July of 2017 brings together an exhilarating combination of dance and music with the new collaborative project between James Sewell Ballet and The Ahn Trio.
Hailed as “exacting and exciting musicians” by the LA Times, the three sisters of the Ahn Trio (Lucia on the piano, Angella on the violin, and Maria on the cello) have earned a distinguished reputation for embracing 21st century classical music with their unique style and innovative collaborations. In 2011, President Obama invited the Ahn Trio to perform at the White House for a State Dinner honoring South Korea.
The Ahn sisters were born in Seoul, Korea, and educated at the Juilliard School in New York City. Reflecting the two cultures they grew up in, the Trio brings a new energy and excitement to the chamber music world. Such luminary composers as Michael Nyman, Maurice Jarre, Pat Metheny, Paul Schoenfield, Mark O’ Connor, Kenji Bunch, Nikolai Kapustin, and Paul Chihara have written works for them. The trio’s latest CD, “Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac” (released by Sony) is a showcase of their fearless creativity, which made No. 8 on the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks in the Classical album category.
In two decades of touring, the Trio has performed in all 50 states and in over 30 countries, and has recorded six albums. The first, a recording of Ravel and Villa-Lobos trios brought rave reviews, with Audio Magazine praising “this is one of Ravel’s best and never better played”. The next EMI recording of trios by Dvorak, Suk, and Shostakovich, won Germany’s prestigious ECHO Award. An MTV appearance on Bryan Adams’ “Unplugged” inspired the trio to make “Ahn-Plugged” (EMI), and “Groovebox” (EMI) soon followed. The Trio recently formed LAMP (Lucia Angella Maria Productions), producing “Lullaby For My Favorite Insomniac”. This album led to a fruitful relationship with Sony. Meanwhile, the sisters made a joint album “Smetana” (Warner) with the Czech Grammy-winning rock group Tata Bojs.
Maria, Lucia and Angella thrive on dissolving the barriers between art forms. They have fused their work with a range of artists and musical genres, from dancers and lighting designers to DJ’s. The Trio enjoyed their successful collaboration with the David Parsons Dance Company, touring extensively to critical acclaim. More recently, they performed in the Czech Republic with the Tata Bojs to sold-out shows. The Trio is thrilled to add “March of the Gypsy Fiddler”, a Triple Concerto written for them by Mark O’Connor, to their repertoire. They are also excited to continue to collaborate with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. The Ahns frequently enjoy having guest artists join them on stage. Recent favorites include the Kin, a two-brother rock band from Australia, as well as electronic music artist Juno a.k.a Superdrive from Berlin. It is precisely this vitality and commitment to innovation that has the Ahn Trio continually drawing new audiences to classical music.
Possessing an enviable combination of talent and style, they have long been natural subjects for the press. The Ahns made their magazine debut early on, in Time Magazine’s cover story ‘Asian American Whiz Kids’. They have since gone on to frequent fashion pages of the likes of Vogue and GQ, photographed by such photographers as Arthur Elgort, Ellen von Unwerth, and Patrick Demarchelier. They have been featured in ad campaigns for GAP, Anne Klein and the Body Shop, among others. They have been named three of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People and most recently made a one-page appearance in Glamour Magazine.
Dedicated to educating and inspiring the next generation of musicians, the Ahns are passionate about sharing their knowledge. Angella is a Professor of Violin and Viola at Montana State University, in Bozeman, MT. Maria teaches cello and is the head of the String Department at the Harlem School of the Arts in NYC. Lucia has a growing private studio. They hold master classes and workshops across the United States and around the world. Whether they are performing in Vienna’s Musikverein, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, New York’s Lincoln Center, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Beijing’s Concert Hall, or Istanbul’s Aya Irini in Topkapi Palace, they share their innovative spirit and ever-evolving vision of music.
James Sewell Ballet was founded in New York City by James Sewell and Sally Rousse and brought to Minnesota in 1993. Combining their expertise, vision and chutzpah they envisioned a close-knit company of dance artists willing to both challenge their physical limits and expand their notions about ballet. Over two decades later, critically acclaimed JSB performances move and delight audiences across the country. The embodiment of the original vision is a professional company of ten dancers performing innovative work that explores the technical boundaries of ballet.
Based in the Twin Cities, James Sewell Ballet studios are located at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts in Downtown Minneapolis. Annual spring and fall JSB performances are currently presented at The Goodale Theater in The Cowles Center. JSB’s annual cutting edge “Ballet Works Project,” featuring new works by emerging and established choreographers, is presented at the JSB TEK BOX on the second floor of The Cowles Center.