Belland Trio communicates with classical music

Dr. Diana Belland has always loved chamber music.

“I hadn’t played in a long time and I thought it would be really great to start a trio,” she said.

Belland’s Trio performed a relaxing and entertaining show Feb. 3, in Greaves Concert Hall.

Since she was a little girl, Belland has been surrounded by what she loves most – music. She started taking piano lessons at age nine and has been performing since age 16.

Today she is a Professor of Piano at Northern Kentucky University and teaches a variety of piano classes.

In the summer, she serves as the director of “The Norse Festival: Chamber Music at NKU.”

In 1994, Belland decided to begin a trio.

The Provost Office supported her with funds to hire string musicians in the area.

“Until recently, we did not have a string program here (at NKU), we didn’t even have a string faculty,” said Belland.

With the funds, Belland hired freelance players and members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

She did this until last October when she teamed with Anthony McGill, the associate principal clarinetist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO). He was interested in playing in a trio with Belland.

“Anthony is a brilliant clarinetist. He is like the new star on the rise,” said Belland.

McGill is quickly becoming one of classical music’s most sought after soloists and chamber musicians. McGill had an interest in chamber music and greatly enjoyed performing with Belland.

“It was great and we all get along very well,” McGill said.

McGill’s friend, Michael Klotz, who is the violist for the Amernet String Quartet, wanted to play in the trio as well.

Along with the viola, he plays the violin.

“It’s hard to be good at both, and Michael is absolutely excellent at both,” Belland said.

The chamber music performed by the Trio is piano music accompanied by other instruments, like violin and cello, or in this case, violin/viola and clarinet.

Belland’s Trio performs an array of pieces from Mozart to 20th century jazz style music.

“In the popular terminology this would be called classical (music), but when musicians use the term they are talking about music written in the time of Mozart and Beethoven,” explained Belland.

Each music era is called a movement.

Following Mozart’s Classical Movement is the Romantic Movement and so on.

Along with performing at NKU, Belland’s Trio does a lot of concerts and outreach programs off campus.

She received, for the third year, the Faculty Project Grant, which enables them to go off campus and perform at schools and festivals and to appeal to a variety of people.

When performing different types of pieces at schools and events, Belland’s group usually plays part of the piece, then stops to explain and answer questions.

“There should be communication between the performers and the audience,” she said.