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Z.E.N. TRIO

The musicians who make up the Z.E.N. Trio came together in 2015 as members of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme, which the British public service broadcaster established for young musicians. Since that time they have performed together in Europe, America and Asia, and they release their recordings on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. They will appear at the Prague Spring with a programme combining works by Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák, whose music they chose for their debut CD.

Programme

  • Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major Op. 8
  • Antonín Dvořák: Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor Op. 65

Performers

  • Z.E.N. Trio
  • Zhang Zuo - piano
  • Esther Yoo - violin
  • Narek Hakhnazaryan - cello

Price

250 - 700 CZK
25 5 2024
Saturday 20.00

Dvořák and Brahms were united in a friendship that was also founded on professional respect. Young Dvořák admired his older colleague who, in return, supported him in all manner of ways and recommended him to his publisher Fritz Simrock. The Trio in F minor is sometimes described as the Czech composer’s “most Brahmsian” work. It was written in the same period as Symphony No. 7 and reflects a pensive mood, dramatic moments and a well-considered structure. Brahms penned his Piano Trio No. 1 at a mere 21 years of age. He later returned to this piece, characteristic for its romantic ethos and broadly arching melodies, in order to remedy the “youthful excesses” he had supposedly committed, as he himself noted.

The name Z.E.N. Trio might at first glance refer to Buddhist teachings. Even though the ensemble’s members acknowledge this philosophy (i.e. renunciation of the self in favour of unity) in their musical endeavours, in reality Z.E.N. is an acronym of the first-name initials of these three talented artists.

Pianist Zhang Zuo (also known as Zee Zee) was described by conductor Paavo Järvi as “one of the most outstanding and passionate pianistic talents I have come across”, and the Los Angeles Times applauded her performance as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry.”

Can the world take yet another brilliant young female violinist? Yes, if that violinist is Esther Yoo,” wrote the UK’s The Telegraph, referring to the second member of the ensemble. Esther Yoo has worked as a soloist with such conducting names as Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vladimir Ashkenazy, and she has also appeared with major orchestras, among them the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Narek Hakhnazaryan found himself the centre of attention in 2011 when he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition aged only 22. Since then he has been appearing as a soloist with orchestras all over the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. “A seasoned phenomenon”, wrote The Washington Post. “Watching talent of this age on this level is always a thrill.”

Esther Yoo- Zen Trio
Photo: Marco Borggreve