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Thibaud Trio thrives on concertizing

Group performs at 3 universities in Utah this week

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There are relatively few musicians who make their entire living playing concerts. But the young members of the Jacques Thibaud Trio have already found their niche in concertizing, and they have enough talent to be successful.

"We first formed at the Berlin School of Art in 1994, although I had known Philip Douvier before then," violinist Burkhard Maiss said during a telephone interview from a hotel room in Houston.

All three, he said, had parents who supported classical music, but none was a professional musician. Maiss and cellist Uwe Hirth-Schmidt began their musical education at age 5, and violinist Douvier began at age 6.

Each boasts individual musical accomplishments, in addition to the success the trio has enjoyed together. Maiss has served as first-chair violinist and soloist with the Berlin Sibelius Orchestra, Douvier has twice won the prize for chamber music in Berlin's "Young Composer's Competition" and Hirth-Schmidt was a prize-winner in the "Southwest German Chamber Music Competition" and the "Youth Plays" competition.

Since the trio exclusively concertizes for a living, Maiss said the trio is frequently on the road. Since their first trip to the United States in 1997, the group has returned to America often.

During the 1999-2000 season, the trio played in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and did a residency at Stanford University. Maiss said the group also frequently plays in Japan.

The name of the trio is a homage to the French violinist Jacques Thibaud, who was very active in chamber music and solo activities.

When the group comes to Salt Lake City, the program will include Serenade Op. 10, by Dohnanyi, Francaix's String Trio, Schubert's Trio in B-flat Major and Shoenberg's String Trio Op. 45.

Although the trio doesn't specialize in 20th-century music, Maiss said they always like to include at least one piece on the program, so that the 20th-century repertoire becomes played as frequently as the 18th and 19th-century music.

The Jacques Thibaud Trio will also be giving a concert at Brigham Young University on Thursday, Jan. 24, and at Utah State University on Friday, Jan. 25. For more information regarding those concerts, please contact the respective universities directly. Maiss said that the program in all three venues will be different.

The Jacques Thibaud Trio will perform in the University of Utah's Libby Gardner Concert Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 581-7100 or at the Kingsbury Hall box office, any Arttix outlet or online at www.arttix.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall box office the evening of the performance.

The trio will also perform at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, in BYU's Harris Fine Arts Museum auditorium (tickets are $7, 801-378-4322), and on Friday, Jan. 25, in the Harrison Auditorium of the Eccles Conference Center, USU (tickets are $15, 435-752-4213).

E-mail: cline@desnews.com