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Catherine Klipfel, Piano
Stefan Hempel, Violin
Emanuel Wehse, Violoncello
As a triumphant finale to a very successful year 2009, the Morgenstern Trio was awarded the prestigious Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award, the big international award for piano trio. The prize includes more than 20 concerts in the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, New York, and a CD production.
"A sigh went skating on nocturnal ice." It has long been known that the poetry of Christian Morgenstern is filled with music. However, it was not until the 90th anniversary of the poet's death before a chamber music ensemble decided to name themselves after him.
The three musicians of the Morgenstern Trio (Stefan Hempel, violin; Catherine Klipfel, piano; Emanuel Wehse, violoncello) joined forces in 2005 at the Folkwang Academy in Essen. In 2007, after only two years of intensive collaboration, the trio was awarded several important prizes: first prize at the International Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna, second prize at the Fifth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and second prize and the audience prize at the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich. The previous year they had already won a sought-after scholarship at the German Music Competition. Most recently, the trio was named "ensemble in residence" for 2008 and 2009 at the Folkwang Academy in Essen.
The Morgenstern Trio has already made a name for itself in concert halls across Germany, particularly through the "Bundesauswahl Konzerte Junger Künstler" and the "Best of NRW" concert series. The ensemble has been invited to festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, France, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Heidelberger Frühling, the WDR Musikfest, and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland.
Numerous radio broadcasts including BR, SWR, NDR, WDR, HR, ORF, and ABC Classic/Australia radio stations document the trio's work. The ensemble's debut CD of works by Beethoven and Brahms was released in 2008.
The Morgenstern Trio has received important musical insights from Vladimir Mendelssohn, Menahem Pressler, Vesselin Parashkerov, and Dirk Mommertz. In 2008 the ensemble took up advanced studies with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne and at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA).
The trio has been nominated for the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) "Rising Stars" series and made debuts in leading concert halls across Europe during the 2009/2010 season, including Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, Birmingham, Stockholm, et cetera.
"Three stars sparkle... Their debut tour between Hamburg, Wien and Athens, the three exceptional talents, Catherine Klipfel, violinist Stefan Hempel, and cellist Emanuel Wehse used the chance to take the Stefaniensaal in Graz by storm... Mendelssohn's D-minor Trio gets a breathtaking virtuoso-criterion, in which cello solo and the piano cascades do splash 'molto agitato'. If atonality, Schumann-reminiscence and Neo-Romantic do such a listenable Liaison as in Wolfgang Rihms 'Fremde Szene III' (1984), then sizzles high suspense. A great evening!" - Kleine Zeitung, Austria
"Sheer unbelievable virtuosity... In the capacity filled hall, 'Haus der Stadt' one could hear a pin drop. At the fifth chamber music concert in Düüren, the Morgenstern Trio thrilled the audience with its interpretations of the works by Joseph Haydn, B. Smetana and F. Schubert. Chamber music of the highest level." -Achener Zeitung
"Brahms was executed with a grand, rhapsodic breath, audacious tempi and elegant softness. Catherine Klipfel is an inspired pianist with a spectacular palette of playing. On her side, violinist Stefan Hempel demonstrated an intensively sensitive sound and cellist Emanuel Wehse bestowed onto his instrument a noble sound even to the finest pianissimo. There was enormous applause, and the young ensemble proved once again their extra class. They performed encores by Haydn and Mendelssohn." -Fulder Zitung, Germany
"The audience reacted enthusiastically in the filled Paters Church.. The Morgenstern Trio gave an impressive testimonial of their instrumental and musical ability" -Rheinische Post, Germany
"The Morgenstern Trio gave a great concert at a packed house in the Stadthalle Korbach. The recorded concert will be broadcast on November 20, 2010." -Hessisch-Niedersaechsche Allgemaine
"The listener heard everything desirable in a chamber music concert: rhythm, precision, balance in sound and perfect intonation. Above all an organic unity in interpretation. After the last note faded away, the hall was suffocating by silence, as if the audience had to solve a spell before breaking into an orgy of applause." -Muenchner Merkur, Germany
"In Smetana's Trio, the drama of the three movements unfolded that reflected all the emotions of this work. The Morgenstern Trio was able to interpret this work compellingly with a charming glaze, singing, moaning, and with a haunting cruelty. Ugliness and beauty and deepest sadness, all were are formed to an enormous unity." -Fraenkischer Tag, Germany
"The Passacaglia composed in 1914, the trio in A-minor by Maurice Ravel, the Morgenstern Trio was impressive how it created the increase of its sound that seem to explode into a thousands of notes." -Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany
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