Recital: Trio Gaia

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Trio Gaia, NEC's newest Professional Trio-in-Residence, gives a recital in Jordan Hall this evening.

This concert can be viewed in-person and via livestream.

Watch livestream from Jordan Hall

About Trio Gaia

Trio Gaia, New England Conservatory's newest Professional Trio-in-Residence, is dedicated to offering audiences dynamic, personally relevant experiences inside and outside the concert hall. Recently, the trio won 2nd prize in the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and were awarded the Vianello Family Audience Prize in the Plowman National Chamber Music Competition. Prior to serving as trio-in-residence, Trio Gaia served as an Honors Ensemble and Community Performances & Partnership fellows at NEC, in recognition of their work sharing classical music in the community. They have presented concerts at venues ranging from the historic Boston Public Library to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and have crafted educational content for the Panama Jazz Festival as well as local schools and senior homes. Trio Gaia was invited to Carnegie Hall’s Audience Engagement Intensive—presented in collaboration with Ensemble Connect—which allowed the trio to reach audiences across New York City with accessible, interactive performances.

Recent engagements, both in-person and virtual, have included performances for Music for Food, NEC's Black Student Union, Boston’s outdoor Experience Chinatown!, Massachusetts Peace Action, and Opus Illuminate, a concert series dedicated to showcasing music by composers underrepresented in classical music. The 2021-22 season will include recitals in New Hampshire and Boston, and the launch of their adventurous audience-interactive initiative Commission: Engage, which will be shared in a series of recital and community engagement experiences.
As individuals, violinist Grant Houston, cellist Yi-Mei Templeman, and pianist Andrew Barnwell have established performing careers that have taken them to nine countries for a range of solo and collaborative opportunities. Together, the trio has studied extensively with renowned artists Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, Donald Weilerstein, Merry Peckham, and Max Levinson. Additional mentors include cellists Lluís Claret and Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, and pianists Victor Rosenbaum and Orli Shaham. When not rehearsing or performing, you can find Trio Gaia shopping for new outfits or cooking together.


About NEC's Professional Piano Trio Program

Under the direction of Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, NEC’s Professional Piano Trio Program is open to advanced ensembles who show the talent and commitment necessary to pursue a concert career. One trio is in residence at a time, typically for a period of two years.

The program offers intensive training and coaching for exceptional piano trios. Highlights include three hours of ensemble coaching per week, weekly individual studio instruction from NEC strings and piano faculty, daily group rehearsals, and training in all aspects of musicianship and career development. Piano trios perform an annual recital in world-renowned Jordan Hall and give performances in venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society.

Previous graduates of the program include Trio Cleonice, The New Trio, Moêt Trio, Trio Cavatina, Tel-Aviv Trio, the Tal Trio, and the Merz Trio.

  • Grant Houston, violin
  • Yi-Mei Templeman, cello
  • Andrew Barnwell, piano
  1. David Baker | Roots II (1992)


    “Incantation” is an attempt to capture the musical mood of the voodoo rites which had their origins in ancient African traditions.

    Dance in Congo Square

    “Dance in Congo Square” is an allusion to the area in 19th-century New Orleans where Blacks periodically congregated to perform a wide variety of music, dances, and religious rituals that might have been explicitly forbidden in a less liberal environment.

    Sorrow Song

    “Sorrow Song” belongs to the tradition of religious music which includes spirituals, laments, and church house moans. It is the plaintive cry of a downtrodden people.

    Boogie Woogie

    “Boogie Woogie” is a stylized version of a popular Black piano music known as “fast Western,” “juke,” and “rent party music”, based on the blues form.


     “Jubilee,” reminiscent of the festive celebratory dances which occurred on rare rest days, is built on a pedal point which recalls the drones that accompanied the sea chanteys of Black workers on the levees of the South.

    --David Baker

  2. Ludwig van Beethoven | Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major, op 1 no. 1

    Adagio cantabile

  3. Mieczyslaw Weinberg | Piano Trio, op. 24

    Prelude and Aria


    To Vivian:
    thank you for pushing us every week to work harder, to listen with intention, and to develop our unique voice;
    to Don: thank you for your wisdom and patience;
    to Merry: thank you for believing in us–without you, we wouldn’t be here;
    to Tanya and Grace: thank you for helping us in our work outside of the concert hall and for teaching us the power of connection;
    to our families: thank you for supporting us along this wild journey;
    to our friends: thank you for your constant encouragement and for putting up with our incessant trio stories;
    and to everyone here today: thank you for sharing this time with us!