Last year, Trio Marvin won the Grand Prize and First Prize in the Piano Trio division of the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Festival. A year later, they return to Australia for concerts in Melbourne and then Sydney, notably at the Melbourne Recital Centre for Musica Viva’s Morning Masters series on 12 November and the next day in Mornington, Victoria.
Trio Marvin, who met over their mutual interest in Soviet Era music, comprises cellist Marius Urba, violinist Marina Grauman, and pianist Vita Kan. It was one of sixteen ensembles to compete in the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the first to be run by Musica Viva in partnership with Creative Victoria, the Australian National Academy of Music and Melbourne Recital Centre.
“We will be bringing two beautiful works with us – Brahms’ C minor trio and Shostakovich’s No. 2,” says the trio’s cellist Marius Urba. “We have a special connection with the Shostakovich. All three of us have Russian roots and each member of our ensemble has in one way or another a big connection with and understanding for Soviet music. You can’t not have that connection, if you grow up among Soviet architecture, with your parents telling you a lot of stories from Soviet times and with your teachers from a Soviet school.”
At the end of the competition the trio walked away with the $30,000 Grand Prize, as well as the $22,500 First Prize in the Piano Trio division (The Tony Berg Prize). They embark on this Australian performance tour, arranged by Musica Viva, as part of the Grand Prize.
“It felt and still feels like a great privilege to be able to win,” reflects Marius. “These are very warm memories, every time we think about the competition and our stay in Australia in 2018.”
“Classical music is so special,” he continues. “Even if you are not an expert, you can find your own way to feel connected and touched by the music. Take the Shostakovich trio for example. You can know the history of the Soviet Union, but to feel how the composer felt at that time, you could only do so by hearing his music.”
Before arriving in Australia, the trio recorded their debut album with South West Radio and Label Genuin and released on 4 October, featuring some of the works they will be performing on this tour.
“We are totally looking forward to our tour of Australia,” concludes Marius. “We can’t wait to be back and play in this beautiful country!”