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Copland House Piano Trio: 150 Years of America’s Musical Legacy

By Mittie Roger

Returning to San Miguel de Allende, the three founding members of the acclaimed “Music from Copland House,” the resident ensemble at the creative music center located in Aaron Copland’s renovated National Historic Landmark home in New York, will wow audiences with two concerts Friday, January 29, at 5pm and Sunday, January 31, at 4pm at St. Paul’s Church on Cardo 6. Their concerts will highlight works by a variety of composers, naturally including Copland, but also Schuman, Dvorak, Bernstein, Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky.

Pro Musica Concert Series
Copland House Piano Trio
Fri, Jan 29, 5pm
Sun, Jan 31, 4pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
120/250/350 pesos donation

Copland House is considered one of the most knowledgeable American repertory ensembles, recreating 150 years of America’s rich musical legacy. Cellist Wilhelmina Smith, prize winner in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition, is the founder and artistic director of the Salt Bay Chamberfest in Maine. Michael Boriskin, pianist and Copland House artistic and executive director, performs regularly worldwide with first rank international orchestras. Nicholas Kitchen, also first violinist of the lauded Borromeo String Quartet, has performed in the world’s most prestigious concert halls.

Friday’s concert will feature Schuman, Dvorak, Bernstein, and more. The program includes Schumann’s Five Pieces in Folk Style, composed as playful character studies, much like his larger piano collections, Papillons and Carnaval. “Vanitas Vanitatum,” a startling Latin inscription meaning vanity of vanities, precedes the first movement. Bernstein’s Piano Trio will follow—a tribute to Copland’s influence over Bernstein during his Harvard years. A lifelong friend and mentor, Copland supported and advised him during its composition. Dvořák’s Piano Trio No. 2 will also be performed. Composed after the sudden death of Dvořák’s young daughter, the composition is highly emotional and deeply sad, a stark departure from the joy exuded in his previous trio.

Sunday’s concert will highlight Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky, among others. The Duo Concertante, Stravinsky’s only violin-piano composition, was created for collaboration with violinist Samuel Dushkin.  After its premier in Berlin, it debuted in Los Angeles, a hub for new, experimental art. Debussy’s Piano Trio in G major, another composition the trio will perform, was discovered only in 1982. The distinctive movement titles are shown in our program in the unusual wording as first printed. Copland’s own “Two Pieces” with its familiar “American” style follows. Copland House will also perform Ravel’s Piano Trio, composed in 1914 during a period of intense fermentation and experimentation in Europe and America; Ravel was famed for his individualism and fearlessness in the face of dissenters.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s church are 120, 250, and 350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca; La Conexión, only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22; and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website,, or contact us at


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