Stellaria Trio bring ‘Mirth and Mystery’ to Brandon Music

The classical Stellaria Trio will spotlight works by Finnish, Norwegian and Danish composers in their Nordic piano trio program called “Mirth and Mystery” at Brandon Music on Saturday, Nov. 4. The trio is composed of violinist Letitia Quante, cellist John Dunlop and pianist Claire Black.
Having just completed an exciting run of their “Beginners’ Luck” program, which featured Ernest Bloch’s Three Nocturnes and the first trios of Beethoven and Brahms, Stellaria Trio embraces the beauty of fall and the music this calm, cool season brings. Saturday’s program will include works by composers Lange-Müller, Grieg, and Sibelius. Think vast landscapes, deep winter, towering evergreens, ancient folklore, minimalist architecture, and rainbow towns, and you’ve got a glimpse of the stunning cultural backdrop that inspired the music you’ll hear during this night of splendor.
The trio formed in October 2016, wanting to create, share and inspire through generous collaboration and the art of classical music performance. Based in Burlington, the group drew their name from the Latin term for common chickweed, Stellaris Media. This curative herb stands for love and rejoining — a symbol of the musicians’ devotion to chamber music and a perfect summary of their story.
Letitia Quante started violin with the Suzuki method, studying at the Hartt Music School, entered the Juilliard pre-college program at age 11, and completed her Suzuki teacher training at School for Strings before attending the Peabody Conservatory. While living in Maryland, she played principal with Mid-Atlantic Symphony and assistant concertmaster with Lancaster Symphony, and concertized both as a soloist and chamber musician with other ensembles in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.  She has performed with diverse musicians such as Mikhail Kopelman, Leon Fleisher, Eugene Drucker, Phil Setzer, Sarah Chang, Kanye West, Bajofondo, and Natalia Lafourcade.  She has also performed with Singapore Symphony, New World Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. Since moving to Vermont in 2012, Quante has played with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Middlebury Opera, Handel Society at Dartmouth, Vermont Contemporary Ensemble, and Vermont Virtuosi. She plays an 1840 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume on generous loan from Vermont Violins.
John Dunlop has been performing in the Northeast for over 25 years as Principal cellist with the Vermont Symphony, Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera North, Vermont Mozart Festival, Vermont Virtuosi and the Green Mountain Opera Festival. He has performed as soloist with both the VSO and BCO, as well as many chamber music performances with notable area musicians. Dunlop is also the cellist with the fledgling new music ensemble TURN, which features many of the most interesting young composers of our time.
He studied under Richard Kapuscinski at Oberlin Conservatory and Bonnie Hampton at the San Francisco Conservatory, and has played in master classes for Yo Yo Ma, Jerry Grossman, Steve Doane and others. Dunlop has also composed and recorded several award-winning film soundtracks for short films, including a documentary on childhood hunger in Vermont, wherein he called on his skills as a guitarist and bouzouki player in addition to cello. He has played with Bernadette Peters, Lyle Lovett, Trey Anastasio, and Phish. In addition to his teaching at Dartmouth, John teaches privately in Richmond, Vermont.
A native of Long Lake, N.Y., pianist Claire Black resides in Charlotte. Black is an active performer of classical music in solo and collaborative settings, and has presented her programs throughout North America. Black’s deep interest in and commitment to chamber music synergize with her abundant experience, including many years of performance tours with the Cialde Quintet and with her cello-piano Elegua Duo. Her current chamber music endeavors include concerts with the Stellaria Trio and Vermont Virtuosi. She also freelances as an accompanist for vocal and instrumental soloists and for the Burlington Choral Society. Before moving to Vermont, Black spent eight years in Cleveland, Ohio. There, she worked as a staff accompanist at Baldwin Wallace University and trained at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). She received a Master of Music degree in piano performance under the tutelage of Margarita Shevchenko.
Saturday’s concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the show. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295,  e-mail [email protected] or visit brandon-music.net for more info.

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