It looks like WMV has given birth to a Piano Trio, the Milo Trio,
unpretentiously named after Richard White’s house concert venue in Bethesda where we played our first concert. A Piano Trio rapidly develops its own identity, like an infant becoming a toddler, and it is a challenge to keep up. So we sat down over ice cream and berries to have our first business meeting last night. Marilyn, an experienced group leader, had plenty of good suggestions, and I also sought advice from Bonnie Thron, a veteran of Piano Trio-ness (who introduced Emma and me).
Both agreed on certain principles: have a business contract, in which nuts and bolts are discussed so that there will be fewer unpleasant misunderstandings down the road. For instance, money, the big one. Where does it come from, and how much can we expect realistically to earn through performance.
How much rehearsal is enough, and how much is too much; what to do about unexpected schedule conflicts; who decides programming; how do we handle marketing and social media; and what to do about inevitable criticism and jealousies. We are urged to be open about each other’s dreams and goals, which can be very distinct, but not necessarily in conflict, and seek how to accommodate these as much as possible.
We all agreed that we are keen to perform music by women composers, as well as the masterpieces of the standard repertoire. Emma and Celaya want to explore baroque Trio Sonatas, and I am game for that. Celaya wants to perform programs multiple times and in larger venues. Emma wants to make recordings. I have a repertoire dream list and want to commission new works. Emma and Celaya would like to maximize the proportion of their income derived from the performance of chamber music.
Emma has offered to maintain an Instagram presence, Celaya a Facebook page, and I will continue to do Constant Contact email announcements. Marilyn will continue to make short videos.
There is the obvious fact that Celaya and Emma are in their 20’s, and I am 70 years old - the time horizon is different for us. Nevertheless, we have been encouraged to think individually about one year and five year goals, and develop corresponding plans.
All that said, we are pretty excited. We have agreed to schedule a bi-weekly (every two weeks!) concert series surveying the Piano Trio literature, starting with eight concerts. The first concert is September 21. We all agree that eight seems far too few, and that is what is so exciting.