the San Francisco Chronicle (“a brilliant revelation…unforgettable .superb performance”), Strad Magazine (“A warmly recorded and thought provoking disk”), and MusicWeb International (“huge commitment and brilliant flair”).

They released Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht in 2014 on the Somm label with Fanfare Magazine writing : Happily, this is a competitive performance with no technical weaknesses, a taut interpretation, and all the more impressive for being recorded live. Classical CD wrote :  this group, string trio Ensemble Epomeo with three extra players, strives for, and achieves, exceptional clarity of line and texture.  This gives the piece a new profile, with the complex but now clear counterpoint driving the music and leading the ear through the harmonic web. There is atmosphere here too, and much warmth in the ensemble’s sound, but that is never at the expense of the individual lines.this is an impressive recording, and one that exposes many details of the score that usually remain obscure.”

Most recently, in 2016, they released to great acclaim a recording of 20th Century string trios by Schnittke, Pendercki, Kurtag, and Weinberg. The Strad Magazine wrote: “…remarkable intensity and elegant assurance throughout… bristles with detail – there are finely balanced chords moving from glowing diatonicism to harsh dissonance, and carefully shaped melodies with beautifully expressive vibrato – yet they never lose sight of the work’s broader architecture, nor of its poignant, increasingly bleak mood. Penderecki’s String Trio gives the players the chance to shine individually in vividly dispatched cadenzas – David Yang on viola is lithe and expressive, cellist Kenneth Woods nimble and mischievous, and violinist Diane Pascal forcefully assertive – and there’s a persuasive rhythmic drive to their propulsive closing movement.”
Passionate advocates for the music of our time, Ensemble Epomeo has commissioned new works by composers Jay Reise, Kamyar Mohajer, Andrew Keeling, Donald Fraser, Victoria Bond, Kile Smith, Melissa Dunphy, Kenneth Woods and others. The trio take their name from the legendary volcano Mount Epomeo on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, where they gave their debut performance in 2008 at the Ischia Chamber Music Festival performing Schnittke’s String Trio, a work they have since recorded to international acclaim.

 The trio has an alter-ego for outreach concerts in children’s storytelling and music troupe Auricolae. Their first recording on the New Focus label was released in 2008: “what we have here is a children’s disc – famous stories told in an intelligent and accessible way accompanied by music created for such. “…one cannot but admire the commitment and educational effort that goes into such an undertaking, especially in these days when troglydyte school superintendents and their lackey boards of education are eliminating music programs… the stories are presented with energy and great panache…the playing is superb; I cannot reasonably imagine better.” (Audiophile Audition). Auriocolae’s second CD was released by Avie in 2014.