The Clarinet Magazine
Vol. 25, No. 1, November-December, 1997
Vol. 25, No. 2, February-March, 1998

The Verdehrs, partners in life and in their Michigan State University-based Verdehr Trio, are establishing a new legacy for the violin-clarinet-piano trio in mainstream chamber music.
By Mary Platt                      Assisted by Maxine Ramey
The Verdehrs were worried -- and they fretted that their concert might affect the concentration of their distinguished guest, maestro Gian Carlo Menotti. He was at work -- hard at work, furiously at work -- on the last movement of the Trio they had commissioned from him. Notes flowed from his hand onto the manuscript paper -- and the clock ticked on. 

The World Premiere of Menotti's Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano was to be that very night, mere hours away. The Verdehr Trio was ready and waiting to rehearse the final movement -- but the Maestro was not yet finished with the piece!

It was just another day -- albeit an anxious day -- in the adventurous and hardworking life of the Verdehr Trio, the distinguished ensemble created 25 years ago by acclaimed clarinetist Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr and her husband, the well-known violinist Walter Verdehr. The Verdehrs -- along with pianist Gary Kirkpatrick, the third member of the Trio -- are also celebrating another milestone along with their ensemble's silver anniversary, the commissioning of their 100th composition: Joan Tower's Rain Waves, to be premiered by the Trio this December at the Frick Museum in New York City.

"Partnership," these days, can mean many things, from strictly business relationships to lifelong commitments. When devotion to artistry is combined with marital bliss, when the evolution of a new musical medium is mixed with the joys and vicissitudes of wedded commitment, the result is the unique partnership of Elsa and Walter Verdehr. 

Based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, where the Verdehrs are on the music faculty -- she as Professor of Clarinet, he as Professor of Violin (Kirkpatrick is Professor of Piano at William Paterson University of New Jersey) -- their Verdehr Trio has gained international acclaim for its globe-trotting series of annual concert tours to places as far-flung as Australia, Hong Kong, Turkey, Greece, China, Chile, India, Nepal and other exotic nations, as well as the music capitals of Europe and the United States. They have performed in many of the world's most prestigious halls, from the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers to Vienna's Brahamssaal, the Sydney Opera House, London's Wigmore hall and Purcell Room, IRCAM Centre in Paris, Leningrad's Philharmonic Chamber Hall and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Chamber Hall. They have recorded and performed with the Vienna Tonkunstler and Martinu Philharmonic Orchestras, and have appeared at the Vienna and Prague Spring Festivals and the Spoleto and Grand Teton Festivals. But, as Walter Verdehr says, "We believe that our most most important function and mission, through our commissioning and arranging, is to establish a legacy of music for violin-clarinet-piano trio as part of mainstream chamber music."


The piece by Menotti is an excellent example of the "pleasures, the labor and -- sometimes -- the anxiety of the commissioning process," say the Verdehrs. In 1989, the legendary Menotti agree to compose a new work for the Verdehr Trio. With his intensive schedule as Director of the Spoleto Festival, it was several years before Menotti could turn his hand to the matter -- although Walter says, "He encouraged me, in the kindest way, to call every few months to remind him of the commission, telling me that the great cellist Gregor Piatigorsky had 'kept after him' until he completed the duo for cello and piano. In the course of many telephone calls, I had the pleasure of getting to know his son Francis and daughter-in-law, Melinda. We became friends over the phone, and they became my allies, reminding Maestro Menotti about writing the Trio." 

Menotti delivered the manuscript copy of the second movement of the Trio to the Verdehrs in New York in 1995, and promised that the rest would be completed by that Christmas. "We were thrilled," says Walter, "and arranged for a concert by the Michigan State University Orchestra during the 1996-97 season, in honor of Maestro Menotti's 85th birthday. However, in December 1995, Menotti suffered a bad fall in Spoleto and underwent surgery. I thought it would be impossible for him to continue work on our Trio, but with the good news of a remarkable recovery came the surprise that he was working intensively on our Trio and wanted us premiere it at Spoleto for his birthday." 

The Verdehr Trio premiered the first and second movements of the Menotti Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano at the Spoleto Festival in July 1996, and Menotti promised that the third movement would be ready in time for the concert at MSU, which was to take place in September of that year. 

However, administrative duties at Spoleto kept him from completing the piece until the week of the Michigan State premiere. "He was determined to finish it, and worked on it once he was already in East Lansing for the concert. In fact, he literally finished it at noon on the very day of the concert -- we were sight-reading the manuscript at our rehearsal, almost literally as it was created by the Maestro's hand. We are extremely honored by his intense effort in completing the piece for us. It is a brilliant work, full of melodious lyricism as well as the whimsy for which Maestro Menotti is famed, and we are deeply grateful to him for adding such a beautiful work to the music literature."


The Trio's renown has also grown in large part because of their active commitment to new music as well as their commissioning of some of the very finest of today's composers to write pieces for the ensemble's unique instrumentation. Still growing, the impressive list of Verdehr-commissioned composers includes seven Pulitzer Prize winners -- Gunther Schuller, Karel Husa, Leslie Bassett, Menotti (a two-time Pulitzer honoree), William Bolcom, Ned Rorem and Jacob Druckman -- as well as distinguished composers Ida Gotkovsky, David Diamond, Don Erb, Peter Schickele, Alexander Arutiunian, Peter Sculthorpe, Libby Larsen and Joan Tower, to name several. The Trio has also made more than 30 transcriptions, including four-hand piano works of Mozart and Beethoven, the Beethoven Septet, dances by Brahms and Dvorak and works of Bruch and Schumann, among others. 

In addition to concertizing, the Trio has made 13 recordings, with more CDs forthcoming soon. Walter Verdehr has also established an important collection of some of the autograph manuscripts of works written for the Trio, as well as letters, photographs and other Trio-related materials, all housed in the Michigan State University Library's Special Collection division. 

Recently, the ensemble has expanded its efforts to encompass another medium, television. The Trio's first series of six half-hour television specials, The Making of a Medium, has already aired on PBS stations throughout the country, and is available on videotape -- and the Verdehr Trio is working on a new series of TV specials with South Carolina Public Television, which will include works of Bolcom, Menotti, Tower, Larsen, Sculthorpe, and Schickele.


Known for years as one America's most celebrated teacher-performers in clarinet, Elsa Verdehr reflected on her career with the Trio in a recent interview. "Perhaps the most important thing I have done has been my involvement with the Trio," she said, then paused. "No, I can't say that, because really, teaching has been every bit as important and fulfilling to me. I'm so very proud of all my students, so many of whom, in this country and abroad, are now teaching at major universities or performing with various orchestras. But, as far as the growth and development of the Trio goes, it has been immensely rewarding. It has been a true partnership between Walter and me. We've devoted so much of out leisure time over the past 25 years to the myriad responsibilities of managing every aspect of the Trio, from arranging concert tours, to commissioning, to travel arrangements, to publicity, setting up the recordings and the TV series and all the details associated with those."

"Sometimes I feel I get undue credit for the number of works the Trio has commissioned. While I did get the ball rolling with the initial commissions, starting with Husa, Bassett, Thea Musgrave and some others, Walter has really taken over the commissioning efforts since then. I call him 'the Commissioning King,'" Elsa continues. "Over the past decade or so, he's been on the phone constantly with composers all over the world, and the results have been dramatic. Even though I sometimes may make the initial contact with the composer -- as, for example, with Bill Bolcom -- Walter is the one who carries through until we have a piece in hand. And that takes many phone calls and much correspondence -- you can't imagine." 

This attraction to new music had not always been a part of Walter's life, Elsa admits, recalling that when she first met him, shortly after he'd been hired by Michigan State in 1968, "He was largely wedded to works from the 19th century. Of course he'd played Bartok and Schoenberg, but since there's such a wealth of earlier string music, new music hadn't really been part of his repertoire." 

Born in the Austrian enclave of Gottschee in what is now Slovenia, Walter Verdehr received his first violin instruction at the Conservatory of Music in Graz, Austria, before moving to the U.S. with his family in 1952. He then continued his studies at the Juilliard School, where he became the first person to be awarded a doctorate in violin. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music on a Fulbright Fellowship and was a faculty member of the International Congress of Strings as well as the Erl International Music Festival in Austria for several summers. The recipient of a Teacher-Scholar Award from Michigan State University, Verdehr has made numerous appearances as soloist with orchestras and in solo and chamber music recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe, and is currently making a CD recording of Arutiunian, Menotti and Barber concerti. His many students have gone on to orchestras and university teaching posts throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. 

Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr's career has been similarly stellar: born in Virginia to a family that had also emigrated to this country from Europe, she attended the Oberlin Conservatory and then the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded her doctorate. Clarinetists and devotees of the instrument have heard her performances and lectures at nearly 20 international and regional Clarinet Congresses, from Denver, Seattle and Oklahoma to London, England. Since 1974 she has been principal clarinetist with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming. At Eastman, she was principal clarinet with the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra and Frederick Fennell's Eastman Wind Ensemble and made many recordings with those groups. She spent several summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and toured with the Music From Marlboro groups, playing with Murray Perahia, Paula Robison, Leslie Parnas and others. She has appeared frequently in the U.S. and Canada as recitalist, clinician and soloist with orchestra -- including the Houston, Grand Teton and Lansing Symphonies -- and, as a member of the Richards Wind Quintet, she toured throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as playing a White House command performance. Having performed numerous solo recitals over the years, Elsa has lately been concentrating on concerto appearances. In addition to the usual concertos, such as Mozart, Copland and Weber, she has recently performed the Corigliano and Bolcom concertos, numerous ones with wind symphony, and is now readying Gnarly Buttons by John Adams for a 1998 performance. 

Elsa Verdehr may also be heard on first recordings of several clarinet works, including the sonata by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, unaccompanied works by Bassett, Frohne and Yvonne Desportes, as well as the Carter Pastorale. She has been honored with Michigan State University's Distinguished Faculty Award and recently was named a University Distinguished Professor. 

The Verdehrs met at Michigan State in 1968 -- Elsa had already been teaching there for a few years, and Walter had just been hired as violin professor. "She caught my eye," he recalls fondly, "and before long, we were spending a lot of time together; we had similar tastes in music and just about everything else." The two married in 1971, and still live in the picturesque college town of East Lansing, where they enjoy their teaching careers and the active cultural life on campus, as well as making it home base for their frequent world travels. In addition to traveling with the Trio, the Verdehrs enjoy hiking in the Tetons and trekking to exotic locales; notable sabbatical trips have included a trek through the Himalayas and a near-ascent of Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro. Next spring they plan a trek leading to the mysterious temple ruins of Peru's Macchu Picchu and a week in the Amazon River region.


When they first began performing together, Elsa says, she "eased" Walter into the 20th century repertoire. They formed their Trio in 1972, the year after their marriage, working first with pianists David Renner and Deborah Moriarty of Michigan State before Kirkpatrick joined the group in 1980. The third member of the triad, Kansas-born Gary Kirkpatrick graduated from the Eastman School and studied for four years at the Vienna Academy of Music, claiming top prizes at the Stepanov Competition in Vienna and the International Piano Competition in Jaen, Spain, before making his debut at Carnegie Recital Hall. He served on the faculties of Interlochen Center for the Arts and the University of Kansas before taking his current position at William Paterson University of New Jersey. He is a regular participant in the New Jersey musical scene and has undertaken solo tours and concerto appearances in Europe and Mexico, as well as in the U.S. He has recorded for the CRI and Musical Heritage labels, as well as with the Trio. 

Elsa says the main reason for forming the unusual clarinet-violin-piano trio was actually one of the heart: "Walter and I wanted to travel together -- we were newlyweds and didn't want to be apart so much. When we first began our concerts," she recalls, "the format was to play a trio, a sonata, another trio, intermission, a sonata, and then finish with a trio. There were already excellent trios in existence by Vanhal, Bartok, Stravinsky, Ives, Khachaturian, Berg and Krenek; then I would do a Brahms sonata, or the Lutoslawski and Penderecki pieces together, or the Reger first sonata or the Martinu Sonatina. Walter's sonata's were those of Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms or Strauss." 

"The clarinet-violin-piano trio, although unusual is actually a historical instrumentation," says Walter. "It goes all the way back to the 18th century. Mozart's contemporary, Johann Vanhal, wrote a number of trios for this grouping, although he included parts for figured bass which we have realized for piano. We also play three pieces (Hob. IV) by Haydn, in which, again, we've scored the bass line for piano." 

Still, at the beginning of the Verdehr Trio's existence, pieces for the ensemble were relatively scarce, limited to extant works by just a handful of composers. Around 1976, the Verdehrs decided they didn't want to continue playing the same repertoire over and over again. "We could have varied the sonatas, but we really needed and wanted to go further," Elsa says. "Thus we began commissioning --- and eventually, over the years, the idea of forging a new chamber music medium emerged as a viable goal. As David Cerone, Director of the Cleveland Institute of Music, said a few years ago, 'you're about to achieve critical mass!'" 


At the beginning, they approached faculty at Michigan State University about writing for the ensemble. The first pieces to be created for them were by MSU composer Jere Hutcheson, who wrote two works for the Trio: Rondo Brilliante and Creatures of the Inferno, the latter for a 1977 television special called Music from Michigan State. While working as a technician on that same TV program, MSU music student David Maslanka also wrote a piece for the Trio. James Niblock, another MSU faculty composer, was also commissioned, and by 1997 had written six trios for the Verdehrs, as well as made several transcriptions. (A CD including all of Niblock trios has been released.)

The Verdehrs' first commission to an internationally famed composer occurred in 1978, when Thomas Christian David visited the campus as a guest of the MSU Orchestra. David, Professor of Composition at the Hodschule fur Musik in Vienna and one of Austria's most distinguished and prolific composers, wrote his Trio No. 1 for the Verdehr Trio soon after, and several additional works followed.

"We realized that we needed to continue to commission composers from the 'outside,'" says Elsa. "I had a long-standing friendship with Karel Husa from the days when I was studying at the Eastman School of Music. He had called Eastman one day wanting someone to play his Evocations of Slovakia for clarinet, viola and cello. I was recommended, and I remember that we each made $60 for that performance -- it was the largest sum of money we had yet made for performing! (It turned out to be the American premiere of that work --- we didn't know that at the time.) Husa and I became friends, and he asked me to play the Copland concerto with his orchestra the next year. After that, we always sort of kept in touch, and so when it came to commissioning for the Trio, he was my first thought. I had always wanted him to write a sonata, and now the Trio combination seemed the ideal choice for commissioning him." 

The outcome was Karel Husa's Sonata a Tre, which the Trio premiered in Hong Kong in 1982. "It's a terrific piece, brilliant and quite difficult," Elsa remarks, adding that she has recently contacted the Pulitzer-winning Husa again, this time to write a piece for a "commissioning megaconsortium" of clarinetists -- all of them her former students -- she has brought together from orchestras and universities across the United States and Australia. The work is scheduled for completion for the 1999-2000 season and is to be premiered at each "commissioner's" home location, accompanied by either orchestra or wind symphony, as it will be scored in both versions. 

Almost every facet of the arts is expensive these day, and of course commissioning world-renowned composers is no exception. The funding for some of the Trio's early commissions came from the Michigan Council for the Arts and, of course, from Michigan State University, which, which, says Walter, has given the ensemble "invaluable support and a secure base of operations over the years, commissioning a large number of the most important works written for us. We could not have achieved what we have, nor reached  over 100 commissions, without MSU and the support of its many creative and far-seeing administrators." Since 1980, support for the Trio's commissions, recordings and television productions has also come from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan United Nations Organization, the Canadian Arts Council, the Library of Congress, the Berg Society of Vienna, South Caroling Television, Michigan Bell, the Cheeseman Corporation of East Lansing, and from private donors. Walter is the one responsible for finding grants, Elsa says. "He spends an enormous amount of his time doing that, as well as contacting composers and working on new projects: the second TV series, radio appearances and forthcoming new recordings. He's like the Energizer bunny --- he keeps on going and going!"


The premiere of the Husa piece in Hong Kong in 1982 sparked a new idea for the Verdehrs: "We thought it would be fun to premiere the new works in exotic places if at all possible," Elsa says. For Ned Rorem's new work for them, "End of Summer," they did just that, traveling to Bombay, India, to perform the premiere. "When we arrived in Bombay, we were thrilled to see a big banner across a main thoroughfare that read 'END OF SUMMER -- NED ROREM -- WORLD PREMIERE,'" Elsa recalls. "We should have taken a picture of the banner then and there, but we had just traveled all night and were dead tired. By the next day, when we went back to photograph the banner after the concert, it was gone. Ned was knocked out, though, that his piece had been premiered in Bombay."  On the second trip to India they had the opportunity to meet with Mother Teresa at her mission in Calcutta. 

The new tradition continued with more globe-spanning premieres for the peripatetic Trio. "We encircled the globe in 1982, then again in '84, '86, '88, '89 and then last year, '95," Walter says. Among other far-ranging Verdehr Trio premieres: Ida Gotkovsky's Trio in Sydney, Australia (1985); Thea Musgrave's Pierrot at a palace in Istanbul, Turkey (1986); William O. Smith's Trio in Karachi, Pakistan (1988); Paul Chihara's Shogun Trio in Colombo, Sri Lanka (1988); Alan Hovhaness' Lake Samish at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Islamabad, Pakistan (1988); Nathan Currier's Variations and Thomas Pasatieri's Theatrepieces in Madras, India (1986). 


How do the Verdehrs pick the creators of their commissions, given the wealth of extraordinary composers at work in the world today? "Our mission is to develop a broad-based repertoire representing the many different stylistic trends of this historical period," Walter explains. "The range of our commissioned works is enormous. I've always felt that you should meld your own taste with the composer's -- in other words, overcome your own taste limitations -- and that you should, first and foremost, look for quality. Basically, we simply look for people we admire as creative artists." 

"Sometimes," says Walter, "works are actually commissioned for the Trio by another organization," as happened with Tripartita by William Averitt and the David Diamond Trio, which were commissioned for them by the Library of Congress in 1988 and 1993, respectively. "But what attracts us to a composer is often intangible and not easily explained," he muses. "We have to feel a certain sympathy or empathy with a composer's aesthetics."

A sort of innovative melding took place with Thea Musgrave's Pierrot, in which the Trio undertook its first collaboration with dancers. "The work was originally written with instructions for us to move around from one stage location to another, for dramatic effect," Walter says. "Choreography for dancers was developed after the piece was completed. I thought it would be great if three dancers portraying Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine were swirling around us, that it would be a nice visual on stage. Thea was most amenable to this, as a dramatic composer who writes opera." Walter approached Jennifer Mueller of the Works Dance Company in New York to create the choreography. "The dancers were very excited to work with live musicians, reacting to a live musical performance. It's much like chamber music -- you play off each other. We plan to do other works with the company as well." 

A composition they recently commissioned  (and recorded) from Jon Deak is based on a theme near and dear to the hearts of the Verdehrs. Deak's Lad: A Dog, another "theater piece," is based on the books of author Albert Payson Terhune, who wrote in the early part of the century about the adventures of his beloved collie dogs on his "Sunnybank" estate in rural New Jersey. The Verdehrs, too, are collie-lovers -- and their collie is named Lad. Walter explains, "The three of us narrate the piece while playing, and do sound effects to bring Terhune's story to life. Jon is a genius in this mode of composition. At first it was difficult to find the right story to use -- I thought perhaps something from Icelandic or Norse mythology, since Jon had written some works based on myths and fairy tales." 

Elsa picks up the story: "Then, we were in a used bookstore in Whittier, California while visiting Walter's parents, and we happened to see several of Terhune's Lad books. We started reading them and thought, 'This is it!' Luckily Jon thought so, too. His piece is wonderful -- filled with 1920s-style ragtime motives -- and tells the story in music and words." 


On at least three occasions, listening to music on the radio has played an important role in the Verdehrs' commissioning. "I was home alone one night, getting ready to go to sleep and listening to radio, when I heard this wonderful, strange and exotic-sounding music," Walter says. "It sounded, well, spacey is the word that comes to mind. The program was National Public Radio's 'Hearts of Space,' and the piece was by Alan Hovhaness. So I called him up the next day. He was very interested in the idea of writing for us, and had the piece Lake Samish, written and ready to go in six months. The piece, named after a lake in Washington State, is one of the most beautiful pieces to have been written for us." 

Similarly, the idea to commission Stanislaw Skrowaczewski to write a Triple Concerto for the Trio came from a chance hearing of an orchestral work of his on the radio. And Peter Schickele, of "P.D.Q. Bach" fame, is another composer the Verdehrs "discovered" by radio, though Walter's friendship with Schickele goes back to their days at Juilliard.

Walter recalls that he was driving to the university one day when he heard what sounded like "cowboy music" on the radio. "I thought to myself, 'What a fun piece! Who wrote this?' and it turned out to be the work Oedipus Tex by Schickele." Walter called his old friend, and a work based on that country music-themed opus was born: Serenade for Three (1993). "The first two movements are much like Schickele's classical vein," Elsa says, "but the third movement is, literally, a barn dance -- 'Variations on "Oedipus Tex"' -- with Walter playing country fiddle music on his Stradivarius while I play more country tunes and Gary shows off his saloon-style boogie-woogie." 

So far, Walter says, the Trio has "shied away" from electronic music -- largely for pragmatic reasons. "We're afraid of running into problems with equipment when we go on tour. Many groups have moved into this area, but we're just not quite prepared to deal with that -- and, as full-time faculty members at a major university, our touring and rehearsal time is already limited."


Some commissions have come about because the Verdehrs know and are friends with the composers. The prolific composer Paul Chihara, whose work spans almost every arena of music endeavor from the concert stage to film music, was commissioned by the Verdehrs because of their long-standing friendship with him. His Clarinet Trio (1989) is based on melodies from Chihara's Broadway's musical version of Shogun. Chihara is presently writing a Double Concerto for Walter and Elsa, as is composer William Wallace, who has already completed a Triple Concerto for them, which the Trio recently recorded in Europe.


It takes a lot of work to run the Trio, and luckily its members are roll-up-the-sleeves types who enthusiastically share the duties. Elsa and Walter share the chores of organizing and managing the concert tours and schedules as well as the commissioning, although Elsa notes that Walter has taken over the lion's share on the commissioning work. Elsa makes most of the Classical and Romantic transcriptions for the Trio, designs the flyers and publicity materials, and makes domestic travel arrangements. Walter searches for financial support for the group's various projects, started the MSU Library special collection, initiated many special projects such as TV series, radio appearances and CDs, arranges the group's New York concerts, and handles most of the international travel arrangements. Gary Kirkpatrick is the group's computer expert, and had put the program notes on computer, has written program notes for many of the transcriptions, has commissioned two works, and has helped with some international travel arrangements as well as arranging some concerts in New Jersey and New York state. 


Never ones to slow down, the Verdehrs' schedules are booked well into the next millennium, bursting with new projects for the Trio, as well as their own duo and solo work. The 1997-98 season includes Trio concerts in New York, Washington, D.C., some southern and midwestern states and Europe. Four CDs are forthcoming, which will include five triple concertos and new trios by Diamond, Niblock and Sculthorpe, as well as Bolcom and Larsen. A volume of double concertos for violin and clarinet is also planned.The trio plans to get back into the recording studio soon to record new works by Menotti, Tower, Chihara and other composers, and will begin its second TV series with half-hour segments of interviews and trios by Menotti, Schickele, Sculthorpe, Bolcom, Tower, Deak, Larsen and Arutiunian. 

The Verdehrs recently received a letter from composer David Diamond, which affirms the place their remarkable ensemble has taken in today's music world: "The repertoire you have built up is phenomenal!" Diamond enthused. "I have not seen anything like it, save in Mrs. Coolidge's days at the Library of Congress." (Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge commissioned many important works their during the 1930s and 40s.) Further testimony to the leading role the Verdehrs have taken in establishing a new chamber music medium: the upcoming edition of the Grove's Music Dictionary will include an article by Pamela Weston about the Verdehr Trio. 

As Walter Verdehr says, "Through these many projects -- our recordings, our TV tapes, and particularly through our commissioning -- we hope to leave a sizable legacy of the music of our time for future generations. We are happy and proud to have been able to launch these wonderful works into the chamber music repertoire, and have heard from a number of new groups of this combination both here and abroad. We hope that more groups like ours will continue to be formed, and that they will enjoy performing these works in the future as much as we have."

ABOUT THE WRITERS. . . Mary Platt holds an M.A. in art history from Michigan State University, where she performed in many musical ensembles, and is currently an arts and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, California. Her articles have appeared in many regional and national publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Performing Arts Magazine and Strings Magazine.

Maxine Ramey, a former student of Elsa Verdehr, holds her M.M. from Michigan State University and is presently on the music faculty of the University of Montana at Missoula, where she is an associate professor. Ramey conducted extensive interviews with Walter and Elsa Verdehr, which formed the basis for this article. 

For other articles:

"The Making of a Medium"
- November, 1995 issue of The Strad,
Volume 106, Number 1267


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