French musicians to perform Saturday in Columbia

February 27, 2003

Candlelight Concerts will present the Paris Piano Trio at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Smith Theatre at Howard Community College. The trio, known in Europe as "Les Musiciens," will perform pieces by Haydn, Chausson and Schubert.

Although violinist Regis Pasquier, cellist Roland Pidoux and pianist Jean-Claude Pennetier are renowned soloists, they connected over their common love of chamber music while students at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris. Each graduated from the conservatory with top honors and became a professor there.

Pasquier proved his talent when he won first prize in violin and chamber music at the conservatory when he was age 12. He went on to win other awards, including the Prize of the Academy of French Recording and the Special Prize of the Nouvelle Academie du Disque, and was named best soloist of 1991 by the Sixiemes Victoires de la Musique. A professor of violin and chamber music at the conservatory, he performs with major orchestras and in recitals around the world.

Pidoux, professor of cello at the conservatory, has performed with groups such as Quatuor Via Nova and Trio Pasquier, and founded l'Ensemble Instrumental de France. He also held the soloist chair at l'Orchestre National de France and serves as artistic director for recording label Harmonia Mundi.

Pennetier began playing piano when he was age 3 and went on to win major international awards, including the Prix Gabriel Faure and first prizes at the Concours Geneve and Concours International de Montreal. At age 30, he interrupted his performing career to expand his repertoire to include musical theater, opera, works for pianoforte and contemporary music. He has recently appeared with l'Orchestre de Paris and l'Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine.

The trio first toured when Pasquier was 13, and has performed in Europe, Canada, South America and the United States. Their recordings include Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Schubert and Brahms.

The college is at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Tickets are $28 for general admission, $24 for seniors and $9 for students. Information: 410-480-9950, 301-596-6203 or www.candlelightconcerts.org.

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