Featuring A World Premiere by Composer Howard Frazin

March 23, 2010

CONTACT: Nina J. Berger
nberger@wellesley.edu; 781-283-2034

These experienced players perform at a white-hot point where instinct and intellect intersect" - The Boston Globe

The Concert Series at Wellesley College presents ensemble-in-residence Triple Helix Piano Trio – violinist Bayla Keyes, cellist Rhonda Rider and pianist Lois ShapiroApril 7 and 10 in a program celebrating “Yankee Ingenuity: Daring to do Strange and Bold Things.”  This pairing of a Wednesday afternoon lecture-recital (at Jewett Auditorium) and Saturday evening concert (at Houghton Chapel) will feature works by Aaron Copland, Charles Ives and William Bolcom, and a world premiere by local composer Howard Frazin (based on a Joan of Arc text via Mark Twain). Triple Helix will be joined by special guests Sarah Pelletier, alumna soprano, and Professor Lawrence Rosenwald of the English Department for lively discussions and performances interleaved with evocative readings from New England Transcendentalist writers, as they celebrate the spirit of invention, courage, independence and vision that define Yankee ingenuity in all walks of life.

The final concert of Triple Helix’s 2009-2010 season, this will also be the trio's final concert at Wellesley College before embarking on a one-year sabbatical as an ensemble.  Both presentations are free and open to the public. 

Triple Helix Piano Trio ensemble-in-residence: Bayla Keyes (left), Rhonda Rider (center), and Lois Shapiro (right)

The Triple Helix Piano Trio was formed in 1995 by three award-winning chamber musicians and soloists: Bayla Keyes, founding violinist of the Naumburg and Evian award-winning Muir String Quartet; Rhonda Rider, founding cellist of the Naumburg award-winning Lydian String Quartet; and pianist Lois Shapiro, winner of the New York Concert Artists Guild Award.

The Boston Globe described the results of their union as “the livest live music in town” with “wildly imaginative, emotionally charged, virtuoso playing” that is “sophisticated in musical detail, whole-heartedly interactive, uninhibited in emotion, and touched by a special grace.”  The ensemble is considered one of the best piano trios on today’s musical landscape.  In its residency at Wellesley College, Triple Helix has enlightened the community with sophisticated and challenging programming, virtuosic performances and innovative lecture-recitals. For more information, go to www.triplehelixpianotrio.org.

About the Program

Triple Helix Piano Trio Lecture–Recital
Yankee Ingenuity: Daring to do Strange and Bold Things,
with English Professor Lawrence Rosenwald
Wednesday, April 7 | 12:30 PM | Jewett Auditorium

Triple Helix Piano Trio: Concert with alumna Sarah Pelletier, soprano
Saturday April 10 | 8 pm | Houghton Chapel and Multifaith Center

To close the season, Triple Helix will look at the ways in which the seeds of European Romanticism took root in America, manifesting itself in Yankee ingenuity. The musicians will revel in music by composers who sprang from American soil and who were keen on giving voice to the American ethos in music, distilling the heartbeat and essence of a vigorous young land of mystery, beauty and rugged individualism. The program will include William Bolcom’s Violin Sonata No. 2, Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, Charles Ives’ Piano Trio, and a world premiere by Cambridge composer Howard Frazin based on a Joan of Arc text (via Mark Twain). 

Frazin lives in Cambridge where has taught composition at the Longy School of Music since 1991.  A former president and member of Composer in Red Sneakers for many years, he is the co-founder and co-director of WordSong, a new concert format that creates public conversation about intuitive musical experience.  His music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Venezuela and Russia, including festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Monadnock and Yellow Barn. 

In addition to his new work for Triple Helix, Frazin’s current projects include a piano trio for the Claremont Trio that premiered on the Dallas Chamber Music concerts series in February, a new work for the string orchestra, A Far Cry to be premiered at Jordan Hall in May and a scena for tenor Frank Kelly and violinist Daniel Stepner (based on an Edward Lear text) to be premiered at Brandeis University this fall.

Praised by The Boston Globe for possessing "virtues of voice, intelligence and musicianship… with purity of tone and expression," soprano Sarah Pelletier is an alumna of Wellesley College.  She has performed as a guest artist at Spoleto Festival USA, Bard Music Festival and Aldeburgh Festival. Highlights of past seasons include a solo recital on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage; Berg's Wozzeck and Schwantner's Magabunda with New England Philharmonic; Bach B minor Mass with San Francisco Bach Choir; Handel's Messiah with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; the title role in Schumann's Genoveva and Handel's Ariodante with Emmanuel Music; and Sondheim's Sweeney Todd with Princeton Festival Opera. Pelletier has toured with Maestro Seiji Ozawa to Japan, China and Italy with performances of Madama Butterfly and Peter Grimes at the Saito Kinen Festival and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Her 2009-2010 season has included Mahler Symphony No. 4 with Princeton Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Benjamin Zander and Handel's Messiah with Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Pelletier has given solo recitals at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Goethe Institute. Her interest in contemporary music has led to premieres by Frazin, John Goodman, James Yannatos and Arlene Zallman with performances under the direction of Lukas Foss, Robert Spano and John Harbison. She has performed for Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, Composers in Red Sneakers, "Music in Time Series" at Spoleto Festival USA, and with Santa Fe New Music.  Pelletier can be heard on Chesky Records.


Orchestrated by the Department of Music, the Concert Series at Wellesley College brings a diverse array of world-class performers to campus, complementing the department’s academic offerings and augmenting the cultural life of the College and surrounding community.

For more information about The Concert Series at Wellesley College, call Jennifer Ritvo Hughes, director of publicity and coordinator of the arts, at 781-283-2028 or visit the Music Department Web site at www.wellesley.edu/Music/home.html. Unless otherwise noted, concerts are free and open to general public. Directions and a map of Wellesley College are online at http://new.wellesley.edu/Admin/travel.html. Free parking is available in the Davis Parking Facility.


The Wellesley College arts curriculum and the highly acclaimed Davis Museum and Cultural Center are integral components of the College’s liberal arts education. For decades, various departments and programs from across the campus have enlivened the community with world-class programming — classical and popular music, visual arts, theatre, dance, author readings, symposia, and lectures by some of today’s leading artists and creative thinkers — most of which is free and open to the general public.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.