Musicians work to go beyond the notes

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2000

Juneau can add a new musical vista to its wealth of scenic vistas.

The Vista Trio performs Saturday night in Juneau. The name implies a viewpoint, and cellist Andrew Cook, pianist Shari Raynor and violinist Aimee Kreston will share their musical viewpoints, infusing the music with their own personalities and artistry.

``The notes are just the composer's way of telling us what he wants us to do with the instrument,'' Cook said. ``Behind that are all the expressions and feeling. And that's what makes a good artist and not just another player. The artist's job is to bring that piece alive.''

Many people in Juneau have already heard Cook's playing without realizing it. Like the other members of the Los Angeles-based trio, Cook records music for the film industry. His cello work is in the films ``Titanic,'' ``Armageddon'' and ``Bicentennial Man,'' which is playing in Juneau this week.

``Touring around playing chamber music doesn't make a huge amount of money, and we're lucky enough to work in an industry that allows us to tour and perform,'' he said.

Cook is well-respected as a teacher as well, said Mark Young, executive director of the Fairbanks Symphony Association. Cook has taught at the Fairbanks Summer Fine Arts Camp for 10 years, and Young said he has an excellent rapport with students. Last week the Vista Trio performed and taught in Fairbanks at the 24th annual Chamber Music Symposium.

Cook and Raynor, the pianist, met at Peabody Conservatory of music almost 20 years ago, and have been friends and collaborators ever since. They formed the Vista Trio six years ago, and the group has released two recordings and toured internationally.

Young saw the Vista Trio's performance last week in Fairbanks and said Raynor is amazing.

``I've heard many, many pianists in my life, and I'd put her in the top five. Her playing is effortless. She's very, very smooth. She gets beyond the notes,'' he said. ``You guys are in for a treat.''

Violinist Aimee Kreston joined the trio about five months ago. In addition to the trio and other recording and performing projects, she serves as the concertmistress for the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra.

Piano trio works by Mozart and Brahms will be featured Saturday night at the concert in Northern Light United Church. Besides playing the 18th and 19th century music, Cook said group members wanted to include a contemporary work for a piano trio.

In 1987 American composer Ellen Zwilich wrote a trio for violin, cello and piano that Cook said is filled with interesting texture and sounds. Zwilich, who won a Pulitzer prize for music in 1983, is a prolific and versatile composer, according to Cook.

``We happen to like it a lot. We don't just like to present male composers, and it's nice to play music by women. We have two women in the group,'' he said.

The Vista Trio is sponsored by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, and the group will be performing in Juneau schools Friday.

The concert at Northern Light Church begins at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets, available at Juneau bookstores and at the door, are $14 for the general audience and $10 for students and seniors.

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