Since making their debut as The Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio at the White House for President Carter’s Inauguration in January 1977, pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson have set the standard for performance of the piano trio literature for twenty-eight consecutive seasons. As one of the only chamber ensembles with all its original members, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio balances the careers of three internationally-acclaimed soloists while making annual appearances at many of the world’s major concert halls, commissioning spectacular new works, and maintaining an active recording agenda. In December 2001, Musical America named the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio Ensemble of the Year for 2002. More recently, they were awarded the first annual Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artists Award by the Foundation for Recorded Music. And the 2003-04 season was their first as Chamber Ensemble in Residence at the Kennedy Center. The steady stream of honors marks the high esteem the classical music field holds for the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
The upcoming season (2005-06) previews the important milestone of the Trio’s 30th anniversary in Fall ‘06. A variety of concerts, presentations, recordings, etc. are currently being planned to celebrate this landmark, including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the 92nd Street Y in New York. In addition, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio sustains heavy touring and teaching schedules, with dates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Portland, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, as well as two European tours in November 2005 and May 2006, including appearances in Great Britain (Wigmore Hall, London), Lisbon, Amsterdam (the Concertgebouw), Spain, Wales, and Germany. Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson have recently joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music. Joseph Kalichstein is a long-revered teacher at the Juilliard School of Music.
Brahms and Beethoven figured heavily in the Trio’s 2004-05 season touring. Their US dates were in collaboration with the Miami String Quartet, allowing opportunities to perform the Brahms Piano Quintet and Dvorák Sextet. Highlights of their many dates included the Trio’s appearance in Boston’s Jordan Hall in October ’04, a performance with the Miami String Quartet at Kennedy Center as part of their residency in November, a complete Beethoven Trio Cycle in Cincinnati in March 2005, and a 3-concert series in Miami featuring Dvorák with the Guarneri Quartet.
Highlights of the 03-04 season included performing an all-Ravel program in October ’03 in the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; a similar program in February 2004 inaugurated the Trio’s first season of their Kennedy Center residency. Other highlights included two tours of Europe including recitals and orchestral concerts in Germany, Switzerland, Lisbon and London. The ‘03-‘04 season also saw the release of two more projects on Arabesque Recordings. First, the world-premiere recording of Richard Danielpour's In the Arms of the Beloved, (a concerto for violin and cello written for Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson in honor of their 25th anniversary and premiered in April 2002), paired with Danielpour’s piano trio A Child's Reliquary, written for and performed by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. The second release was Volume 2 of their complete Beethoven piano trio survey. BBC Music Magazine reviewed the complete Beethoven project, giving it 5 stars and calling it “urgently recommended”.
Memorable concerts over the years include the Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio's performance on Carnegie Hall's Centennial Series; several tours of Japan, New Zealand and Australia; a Brahms series with the Guarneri Quartet featuring his entire literature for piano and strings; the Beethoven cycle on Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series — the first time the complete Beethoven piano trios were performed at Lincoln Center — and performances with orchestras across America and Europe of new concertos written especially for the Trio by David Ott and Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. In Europe, the Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio has performed in Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lisbon, London, Vienna, and Paris, as well as at major international music festivals in Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Granada, Helsinki, Highlands, South Bank, Stresa and Tivoli. They have toured the British Isles with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in performances of solo, double and triple concertos and have recorded the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra for Chandos.
In May 2000, Arabesque Recordings released the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio’s two-disc set of the chamber works of Maurice Ravel. Prior Arabesque releases include the complete sonatas and trios of Shostakovich and a disc entitled Legacies, consisting of works composed for the Trio by Pärt, Zwilich, Kirchner and Silverman. Other highlights of the Trio's vast discography include a critically acclaimed all-Haydn CD (Dorian), recordings of the complete Mendelssohn and Brahms Trios (Vox Cum Laude), and Beethoven's Kakadu Variations and the Archduke Trio (MCA Classics) in addition to their 4-cd Arabesque collection of the complete Beethoven Trio literature.
The Trio is honored that the Chamber Music Society of Detroit has created the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award (KLRITA), an initiative with a two-fold purpose: to salute the Trio’s contribution to chamber music worldwide and to encourage and enhance the careers of promising young piano trios. The KLRITA, in which 20 presenters nationwide will participate, will be awarded to a new ensemble every two years. The first ensemble is the exciting young American group, the Claremont Trio, and the second award has just been presented to the Trio con Brio Copenhagen from Europe.