The Virginia Tech School of the Arts presents "Monuments of Chamber Music for Violin, Horn, and Piano," as part of the University Chamber Music Series. The program features Lennox Berkeley's Trio, Op. 44, and Johannes Brahms' Trio, Op. 40. The performance will take place in Squires Recital Salon on the Virginia Tech campus at Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.

The Brahms piece, written at the advent of valves on brass instruments, was composed for natural horn. A very complicated piece, Brahms probably never heard it played by natural horn in his lifetime. This piece of chamber music is so successful that it has inspired at least four or five subsequent pieces, including the Berkeley Trio.

Featured performers for the two large works include guest artist Akemi Takayama, violin, Tracy Cowden, piano, and Wallace Easter, horn. All are faculty members in the Department of Music.

Akemi Takayama (violin) is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where she holds an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music Degree. Since joining the Audubon Quartet in 1997, she has toured and taught extensively in the United States, England, and Israel. Her recordings with the Audubon Quartet are on the Centaur and Composers Recordings labels. She assumed the post of Concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony this past fall.

Tracy Cowden (piano) has recently joined the music department faculty at Virginia Tech as Assistant Professor of piano and vocal coach. She received the D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music and a B.M. degree in Piano Performance from Western Michigan University. Dedicated to the art of teaching, she was recently awarded National Certification as a piano teacher through MTNA (Music Teachers National Association). Last year, Cowden released a CD with Nancy Gamso from Ohio Wesleyan University entitled "With Blackwood and Silver."

Wallace Easter, a western New York native, began study of the horn at age nine and received early instruction from Lowell Shaw, hornist with the Buffalo Philharmonic. Easter's graduate work at the Catholic University of America included horn study with Joseph Singer of the New York Philharmonic. In 1981, Easter joined the faculty of the Music Department at Virginia Tech and the Roanoke Symphony as principal horn. His academic duties at Tech include teaching the horn studio, the University Brass Ensemble, the Horn Ensemble, and a course in music theory. Easter is featured on the most recent CD release of the Hornists' Nest, an album titled "The Fripperies" that is frequently heard on the Roanoke National Public Radio affiliate, WVTF.

The trio's performance will be held Saturday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. in the Recital Salon on the Virginia Tech campus. Admission is $8 for students/seniors and $12 for faculty/staff/general. Tickets will be sold at the door prior to the performances and in advance by calling (540) 231-5615 and online at

For more information call the School of the Arts Information Line at (540) 231-5200 or contact the School of the Arts at For information on other School of the Arts events, visit the website at

Share this story