On the warm Saturday evening of April 11th, 2015, the Belmont Hill Piano Trio performed the fourth movement of the Brahms Piano Trio in B Major in a masterclass with Ms. Mia Chung Yee, a professor at the Curtis institute of Philadelphia, one of the premier music conservatories in the world. Initially assembled as a new extracurricular group before this school year, the Trio, whose members include violinist Austin Kwoun (’18), cellist Spencer Kim (’16), and pianist George Hu (’16), had attracted Ms. Chung Yee’s attention in the fall with their recording of the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor, and with the help of their instructor, Mr. Glenn, the masterclass had been arranged in early March.
In front of a small audience in the music building, Ms. Chung Yee delivered a mesmerizing hour of coaching that inspired the Piano Trio and audience members alike. To the Trio, Ms. Chung Yee enthusiastically gave helpful instructions and advice on dramatizing and energizing the work through dynamics and artistic expression. The Trio’s instructor, Mr. Glenn, commented, “I think that this masterclass really reinvigorated the group. While the Trio has always impressed at school, a lesson with one of the best chamber music coaches in the country has definitely pushed the Trio to perform the Brahms at another level of musical expression.” Despite the sophistication of her masterclass musical advice, Ms. Chung Yee remained entertaining and accessible to the audience throughout the session. One student observer noted, “Musically, the class seemed very sophisticated, but I also felt like it was relatively accessible to me as a layperson and fun to watch. I’m so glad I went, because it really was amazing to see someone that passionate and that skilled throw herself into the class and really help these three super talented young musicians.”
Overall, the masterclass with Ms. Chung Yee has been a blessing and benefit to the Piano Trio. Incorporating her helpful suggestions, the group has since performed the Brahms at the Corporation Dinner, Spring Concert, and Parents’ Council Evening with the Head of School. One member of the Trio specifically remarked “the Masterclass really helped us. While everyday rehearsal with Mr. Glenn was always productive, being taught by a world-class coach really helped us to play at our maximum level and quality.” The Trio would like to thank the audience, their parents, Mr. Glenn, Mr. Mahoney, Dr. Melvoin, and, of course, Ms. Chung Yee for making the evening possible.