Violinist Anna Williams thinks music is alive and well, especially chamber music. Williams is one-third of Neave Trio along with cellist Mikhail Veselov and pianist Eri Nakamura. “We think it is our responsibility as musicians to bring this incredible medium to as many people as possible,” she said.
Only a few short weeks ago the group released its third album, Celebrating Piazzolla, on Azica Records, features six songs with mezzo-soprano Carla Jablonski with arrangements by Leonardo Suarez Paz. Paz’s father was Piazzolla’s original violinist and he grew up hearing Piazzolla himself play in person on a regular basis.
“It was such a privilege to work with someone so close to the original source — like getting to know Piazzolla himself!” Williams said.
The trio feels honored to be able to bring this wonderful arrangement to fellow Piazzolla fans. They also feel that if you haven’t fallen in love with this music yet, like so much of what is in their repertoire, it’s probably because you haven’t been given a proper “window” into it.
“We feel like it’s our job as artists to provide that window so that you, the audience, can access this music and get to know it and hopefully love it, no matter what your background or expertise. It’s our job to reach you and we are up to the challenge!” Williams said.
The group also worked on a short film/music video based on Piazzolla’s Four Seasons that is not released yet, but will be soon. Williams said it was fun to “see” the music through the eyes of the collaborators, helping the trio hear new levels of this repertoire that they thought they knew so well.
Neave Trio loves to collaborate with different forms of art, and when successful, the mediums enhance each other. For example, people who love dance get introduced to chamber music and would come back to a straight-up concert eventually.
In addition to playing all over the world with Piazzolla’s works as well as other artists’ works, the group is preparing for its next recording project for the Chandos Label, which they will record this May. It will be an album of works by women composers: a population who has historically been very underrepresented in the repertoire and who Neave Trio is delighted to play.
“There are so many women voices in music, both in past and present, who deserve every bit as much attention as their male counterparts. We are excited to play some small role in bringing this rich work to life,” Williams said.
Williams feels like every experience helps her to relate to art in a deeper way. If she is playing a soulful melody, such as the slow movement of Debussy’s piano trio, it reminds her of those times when she is with loved ones, feeling so content and happy. It makes her nostalgic for those times because the writing is so rich and allows for it, and it brings that experience out in her and creates this wonderful feeling. And in turn, maybe that adds something to the interpretation while playing, as well.
“It’s amazing how much this music that we love includes and really asks if its musicians to dig into personal experience,” she said. “It’s sort of a loop – experience influences art and art influences experience. For that reason, among others, I couldn’t love what I do more.”
Since forming in 2010, Neave Trio has earned enormous praise for its engaging, cutting-edge performances. Learn more about the group, its latest projects and schedule on its website.