Verdehr Trio 40th anniversary concert celebrates its legacy to music, MSU

MSU College of Music is honored to celebrate the legacy and the accomplishments of the Verdehr Trio by presenting a 40th Anniversary Concert on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, at 3 p.m. in the Cook Recital Hall, Music Building.

The Verdehr Trio, which has been in residency at MSU since 1972, has established the personality and repertoire of the violin-clarinet-piano ensemble, commissioning more than 200 works from some of the world’s most renowned composers, including Ned Rorem, Gian Carlo Menotti, Jennifer Higdon, Bright Sheng, Peter Schickele, and many others.

Longtime MSU faculty members Walter Verdehr, professor of violin, and Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, professor of clarinet, will join pianist Silvia Roederer for this special event showcasing pieces and movements of favorite works commissioned over the last 40 years. The featured composers include 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts; Grawemayer winner Sebastian Currier; Philippe Manoury from ICRAM Center in Paris; Bright Sheng; Australian Peter Sculthorpe; Alan Hovhaness, Alexander Arutiunian, and two MSU composers Jere Hutcheson and Charles Ruggiero.

Joan Reinthaler of the Washington Post said: “When the time comes, the Verdehr Trio's legacy will be vast -- decades of wonderful performances and, probably more lasting, the commissioning of hundreds of pieces for a violin, clarinet, and piano ensemble whose repertoire, until now, has been small.”

“Walter Verdehr and Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr have had a tremendous impact on the lives of countless students and on the violin, clarinet, piano repertoire,” said James Forger, dean of the MSU College of Music. “Their stature in the world of pedagogy and performance in their field of expertise is unrivaled and they have brought great credit to Michigan State University.”

The trio is recognized internationally, having performed in 19 European countries, the former Soviet Union, and throughout Asia, South and Central America, Australia and all 50 of the United States. The group has appeared in numerous major concert halls, including Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, the Sydney Opera House, Wigmore Hall, and Prague’s Dvorák Hall and has participated in many international festivals, among them the Spoleto Festival, Prague Spring Festival, Vienna Spring Festival, and Warsaw Autumn Festival.

“What a wonderful experience it has been to travel the world, work with such talented composers, and to represent Michigan State over the past 40 years,” said the Verdehrs. “We are thrilled to have been able to introduce so many new works and add to substantially to the repertoire for this combination of instruments.”

The Verdehr Trio, which has been honored with various awards including a Creative Programming Award from Chamber Music America, has recently been included in the new Grove's Dictionary of Music.

The group has had a prolific recording history, having created more than 20 CDs as part of its Making of a Medium CD Series with Crystal Records as well as 10 DVDs on their Composers Series and Making of a Medium Video Series showcasing 16 prominent composers with interviews.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens. Students with ID and anyone under age 18 are admitted free of charge. Tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes before the concert, at the ONLINE BOX OFFICE at music.msu.edu, or in Room 102, Music Building, 333 W. Circle Drive, East Lansing.

Download high-res photo here.  Read more about concert program here.

Read more about works commissioned by the Verdehr Trio here.