The SF State Morrison Artist Series offered a free performance by the world-famous Delphi Trio Friday, for an audience of nearly 100.
The trio performed at McKenna Theatre as part of an annual showcase at SF State by the Morrison Artist Series of outstanding ensembles from the Bay Area.
The Morrison Artist Series, a branch of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at SF State, provides free concerts and educational programs to expand the musical world for audiences and future performers.
“It is the only program which gives admission-free concerts of top caliber to the community, and represents the largest private gift on record for promoting excellence in chamber music,” according to the Rockefeller Foundation’s 1996 annual report.
These concerts provide an opportunity for music lovers to save money while still getting the full experience of chamber music.
Each ensemble that performed for the Morrison Artist Series taught a master class to students at SF State, the SF Conservatory of Music and local high schools with music programs.
Along with performances and educational programs, the Morrison Foundation provides major funding for SF State programs.
The Morrison Artist Series hosts seven ensemble recitals each year from the U.S. and Europe, including one Bay Area ensemble renowned for their exceptional work.
“In order to support the vitality of chamber music in our own region, each year I present one ensemble from the Bay Area,” said Richard Festinger, artistic director of the Morrison Artist Series and SF State music theory and composition professor.
Festinger typically looks to include “a young ensemble that has achieved an exceptionally high level of accomplishment.”
People who attended were given the rare opportunity to watch and listen to the Delphi Trio play four original pieces. The Netherlands-based group is comprised of a pianist, violinist and cellist. The focal point of the performance centered around a piece written specifically for the Delphi Trio, by Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer William Bolcom in 2014.
Delphi Trio pianist, Jeffrey LaDeur believes Bolcom’s piece was a product of “the right place at the right time.”
“He (Bolcom) got major offer commissions that I’m sure were occupying his time, but it was one of those things where we can’t take credit for it,” LaDeur said. “I think he’d been wanting to write this piece for a very long time.”
The trio also performed music familiar to many, including a piece by Beethoven. Their style is smooth and passionate with tempo changes that highlight their broad range, making each piece engaging.
It is this style that led the trio to win the 2015 Orlando Concours in the Netherlands, and allowed them to perform all over the U.S., Canada and Europe, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C.
“The special nature of chamber music lies in the ability to bring a group of individuals together in perfect harmony,” Festinger said. “Chamber music epitomizes the central human values of communication, collaboration and democracy.”