sealPurdue News

February 22, 2002

Altenberg Trio Wien to perform Brahms piano trios

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Altenberg Trio Wien will perform the three piano trios of Johannes Brahms at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in Loeb Playhouse.

Admission is $22 for general public, $15 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. The Altenberg Trio Wien is presented by Purdue Convocations.

The Altenberg Trio Wien came into being when pianist Claus-Christian Schuster and cellist Martin Hornstein, members of the Vienna Schubert Trio, and violinist Amiram Ganz of the Shostakovitch Trio joined forces in 1994. All three musicians had earned critical acclaim and worldwide recognition with their performances in the world's most important chamber music venues prior to the Altenberg Trio's formation.

Since its debut at the 1994 Salzburg Mozart Week, the Altenberg Trio has enjoyed success with performances in the United States, Canada and Europe. The trio regularly appears at such distinguished venues as London's Wigmore Hall and was invited to perform at the Prague Spring Festival and the Orlando Festival. In Austria, the trio performs often at the Salzburg Mozarteum and presents a regular concert series at Vienna's famed "Musikverein."

The "Viennese touch," for which the Altenberg Trio has often been commended, is not simply a question of musical technique. In the largest sense, the Viennese style represents a specific artistic orientation, rooted in a city that was the center of an empire and the crossroads of many distinctive cultures in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This style may be best known, outside of Austria, through the city's music because that is the art whose stylistic refinements have made the strongest international impression. The style also is reflected, however, in literature, painting, architecture, psychology and philosophy. That is one reason why the trio is named for poet Peter Altenberg (1859-1919), whose life and works reflect the spirit of an era when literature, science, art and music were closely intertwined.

The members of the Altenberg Trio perform their music with the context of a whole culture in mind. The trio has prepared a number of programs that reflect the spirit prevailing in Vienna between 1862, when Brahms first came to the city, and 1938, when the Germans occupying Austria banned the music of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, the so-called "Second Viennese School."

As part of Purdue Convocations' "Composer in the Spotlight" series, the Altenberg Trio will interpret the three piano trios of Johannes Brahms. These pieces will serve to immerse the audience in the world of this talented composer, often touted as the Viennese successor to Beethoven's musical preeminence.

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Amiram Ganz, Claus-Christian Schuster and Martin Hornstein is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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