At 8 p.m. Friday, Charlotte Concerts presents The Eroica Trio, with pianist Erika Nickrenz, violinist Sara Parkins and cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio, in Halton Theater at Central Piedmont Community College.
These women began playing together at age 12, officially forming their trio in 1986. Their name comes from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, which was named for Napoleon Bonaparte, but renamed “ Eroica” or “heroic” after Bonaparte disappointed the composer by crowning himself emperor in 1804.
The group will perform Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat major, two Piazzolla dances, an arrangement of “Porgy and Bess” and Brahms’ Trio in C-major.
Tickets: $25-$45; 704-330-6534 or tix.cpcc.edu/events/eroica_trio.
Sant’Ambrogio spoke with The Charlotte Observer this week. Leah Harrison
Q: How do you program a concert?
We want our concerts to have a little bit of everything. As we’re putting a program together, we want to have a balanced meal. You don’t want a meal of all meat, nor one of all appetizers. When you leave an Eroica Trio concert, you feel like every one of your senses has been touched.
Q: Eroica has recorded eight albums. What’s the difference in listening to a recording and attending a performance?
Night and day! We want to make sure that when you leave, you really feel like you participated in a singular, once-in-a-lifetime thing. We want you to be visually stimulated, emotionally stimulated, spiritually stimulated and aurally stimulated.
Q: Why did you choose Eroica as your name?
When we started out, there was not a single woman in classical chamber music. Not one. So we knew we would have to claw our way up the ladder. We knew it was going to be a sort of epic saga.
Q: What is it like to perform with musicians you’ve played with for decades?
It gives you an enormous amount of spontaneity and freedom. You know how their brain works. So on stage, they can be changing things millisecond by millisecond, and you can catch them, because you know how their musical personality works. So you know she’s going for that note in the phrase, that’s her climax, so you can build with her.
Q: What’s different about the music Eroica is putting out there?
It was the way we approached programming and concerts. Before we came on the scene, piano trios basically stuck to the 19th- and 20th-century Germancentric repertoire. And when we came in, we started playing Baroque, Latin, French and American music. And we started programming very eclectically –we didn’t want to only have Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn on the program. And we play so passionately, with joy and emotional vulnerability. … Why keep all that joy to yourself? Share it with the audience!