In their teen years, the three sisters Maria, Lucia and Angella Ahn, a.k.a. the Ahn Trio, graced the cover of Time Magazine as "Asian-American whiz kids." In their 20s and 30s, this classical trio built a reputation in the classical music world and beyond, with genre-crossing programs, collaborations with a variety of artists ― not just musicians but dancers, visual artists and many others ― and their attractive looks and fashion.
Now in their 40s, the trio is coming back to Korea, their birth country, for the first performance in nearly seven years.
"We have been relaxing our schedules a bit since Lucia (the pianist) had a baby. Angella's full-time violin professor position at Montana State University and my string department head position at the Harlem School of the Arts keep us busy," Maria, the cellist, said in an email interview with The Korea Herald. Maria and Lucia are twins and are two years older than Angella, the violinist. "Still, we find as much time to perform as we can."
"We feel very, very lucky. We can't believe we still get to do the things we love and live this way!" she added.
On May 18, the sisters will perform at Seoul Arts Center what Maria explained is "basically a programme of our favourite pieces."
"All of them were written or transcribed just for us."
The programme, titled "Ahn-core, Ahn Trio," mixes genres of modern classical music, tango and even rock. At one point, it even features Korean B-boys dancing live to their music.
The concert will open with "Swing Shift," a six-movement piece by composer Kenji Bunch and three pieces by tango composer Asto Piazzolla. It will then move to Bunch's Concerto for Piano Trio and Two Percussionists, featuring Visual Shock, a B-boy group led by Ha Hwi-dong, the MVP of Mnet's dancing competition "Dancing 9." It will end with some of the trio's favourite rock covers from its album "Rock Suite."
"We're always thinking ahead for projects. We're working on two different album ideas as well as a new performance concept collaborating with a lighting artist," Maria said.
On top of performing as a group, the cellist is to release her first solo album "Je T'aime Bowie" in May. As its name suggests, the record features cello covers of songs of English singer-songwriter David Bowie.
The Ahn Trio concert will be held at 2 p.m. on May 18 at Seoul Arts Center. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call 1577-5266 or visit www.clubbalcony.com.