The Aspen String Trio

Letters from Master Classes in Calgary 2010


Thank you so much for allowing us the privilege of having the members of the Aspen String Trio work with the students in the Amici String Program. I attended the violin masterclass with David Perry and I thoroughly enjoyed his gentle manner with the kids and how he offered a wide variety of both musical and technical suggestions, which he demonstrated very beautifully.
I was thrilled to hear Victoria Chiang work with our viola players at Amici. Her comments were exactly appropriate and she cut straight to the real issues of viola playing with a number of concrete suggestions and exercises for every problem. All of the violas, every age, had things to learn from what she said. It was a real privilege for the kids to be exposed to such fine teaching. Thanks to Pro Musica for this opportunity to learn from a master player/ pedagogue.
The Casals class enjoyed some expert teaching by cellist Michael Mermagen, delivered and in a friendly and efficient manner... He gave some in-depth demonstrations of ways to develop cello techniques, and demonstrated how musical goals can be realized through close attention to refined techniques – useful lesson to all the students (and teachers) present. This was a valuable experience for all.


Emilee spoke very highly of the violist and was grateful that she was attentive to all instruments in the chamber group. She was very nice and helpful with the phrasing and tempo and believed in Emilee even when she was unsure of her own ability to keep up. She really enjoyed spending the hour with her in chamber coaching.
Mr. Perry gave me some excellent tips for soutille stroke, such as keeping my arm relaxed, using a combination of wrist and arm movement, and using the wrist for string crossings. These things are also helping keep it consistent in my practice! Thanks Mr. Perry, and thanks for the opportunity to play.
I was thrilled to get to play in the master class, and the chamber group session was superb. I enjoyed getting a new outlook on the pieces, and the wonderful teaching made it all a blast. If I had to tell someone in one word what I thought about the whole thing, I would say EPIC (with a capital E). Thank you Pro Musica!!
from Jessica Powell (Edward Powell's mother) Edward found his chamber ensemble coach for the Beethoven quartet (that excellent 'cellist) funny and entertaining. He really enjoyed his lively illustrations of 'how not to...' and 'how the Real Pro's do it...' on his 'cello - especially the 'Just kidding' trick (in which you build up to a dramatic moment and then change your mind at the last minute). (This man had created an immediate rapport with the kids, and made sure that he gave each of them individual attention every time their part had something particular to say, or to 'pass' to or 'take' from a colleague - I managed to sit in on the end of the rehearsal and watch him in action. Liked his approach very much.)He also appreciated being reminded that every phrase is either going to a particular point, or coming away from it: simple and obvious, but it is too easy to forget such basics when you are tangled up in the notes.


If you are interested in The Aspen String Trio's educational classes, please contact our personal representative at