Peabody student trio on three-city tour

Trio Phoenix, comprising (from left) Alan Choo, Akkra Yeunyonghattaporn and Yeh Tzu-jou, perform in Singapore tonight.
Trio Phoenix, comprising (from left) Alan Choo, Akkra Yeunyonghattaporn and Yeh Tzu-jou, perform in Singapore tonight.PHOTO: NANYANG MUSIC COMPANY

Three young musicians from three different places, including Singaporean violinist Alan Choo, 24, will perform at the Esplanade Recital Studio tonight, the second leg of their three-city Asia Summer Tour, which started in Taipei last Tuesday.

They call themselves Trio Phoenix and the other members of the group are Taiwanese cellist Yeh Tzu-jou, 25, and Thai pianist Akkra Yeunyonghattaporn, 26.

All are post-graduate students at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore in the United States, where they met and formed the group last August to play piano trio music together.

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    Where: Esplanade Recital Studio
    When: Tonight, 8pm
    Admission: $20 from and at the door

Staging the performance for them is their schoolmate and friend Chew Jun An, 23, a second-year composition major undergraduate at Peabody. He is also a founder of Nanyang Music Company, which he set up with his elder brother Jun Ru, an erhu player, and a few friends in March, to help train Singapore musicians and advance multicultural cohesiveness through music.

The trio's performance, Chew said, would be the first music event presented by his music company, which promotes Chinese and western music.

He added: "I met Alan, Tzu-jou and Akkra as a performing group when I joined Peabody last year. And when they told me they were planning to perform in Singapore, I offered to help straight away because they are excellent."

Choo, the Singaporean violinist who was admitted to Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore when he was only 15 and is now pursuing his post-graduate studies in performance at Peabody, said: "We formed the group because we enjoy playing music together, from works of the Baroque period to the 20th century and the modern day."

Akkra, also a graduate from Yong Siew Toh, who is also doing his post-graduate studies in performance at Peabody, said the group has been performing at concert halls, radio stations as well as community events in the US since its formation about a year ago.

"We are doing the summer tour because we wanted to bring the music we make to the cities we came from in order to share it with our folks back home," he added.

Yeh, a graduate of National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan before furthering her studies at Peabody, said the group's show in Taipei was a success.

"We received rave reviews and good feedback from our peers as well," she added.

They will be performing the same programme in tonight's concert and it comprises a Baroque piece by Rameau in which the trio will replace the harpichord and viola with the piano and violin; Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No. 2 from the Classical era and 20th-century composer Alfred Schnittke's Trio For Violin, Cello And Piano.

Trio Phoenix will perform in Bangkok next Monday in the last leg of their tour.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2015, with the headline 'Peabody student trio on three-city tour'. Print Edition | Subscribe