Triple Threat 

The Eroica Trio bring their lovely harmonies and visages to St. Louis

In the world of classical music, a "triple concerto" refers to a trio of piano, violin and cello performing interactively with a large symphony orchestra. Beethoven wrote works for this arrangement, and, now, so has Kevin Kaska, the 26-year-old wunderkind who first composed works for John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra at age 22.

Kaska has been working out the kinks in what is being called the first major classical composition of the millennium for the piece's world premiere with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra this weekend. He has had the privilege of polishing his work with the aid of the magnetic performers who will first perform it publicly, the Eroica Trio.

Everyone knows the Eroica Trio; it's the chamber group of three women -- pianist Erika Nickrenz, violinist Adela Peña and cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio (who is also the daughter of SLSO principal cellist John Sant'Ambrogio) -- that is probably the premier classical trio in the world. These young ladies get plenty of attention for being babes, too, but that's probably an insult to their status as virtuosos with passionate intensity, remarkable synergy and a wide repertoire.

After Kaska and Eroica were commissioned to write and perform this romantic concerto by the symphony, a documentary film crew began recording the process of creating and rehearsing the new work. The filmmakers and their cameras will be at Powell this weekend, too, getting closure.

Also featured on the program are Bernstein's Candide Overture and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, written as a testament to Stalin's reign of terror.

Come early to Friday morning's concert for complimentary Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which have a way of opening the body's floodgates to let those pleasure chemicals into the blood. The sweeping music will then sweep all the more.

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