Wartburg College will host the Boston-based Neave Trio as visiting artists-in-residence during the 2023-24 academic school year.
The ensemble, featuring violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov and pianist Eri Nakamura, will be on campus Sept. 23-30, 2023, and Jan. 20-27, 2024. During their residencies, the trio will host master classes with Wartburg students, participate in community outreach, attend fundraising events for the Wartburg Community Symphony Association and offer special mentorship opportunities for young musicians in the community.
“Music is for everyone and is a powerful force in connecting communities,” said Rebecca Nederhiser, Wartburg Community Symphony conductor. “Part of our goal is to build up the next generation of musicians and audience members. Neave Trio’s focus on educational outreach and collaboration makes them the perfect vehicle to help make this happen within our community.”
The trio was in Waverly last spring as the special guests at the symphony’s first Young People’s Concert, which brought more than 350 youth from Waverly-Shell Rock elementary schools to the college to engage in musical pursuits. The musicians also played for the high school orchestra and hosted a master class with top high school musicians in addition to their work on campus.
Much like Nederhiser, Neave Trio strives to champion new works by living composers and reach wider audiences through innovative concert presentations. These collaborations have included work with visual artists, dancers, filmmakers and other composers and musicians. During their upcoming season, the trio will collaborate with a dance company, composer and choreographer to perform “Rising,” an evening-length work that is a meditation on the question of “What does it mean to rise?”
Since forming in 2010, the trio has recorded several studio albums, with their 2019 offering “Her Voice” being named one of the best recordings of the year by The New York Times and BBC Radio 3. Their most recent album, “Musical Remembrances,” was released in 2022 and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance category.
The residency is made possible by the Dr. William E. Hamm Visiting Artists in Residence Fund. The fund is named in honor of Bill Hamm, Wartburg class of 1966 and a prior interim Wartburg president, who proposed the idea and covered the cost of the first year of residency prior to his death last month.
“Bill was a valuable member of the Wartburg Community Symphony Association board and an enthusiastic supporter of the symphony and its value to the community,” said Joanne Jones, co-president of the Wartburg Community Symphony Association. “He was a big thinker and outspoken about taking risks and raising money to fund innovative projects to further enhance that relationship. We are so grateful for his generosity in funding the first year’s cost of the Neave Trio residency. Bill had a way of making things happen, and this gift will impact music in the community in the coming year and beyond.”
Nederhiser said in addition to teaching students how to play and appreciate music, the trio also will be able to speak to their success in making a viable living through performance.
“They want to share their passion and love with everyone through their performance. It’s a very tangible way to see how one can make performance a career. While most students are aware that they can pursue music education or music therapy, few have seen successful entrepreneurs find a career in music performance,” Nederhiser said. “Part of Neave Trio’s visiting residency will be empowering students to pursue their passions and to think creatively about how they can engage their musical interests in the future. We are grateful for this partnership and know it will be a wonderful gift to our community.”