Your expert musicianship was evident…Audience members are still commenting favorably
– Marianne Burhans, Music Director of Saugerties Pro Musica Concert Series, Saugerties, New York
Thank you for the outstanding concert presented by di.vi.sion…You all played an amazing program beautifully to a very enthusiastic audience
– Cheryl D. Raymond, Manager of Programs and Special Events, Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, New York City
Your willingness to share your talent with the public helps us to fulfill our mission of connecting people from all walks of life with ideas and contemporary cultural currents
– Jay Kaplan, Director of Programs and Exhibitions Department, Brooklyn Public Library
You all sounded wonderful as you filled the Chapel with beautiful music. Memories of your concert linger…
– Barbara DeSilva, Artistic Director of The Chapel Restoration Music Series, Cold Spring, New York
DI.VI.SION PIANO TRIO
Formed in New York City in 2001, the di.vi.sion piano trio features violinist Kurt Briggs, cellist Matt Goeke, and pianist Renée Cometa Briggs. Members of the piano trio are performers with di.vi.sion, a 35-core member group formed by Kurt Briggs in 1997 and named for its flexibility to divide forces. The di.vi.sion piano trio draws upon the spirit of the early pleasure gardens of London and New York by programming traditional repertoire alongside new and relatively unknown works. Historically, the pleasure gardens played a role in democratizing the concert experience, creating an inclusive environment for classical music. The trio promotes this paradigm as they give concerts that are free to the public at libraries, churches, museums, and perform for students on college campuses. The trio’s repertoire ranges from De Fesch, Haydn, and Beethoven; to Dvorak, Ravel, and Shostakovich. Following in the tradition of resident composers of the pleasure gardens, the di.vi.sion piano trio commissions chamber works from living composers. To date, this has produced music based on the compositional technique of division by American composers Constance Cooper and Douglas Anderson.
The 2012-2013 season will present the di.vi.sion piano trio in New York in a new concert series: di.vi.sion@mediator, which will take place at the Church of the Mediator at 260 West 231st Street in the Bronx. The trio is also scheduled to appear at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. The trio will join with an ensemble from di.vi.sion to record Chamber Symphony No. 2 and Chamber Symphony No. 4 by Douglas Anderson in January. No. 4 was commissioned by di.vi.sion for its tenth anniversary season, and these will be the premiere recordings of these works. The 2012-2013 repertoire will include Douglas Anderson: Chamber Symphony No. 4; Beethoven: Piano Trio in Bb, Op. 97 “Archduke”; Brahms: Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8; Haydn: Piano Trio in D Major, Hob. XV:24 and Piano Trio in f# minor, Hob. XV:26; Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in d minor, Op. 11; and Shostakovich: Piano Trio in c minor, Op. 8.
Individually, the di.vi.sion piano trio members have performed as soloists in recitals in New York City and Paris; concerto performances throughout the New York metropolitan area; and stage roles for Sunset Boulevard on Broadway and Kuni-Leml Off-Broadway show (both available to view at the Richard Rogers archive at Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library). They have worked commercially for David Bowie, Harry Connick, Jr., Celine Dion, Alicia Keyes, Galt McDermott, and Frank Sinatra Jr. In addition to being performing artists, all are active educators. Members of the trio are current faculty and adjunct faculty at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Bronx Community College, CUNY; sectional and chamber coaches for NYC’s Inter School orchestra and NY Youth Symphony; and maintain private studios.
Kurt Briggs, Violin
Violinist Kurt Briggs has appeared with many chamber ensembles and orchestras, including Bethlehem Bach Choir, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Connecticut Grand Opera, Harrisburg Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, the New York City Opera National Company, and the Vermont Symphony. Some of his chamber music projects have ranged from performances of Webern and Hindemith with di.vi.sion, to a series of concerts on original instruments with Capital Artists in Vermont and New York. His Broadway credentials include Les Miserables, Titanic, Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, Meet Me in St. Louis, Anything Goes, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Michael Crawford, and the full run of Sunset Boulevard, in which he appeared on stage with Glenn Close, Betty Buckley and Elaine Paige. His performances in stage roles in Kuni-Leml and Sunset Boulevard are archived in the Richard Rogers Video Archive at Lincoln Center. In November 2011, Mr. Briggs was the soloist in a performance of the complete Vivaldi Four Seasons in New York City as part of The Chapel Concerts at the Chapel of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
As a performer, Mr. Briggs has recorded for Sony, Koch Newport Classics, Iota Amphonic, and Hallmark Records. He has been heard in New York on WBAI (Paul Lazarus Show), WNYC (as concertmaster of the conductorless group Galatea), WQXR (performing Bartok Rhapsody and Franck’s Sonata on Bob Sherman’s: The Listening Room), and in London on the BBC. His recording of Constance Cooper’s: Concerto for Soprano Violin, recorded live at Church of the Holy Apostles in 2001, is available on Quixotic Records as Coming From Us (Quixotic 5007). He has also played and recorded for such well known popular and jazz artists as Harry Connick Jr., Celine Dion, Dominic Duval, Grand Funk Railroad, Barry Harris, Incognito, Alicia Keys, Karen Mack, David Murray, Regis Philbin, Smokey Robinson, and Frank Sinatra, Jr. Mr. Briggs is currently on the music faculty at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. In 2010 he was a recipient of a CUNY Professional Development Grant.
Matt Goeke, Cello
Cellist Matthew Goeke performs as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player in a broad range of musical styles. A member of the Stamford Symphony, the Cross Town Ensemble, and The School of American Ballet Orchestra, he has also performed with SEM Ensemble, Musica Sacra, Eos Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, North/South Consonance, and Kitchen House Blend. As a soloist, he has performed the Boccherini, Dvorak, and Lalo Concertos, Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, the Brahms “Double” Concerto and the Beethoven “Triple” Concerto with orchestras in the New York area. He has recorded for 4Tay, Elektra, Koch International Classics, North/South Recordings, Opus One Records, Polygram, Tzadik; and can be heard commercially on Angelique Kidjo’s 2007 Grammy Award winning album Djin Djin and with David Bowie on Time Will Crawl. Matthew Goeke also performs and records with the bands GIANTfingers and Voltaire, the experimental instrumental Moderncelli Cello Quartet, and the award-winning flute, viola, cello trio Eight Strings and a Whistle. Committed to music education, he is on the music faculty at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, as well as a cello coach for the Inter School Orchestras in New York, and the chamber music coach for the New York Youth Symphony.
Renée Cometa Briggs, Piano
Pianist Renée Cometa Briggs leads an active career as a performer and educator in the metropolitan New York area. As a soloist, her repertoire ranges from Mozart on fortepiano to the complete Debussy Etudes. Ms. Briggs won the award for best interpretation of a French Composition by the French Piano Institute, for which the prize was solo recitals of French repertoire in Paris at La Schola Cantorum and the French Embassy in Washington D.C. She has also performed at the Foundation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, Switzerland. An advocate of new music, Ms. Briggs has participated in the American Composers Alliance Festival in New York City performing works by Richard Brooks, Margaret Fairlie-Kennedy, and Raoul Pleskow, and with the di.vi.sion piano trio, she has performed the works of New York composers Douglas Anderson, Constance Cooper, Jeff Herles, and Hilary Tann. From 1999 to 2004 Ms. Briggs created and administered the Bronx Conservatory of Music Outreach Concert Series, providing free concerts throughout the Bronx. The series received funding from the Bronx Conservatory of Music and the Bronx Council on the Arts. Ms. Briggs holds a DMA from SUNY Stony Brook; an MM from Mannes College of Music, NY; and a BM from North Carolina School of the Arts. She also studied in Switzerland under the auspices of the Semans Art Fund. Ms. Briggs serves as Assistant Professor on the music faculty at Bronx Community College, CUNY.
DI.VI.SION PIANO TRIO recorded live at the Church of the Holy Apostles, NY
Franz Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio in Ab, Hob. XV:14
I Allegro Moderato
Frank Bridge: Phantasie Trio
Allegro moderato ma con fuoco - Andante con molto espressione - Allegro scherzoso - Andante - Allegro moderato - Poco piu mosso
Dmitri Shostakovich: Trio No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67
I Andante - Moderato
II Allegro con brio
Willem De Fesch: Sonata No. 4 in G, Op. 8
Division Aria (with divisions written by Kurt Briggs)
DI.VI.SION PIANO TRIO recorded live at the Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Franz Joseph Haydn: Trio in A, Hob. XV:18