The most sought-after trio in the world, the Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio thrills audiences with their flawless technical virtuosity, irresistible enthusiasm and sensual elegance. Whether playing the great standards of the piano trio repertoire or daring contemporary works, the three young women who make up this celebrated ensemble electrify the concert stage with their performances of depth and precision. The Trio won the prestigious 1991 Naumburg Award, resulting in a highly successful Lincoln Center debut and has since toured the United States, Europe, and Asia. While maintaining their demanding concert schedule, the Eroica has released six critically-lauded recordings for Angel/EMI Classics Records, garnering multiple Grammy nominations.

During the 2004-2005 season, the Eroica Trio will perform throughout the United States and abroad. Highlights of the season include tours of the Far East in the fall, with concerts in Beijing’s Forbidden City with the China Philharmonic, and in the Spring in Vienna’s historic Musikverein. There, in that grande dame of European halls where Brahms’ symphonies premiered, they will perform the European premiere of Poets and Prophets by the quintessentially American composer/violinist, Mark O’Connor. The piece, which was written for them and is a tribute to Johnny Cash, colorfully depicts the American sensibility.

The Eroica Trio performs the Beethoven Triple Concerto more frequently than any other trio in the world, having appeared with such symphonies as those of Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Mostly Mozart Orchestra, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Houston and Seattle. The Trio has also performed the work on tour abroad with Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi in Spain, Haydn Orchestra in Italy, Budapest Symphony in Germany, and this season with the China Philharmonic. The Trio appeared on the German television program “Klassich!” performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Munich Symphony, with that program airing throughout Europe.

The Eroica Trio is on the vanguard of a new generation of artists who are changing the face of classical music. One of the first all-female chamber ensembles to reach the top echelons of its field, the Eroica Trio is helping to break an age-old gender barrier. As the Chicago Sun Times remarked “Our image of the piano trio is largely formed by groups like the celebrated [original] Beaux Arts, three middle-aged gentlemen who apply their wisdom and artistry to their chosen repertory. That image is about to change.” The Trio took its name from Beethoven’s passionate Third Symphony. Italian for “heroic,” Eroica is a word that aptly reflects the ensemble’s approach to their art. As critics have noted, “It’s been decades since this country has produced a chamber music organization with this much passion.” (The San Francisco Examiner)

The Trio has established a unique identity by creating innovative programs that span 300 years of music. A typical Eroica Trio concert might include the Baroque symmetries of Vivaldi, the passion of Brahms, and Paul Schoenfield’s contemporary Café Music with its echoes of jazz, spiritual and theatre music. The Eroica Trio is a strong champion of new composers, and each season has included an American or world premiere of a new work. Last spring, for example, the Montalvo Center for the Performing Arts in Saratoga, CA, and Katherine Gould presented the world premiere of Poets and Prophets, the trio composed for them by Mark O’Connor.

As the 1997 official representative for New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Eroica Trio opened the sold-out “Distinctive Debuts” series at Weill Recital Hall. This touring series, created to showcase rising stars of classical music, was internationally sponsored by a consortium of European halls and included performances at Konzerthaus in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Cologne, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Symphony Hall at ICC in Birmingham, and Kunserthus in Stockholm. The Eroica’s performances were received with rave reviews. “The Trio plays with technical flair, raw, driven energy and high spirits. The ensemble also has plenty of charm and stage presence. It was obvious that all three musicians were having as much fun as the [Carnegie Hall] audience.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Immediately following its acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut in 1997, the Eroica Trio was offered an exclusive five-record contract by Angel/EMI Classics Records, which was extended in 2002 to include three additional recordings. The Trio’s self-titled debut CD, which features works by Ravel, Benjamin Godard, a commissioned arrangement of the Gershwin Preludes, and Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music, was awarded NPR Performance Today’s “Debut Recording of the Year” and featured in Time Out New York’s “Top Ten Recordings” of 1997. The ensemble’s second disc, “Dvorak/Shostakovich/Rachmaninoff” released in the fall of 1998, concentrates on the works of those composers, as well as the Trio’s own arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards. The New York Times noted: “Eroica’s musicians have the muscle to be purely dramatic and emotional, but here they stand out for subtler reasons: all three players are soloists who have a lot to say, and every note, no matter how light, has some significance.” The Eroica Trio’s critically-acclaimed third recording, entitled “Baroque,” was released in November 1999 and spent the next nine months in the top 20 on Billboard’s charts. “Baroque” includes works by Bach, Vivaldi and the Eroica Trio’s own arrangement of Albinoni’s Adagio. The ensemble’s next album, “Pasión, was released in October 2000 and features Argentinean, Brazilian and Spanish composers, including Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos and Turina. Their fifth album for Angel/EMI Classics Records, “Brahms Trios Nos. 1 & 2,” was released in January 2002 to great critical acclaim. The disc featured the composer’s lullaby arranged for piano trio by Sara Sant’Ambrogio. The Trio’s sixth recording for Angel/EMI – “Beethoven’s Triple Concerto Op. 56 and Piano Trio Op. 11” -- was recorded with the Prague Chamber Orchestra and released in October 2003, just prior to a four-week coast-to-coast tour of the United States with that celebrated ensemble, making their mark by catapulting this particular piece into Billboard’s Top 20 for the first time in recording history.

In addition to their demanding concert and recording schedule, the Eroica Trio is committed to music education, giving concerts, master-classes and special children’s shows at schools and colleges throughout the country. Each summer, the Trio performs at music festivals throughout the world, including the Hollywood Bowl, Aspen, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, and Spoleto, Italy.

The Eroica Trio has appeared on numerous television programs, including ABC’s The View, CNN’s Showbiz Today, CBS and ABC News, the CBS Morning Show and Saturday Morning, A&E’sBreakfast with the Arts, The Isaac Mizrahi Show, Pure Oxygen, Bloomberg TV and Fox’s The Crier Report. In addition, they will be featured in the international broadcast of The Artists’ Way At Work, an in-depth exploration of artistic creativity. “Eroica!”, a special documentary about the trio and their commissioning of a new triple concerto by Kevin Kaska, premiered on the PBS series Independent Lens in December 2003.

The group has been featured in such magazines as Elle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Detour, Marie Claire, Gotham, Entrée, Bon Appétit, Time Out New York, Gramophone,, Piano, Vivace, Auditorium, Chamber Music and have graced the covers of magazines as diverse as Fanfare, Cigar, Strings, Tall, and Strad. Grand Marnier created a new cocktail dubbed The Eroica, unveiled for the release of the “Pasión” recording. Chateau Sainte Michelle, a vineyard in Seattle, also named one of their vintage Rieslings in honor of the Trio.

The women who make up the Eroica Trio are all top-ranked, award-winning soloists and have performed on many of the world’s great stages. Pianist Erika Nickrenz, who made her concerto debut at New York’s Town Hall at the age of 11, was a featured soloist on the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center. A recipient of the Rockefeller Tanglewood Fellowship, she began her studies with German Diez and received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard school as a pupil of Abbey Simon. In the spring of 2003 she gave a performance and rang the opening bell for New York Stock Exchange as part of Steinway’s 150th anniversary celebration. Violinist Adela Peña garnered first prize at the Washington International competition and has toured extensively as a soloist in the United States, Europe and South America. She has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, in recital at Carnegie Hall, and on the Live from the Sorbonne television show broadcast throughout Europe from Paris. As a student of Margaret Pardee at Juilliard, she was awarded a full scholarship for her Master of Music degree, and as Concerto Competition winner, a solo performance at Lincoln Center. Cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio’s international successes include winning a medal at the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition in Moscow, resulting in tours across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, culminating in a recital at Carnegie Hall which was broadcast on national television. She also won a Grammy award for her recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcaroles. In addition, she has enjoyed collaborating on rock, pop and jazz CDs and movie soundtracks. Her solo CD, “Dreaming,” was released on Sebastian Records in September 2004.

The Trio members look for balance and blend in life as well. They share a unique history, and have known each other since childhood. Erika and Adela began performing together at age nine. Three years later, Erika and Sara studied both piano and chamber music with Isabelle Sant’Ambrogio, Sara’s grandmother. As a teenager, Adela coached chamber music with Sara’s father and first teacher, John Sant’Ambrogio, principal cellist of the St. Louis Symphony. In the early years of the Eroica Trio, coaches included Mr. Sant’Ambrogio as well as Erika’s father, the noted violist Scott Nickrenz. Since the Trio signed with Angel/EMI Classics Records, five of its CDs were produced by Erika’s mother, three-time Grammy Award winner Joanna Nickrenz. The three women of the Eroica each have a young son: Zachary (Erika) and Neal (Adela), were born in the Spring of 2001, and Sebastian (Sara) was born in the Summer of 2004. The Eroica Trio is based in New York City where its members maintain a close musical and personal friendship.

"They play chamber music for the concert hall. There is an edge of the seat intensity to every note they produce."
The New York Times.
"The Eroica Trio's EMI-label debut features one of the best-ever recordings of Ravel's Piano Trio in a performance that shows off the group's wide range of color and expression."
USA Today
"Just as in their successful Carnegie Hall debut and smash-hit CD release, these three women demonstrate that on musical merits they have earned their foothold on the very highest rung of the profession."The Wall Street Journal.
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