Trio Ariadne Set To Begin Year-Long Residency at SSU


Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir, Elizabeth Joy Roe, Carol McGonnell have come to live at SSU for a year to provide musical education to a wide range of students.(Photo by Sandy Destiny)

Weill Artists-in-Residence Have Strong Links to Carnegie Hall's Academy

Trio Ariadne, an ensemble comprised of clarinet, cello and piano, is beginning a year long residency at Sonoma State University, serving the campus and wider community as the first Weill Hall Artists-in-Residence. Trio Ariadne members are Carol McGonnell, clarinet, Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello, and Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano.

Already living in residence halls among freshmen and performing arts majors, Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir says, "People are SO welcoming here. Having that feedback and support gives us positive energy."

The trio are alumni of a competitive two-year fellowship at The Academy, an educational initiative of Carnegie Hall, Weill Music Institute, The Juilliard School and the New York City Department of Education.

Debut Recital on October 11

The Trio Ariadne will debut at Weill Hall with a special free performance on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The program calls attention to music composed for clarinet, cello and piano - a less-common ensemble than the standard piano trio instrumentation of violin, cello and piano.

"We wanted to bring some classics - Beethoven and Brahms - then add something that people might not have heard of with the Muczynski. That kind of programming is what our collective esthetic is about," said Roe. The neo-romantic Fantasy Trio by American composer Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was composed in 1969.

Beethoven Piano Trio in E-flat Op. 11
Robert Muczynski Fantasy Trio Op. 26
Brahms Trio in A Minor Op. 114

Their spring recital, which is also free, takes place on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Hall. Parking for all Weill Hall performances is free. For information contact the School of Arts and Humanities at (707) 664-2146.

As Academy fellows, McGonnell, Thorsteinsdottir and Roe - already established performers in their own right - received intensive music education training and worked in New York City public schools to bring live music to under-served communities. McGonnell and Thorsteinsdottir are currently enrolled in doctoral programs at Stony Brook University. Roe performs with pianist Greg Anderson as the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo.

The trio will work under the direction of the dean of Arts and Humanities to provide programs and services that will enhance the educational mission of the university and contribute to the stature of the performing arts at SSU. Collaborating with the department of music and the office of residential life, Trio Ariadne will mentor students interested in music, participate in recruitment and community outreach, and perform on music department concerts.

The unique residential component of the project complements the trio's career choices. "There is sort of a trajectory for people in music," says Liz Roe. "The blessing of The Academy is that it helped us break out of the mold. It's not just about accruing credentials. We want to reach out in different ways."

Their activities will include:

• Hosting a BBQ for freshman music students
• Directing a project between the University and composer Michel Galante
• Visiting Oakland School of the Arts and selected area high schools
• Presenting on media, technology and entrepreneurship
• Coordinating workshops with the Silk Road Ensemble
• Visiting the El Sistema program in Sonoma
• Performing for the Holocaust Lecture Series

"We are excited to be shaping a new program and working outside of the traditional methods of instruction," Roe said.


Korean-American pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe hails from Chicago. She is a Steinway Artist, Soros Fellow, recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Classics, and editor for Alfred Music Publishing. Her multifaceted career includes a Lincoln Center solo recital debut, a US Embassy-sponsored artistic residency in Argentina, presentations at the EG Conference and other leadership symposia, and broadcasts on American Public Media, National Public Radio, and the Korean Broadcasting System.

Her innovative endeavors as a duo pianist have attracted great attention: the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, reached the top of the Billboard Classical Chart, and amassed millions of views on YouTube. She recently completed a two-year Visiting Artist fellowship at Smith College, and she holds degrees from The Juilliard School.

Dublin-born clarinetist Carol McGonnell has served as artistic director for ambitious projects like the "Music for Museums" series (a collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland, the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York) and the "New Music, New lreland" series (in association with the Irish Centre for Contemporary Music).

She is a founding member of the cutting-edge Argento Ensemble, and she has also performed with the Zankel Band, Ensemble Modern, Camerata Pacifica, and Musicians from Marlboro. Her teaching credentials include faculty positions at the French American Academy at Fontainebleau, the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School, and Juilliard's college division. She is currently a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant at Stony Brook University.

Cellist Sæunn (pronounced SY-oon) Thorsteinsdottir is a native of Reykjavik, Iceland. She is a seasoned chamber musician who has spearheaded successful residencies for the Vid Djúpid Music Festival in her home country, collaborated with Itzhak Perlman and Mitsuko Uchida, and performed at the prestigious festivals of Prussia Cove and Marlboro.

A laureate of the Naumburg International Violoncello Competition and a graduate of The Juilliard School, she has been featured on National Public Radio, Icelandic National Radio, and PBS. She currently coaches chamber music at Mannes College and is pursuing her doctorate at Stony Brook University.

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