I joined well-heeled Washingtonians at Georgetown’s beautiful Evermay estate last weekend for an intimate perfomance by METrio, a New York-based act comprised of pianist Tanya Gabrielian, violinist Emily Daggett Smith, and cellist Matthew Zalkind.
Like every Overtures Series event, the evening began with guests swilling wine, nibbling on savory passed hors d’oeuvres, and lounging around the estate’s beautiful parlor, living, and dining rooms. After cocktail hour, we all gathered in the performance room, a small, open space where cafe tables and chairs surround a beautiful Steinway.
Following remarks from Dr. Kuno and Dr. Ueno, the married couple who own Evermay, METrio processed into the room to begin their show. The spunky Tanya gave a few opening remarks, breaking the stiffness of the room with her cheerful manner and bright smile. Emily at the Violin was composed and elegant, and Matthew the cellist was extremely passionate and emotional thought the hour he spent performing.
First on the list was Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello in D Major “Ghost,”Op. 90, B.166. Tanya instructed the audience that the name of this Beethoven suite came from the frenzied images conjured up by the mobile, fluid pieces, reminiscent of Shakespeare’s King Claudius of Hamlet. Rumor has it that the music may have been inspired from a Macbeth opera that Beethoven was contemplating during the time of its composition. Ghost was fitting for the crisp fall evening, with Halloween just around the corner.
Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor “Dumky,” Op. 90, B. 166 followed, and was masterfully executed in the way technically-challenging Dvořák demands. The six-piece suite alternated between upbeat, bright, pieces and pensive, moody counterparts, as defined by the pieces title; a “Dumky” is a Slavic folk song that alternates in character between sadness and gaiety.
METrio was formed in 2013. Each of the trio members has distinguished themselves as leading soloists, recitalists, and chamber musicians of their generation and in their own right, though their musicality as a group is certainly unquestionably impressive. Each international prizewinners, METrio has performed at prestigious venues on six continents.
As a piano trio, they are passionate about inspiring new generations of music and art lovers in both traditional and untraditional settings, dedicated to community engagement and education. METrio aims to blend their unique cultural diversity through collaborations promoting social causes, art as activism, and inviting audiences to become active participants in the experience.