Talented trio of sisters to play in Seoul

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Talented trio of sisters to play in Seoul

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Dubbed the “Asian Whiz-kids” by Time magazine in 1987, the three sisters who make up the Ahn Trio have been classical music’s darlings since they first performed in public at the ages of nine and seven (the older two are twins). Although they began playing classical airs, their style has evolved over the years to fit the modern ear.
With Lucia playing piano, Angella on violin and Maria on cello, the three made their debut on Korean television in 1979. Korean-born, they then moved to New York in 1981 to train at Juilliard. Instead of sticking to the traditional boundaries of classical music, the group decided to take a more contemporary approach. This shift was first seen by audiences when they performed alongside Bryan Adams in 1997 on MTV’s “Unplugged.” The following year, the trio released their album “Ahn-Plugged,” which featured the music of Kenji Bunch and Piazzola.
The group released three albums on the EMI Classics label then kicked off their own independent label, L.A.M.P. (Lucia Angela Maria Productions) with the album, “Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac,” released last month. “When you are with a major label, you are not completely free,” said Maria, during a showcase on Monday at Once in a Blue Moon, a jazz bar in Seoul’s Cheongdam district.
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Singer-songwriter Susie Suh collaborated with the trio on the song, “All I Want,” for their new album.
The same version also appears on Suh’s self-titled album.
Suh’s deep, smoky voice and her mix of folk, jazz and blues influences reminds one of Natalie Merchant or Norah Jones. Suh said she had always thought her music would sound great with strings and piano, and that the trio’s “acoustic-plus ballad feel” worked really well with her songs.
“Her voice is deep, sad and different,” said pianist Lucia. The musician will perform with the Ahn Trio at their upcoming concert on June 8 at the Sejong Center in northern Seoul.
On the new album, Korean musician-turned-producer Park Jin-young also collaborated on two songs.
There is more to come from these magnetic sisters.
When asked if they will ever go back to playing classical music, Maria answered, “A lot of people think classical music is only Haydn, Mozart, Bach or Tchaikovsky but the genre is actually much more diverse than that. There are many more things that we want to do. We are always changing,” she added.


by Cho Jae-eun

The Ahn Trio and Susie Suh’s concert is June 8 at the Sejong Center in Chongno-gu, northern Seoul. From Gwanghwamun station, line No. 5, take exit 1 or 8. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 598-8277 or visit www.sejongpac.or.kr.
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