Tomorrow afternoon, June 7th at CMU’s Laudamus Auditorium, the Agassiz Chamber music festival will be featuring the renowned Danish ensemble The Rudersdal Chamber Players. 

The group will be playing a double bill concert, with the first concert starting at 1:00pm and the second concert starting at 2:15. Featuring music by Melanie Bonis, Amanda Maier, Beethoven and others, these two concerts are going to be a terrific way to spend a Friday afternoon here in Winnipeg. 

The Rudersdal Chamber Players core of musicians consists of a piano quartet. For these two concerts, the group will consist of Christine Pryn on violin, John Ehde on cello, and Manuel Esperilla on piano. The Rudersdal Chamber Players perform in all incarnations of chamber ensemble. Christine Pryn founded the group, as she explains, “It’s a special group in that it has a flexible combination of instruments. We regularly play as a piano quartet, piano quintet, clarinet quintet string trio... whatever....and if we need another instrument, we will just add it.” 

No matter what combination of instruments the group is performing with, the ensemble always take care to perform the standard core chamber music repertoire alongside contemporary music. “Music of today is very important for our lives. We all know a lot of composers and work directly with them, so it was completely natural, I think, that for this ensemble we needed to incorporate the modern repertoire...that is something Christine is very interested in, and that was the concept from the beginning,” states Rudersdal pianist Manuel Esperilla. 

The other area of music that the group champions and performs regularly is music written by women composers. “We champion female composers, but in general we like to champion composers who deserve more attention,” says Pryn. 

These two passions for the ensemble, performing contemporary music alongside standard repertoire, and championing music of women composers form the basis of the two concerts on Friday afternoon. 

The first concert starts at 1:00 and will consist of music by Beethoven and Roxanna Panufrik. The trio will be performing Panufrik’s 1995 piece Around Three Corners. The Panufrik has a remarkably interesting structure. It is a set of theme and variations, but the theme is in the center of the piece, which creates a palindromic musical structure; the theme being sandwiched in between the variations.  

The Trio will round out the first concert with Beethoven’s fun and at times humorous piano trio Op1, no 1 in E flat. 

The second concert starts at 2:15 and will feature music by three phenomenal women composers. The Rudersdal Chamber Players will perform the Swedish composer Amanda Maier’s gorgeously romantic piano trio. Maier was a contemporary of Grieg and Brahms and her music is very much in that vein. 

The trio will also be performing French composer Melanie Bonis’ very colorful and beautiful piece Soir et Matin. Bonis was a composer whose compositional career was stilted by her marriage and the task of raising children. She was highly regarded as a composer by her colleagues. She was also a classmate of Debussy at the Paris Conservatory, and her music is full of romantic and impressionistic flair. 

The third piece that the trio will be performing on the 2:15 concert is Swedish composer Britta Byström’s piece Love in the Afternoon. Born in 1977, Byström’s music is full of magnificent textures and sounds. As cellist John Ehde describes the piece “It’s a very colorful piece you could say... it uses the instruments in every traditional way and a bit more modernistic ways...there is also quite some humor in it.” 

The two concerts on Friday June 7th at CMU’s Laudamus Auditorium are sure to be spectacular. Diverse and interesting programming performed by world class musicians will make his concert truly memorable. 

For more details visit the Agassiz Chamber Music's Website