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Since its inception, the Ahn Trio—composed of sisters Lucia (piano), Maria (cello) and Angella (violin)—has enthralled audiences with their freewheeling approach to chamber music, their original programming and their unabashed zeal in playing works and arrangements written for them by living composers. All trained at the Juilliard School of music, the Korean-born sisters have been celebrated as consummate musicians, innovative collaborators, and classical music ambassadors. The LA Times has called them “exacting and exciting musicians,” and New York Newsday has proclaimed them “Classical Revolutionaries”.
For over two decades, in their mission to broaden the world of classical music and to encourage younger generations to embrace it as both performers and audience members, the Ahns have traveled to over 30 countries and to every state in America, performing in such diverse venues as the White House, New York’s Lincoln Center, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace and Prague’s Jazz Dock Club. They have collaborated with a rock band (Tata Bojs); with dance companies (David Parsons Dance Company; Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company; James Sewell Ballet); with a B-Boy group (Visual Shock Crew); with singers (The Kin, Susie Suh); with DJs (Superdrive, DJ Spooky); and with visual artists. Such luminaries as Pat Metheny, Michael Nyman, Maurice Jarre, Chiel Meijering, Paul Schoenfield, Mark O'Connor, Nikolai Kapustin, and Paul Chihara have written for the Ahns. The sisters’ passion for mixing different art forms has not only inspired many to follow in their footsteps, but has caught the interest of those in print and electronic media, who have asked them to model and to participate in ad campaigns. Amongst these have been Vogue magazines throughout the world; People magazine, for which the sisters posed in its annual beautiful people issue; and Gap, for whom they did an ad campaign. In addition, they have given innumerable interviews on television, on radio, and in newspapers, discussing how their music intertwines with their lives.
Of their many recordings, Ravel and Villa-Lobos (Chesky) was praised by Audio Magazine as “one of Ravel’s best and never better played,” and their Dvorak, Suk, and Shostakovich (EMI) album won Germany’s prestigious ECHO Award. Ahn-Plugged (EMI) was inspired by Maria’s and Angella’s appearance on Bryan Adams’ MTV “Unplugged,” and Groovebox (EMI) introduced a CD of all works written for the sisters. LAMP (LuciaAngellaMaria Productions) produced Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac, which was then picked up by SONY and remained No. 8 on the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks. The Trio has also released Smetana (Warner) with the Czech Grammy-winning rock group Tata Bojs, and Maria released a solo EP of her idol David Bowie’s music on Je T’aime Bowie.
In 2017, the Trio released Blue, their most eclectic and personal album to date. A musical diary of the sisters’ past and present, they celebrate being a family band and give respect to artists and musical pioneers that have inspired them. The album contains musical snapshots of the Ahns performing at TEDWomen and meeting extraordinary female leaders from around the world, of falling in love with Brazil and the bossa nova, of exploring new colors with the great Parisian jazz musician Nguyên Lê, of collaborating over the years with Juilliard classmate Kenji Bunch. New friends in the album include Hyung-ki Joo of Igudesman & Joo, and D.D. Jackson, who arranged Jimi Hendrix’ ‘Little Wing’ for them.
The Ahns believe they have an obligation to turn young musicians on to classical music through teaching. Angella holds the position of professor of Violin and Viola at Montana State University, and Maria teaches cello at the Harlem School of the Arts in NYC; and wherever and whenever the sisters perform, they hold master classes and workshops. Through their musical trailblazing, they establish the old truth that music is a universal language.
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