Members of the Nordica Trio, from left, Karen Beacham, Martin Perry, and Graybert Beacham

Nordica Trio to Perform in Portland, Maine in Remembrance of Armenian Genocide

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PORTLAND, Maine — The Nordica Trio will be performing live in concert in commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day at the Portland Conservatory of Music (PCM) on Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m. The Armenian Cultural Association of Maine (ACAME) is co-presenting the concert with the PCM as part of an initiative to share and expose the vibrant music of other cultures with the Portland community.

A limited number of tickets are available for sale by visiting portlandconservatoryofmusic.org. Tickets for the April 23 concert will be sold for $20 advance, $25 door, and $5 student rates. Advance ticket sales will end at noon (12:00 p.m.) on April 23. Remaining tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first served basis.

In addition, on Tuesday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. all are invited to participate in a virtual conversation (register via Zoom) with the Nordica Trio hosted by Carolyn Nishon, executive director of Portland Symphony Orchestra and Board Member of ACAME.

The Nordica Trio brings together a beautiful harmony of violin, clarinet, and piano music performed respectively by Graybert Beacham, Karen Beacham, and Martin Perry. Since its debut in 1993, the trio has been enthusiastically received by audiences in Maine and beyond. Moreover, this concert will additionally feature a world premiere of an exciting new work, inspired by Armenian folk music, written for the Nordica Trio by Maine composer and PCM Jazz Studies Director Titus Abbott.

Recently, the managing director of Somm Recordings in the United Kingdom approached the trio to record a CD for its label. The managing director was particularly impressed with a live recording of the Nordica Trio’s performance of Bela Bartok’s Contrasts. The CD will include works by Armenian composers as well as Contrasts. Recording sessions are planned for August, 2023.

On April 23, the Nordica Trio will perform works by Armenian composers (Aram Khachaturian, Alexander Arutiunian and Alan Hovhaness) plus the world premiere of a piece composed for the Nordica Trio using Armenian themes by composer Titus Abbott. The concert is in support of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, observed each year on April 24 to commemorate the 1.5 million Armenian victims of the 1915 genocide by Ottoman Turkey.

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About the Nordica Trio, ACAME and PCM

Martin Perry has distinguished himself as a consummate interpreter of contemporary classical piano music, with appearances across the United States and abroad from the Boston Pops to the Moscow Philharmonic. His three recent CDs on Bridge Records featuring the works of Carter, Bartók, Ives and Hindemith have drawn raves from the critics, calling his playing “supremely assured” (International Piano), “commanding and virtuosic” (Clavier) and “quite dazzling!” (American Record Guide). In a lighter vein, as musical director and pianist for Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Marry Me A Little,” he can be heard on the best-selling RCA Red Seal cast recording. Closer to home, Perry has appeared as concerto soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra on many occasions, served on the piano faculties of Bowdoin and Bates Colleges, and enjoyed numerous collaborations with the DaPonte String Quartet and the Nordica Trio (member since 2008). A native Californian and proud Armenian American, Perry is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he studied with the renowned pedagogue Adele Marcus.

Karen Beacham has been active as a performer across the United States and internationally. She has held the position of Principal Clarinet with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City, and the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with Mel Tormé and the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, Maine Chamber Ensemble, Colby Symphony Orchestra, University of Maine at Farmington Orchestra and Mid-Coast Symphony. Chamber music collaborations include both the Portland and DaPonte String Quartets. Karen has participated in numerous festivals, including the Sunriver Music Festival in Oregon, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Sebago-Long Lake Region Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, New College Music Festival, and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale School of Music. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performs regularly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and serves as Principal Clarinet for the Maine State Ballet Orchestra.

Faculty affiliations include Colby College, the University of Maine at Farmington, and most recently at the University of New Hampshire for the 2022-23 fall semester. Karen received her Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts as a student of Donald Montanaro, and a Master of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Harold Wright, Principal Clarinetist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other major teachers include Peter Hadcock, William Wrzesien, and George Silfies. She is a founding member of the Nordica Trio.

Graybert Beacham has been an active performer and teacher throughout the United States and internationally. He was the recipient of the Dr. Jerome Gross Prize in Violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Violin Performance as student of David Cerone. Other teachers include Bernhard Goldschmidt (Principal Second Violin, Cleveland Orchestra), and Emanuel Borok (Concertmaster, Dallas Symphony). Graybert has been a member of the Mexico City Philharmonic, Tulsa Philharmonic (Principal Second Violin), Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, and Kansas City Philharmonic. He has also served as Acting Concertmaster of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jaime Laredo, and as Concertmaster and soloist for the Cascade Festival of Music in Oregon. Graybert was violin soloist with the New Sousa Band during their tour of China.

Graybert has collaborated with the Portland String Quartet as both a violist and guest first violinist. He serves as Concertmaster for the Maine State Ballet Orchestra and has performed as both violinist and violist in various capacities with the Portland Symphony Orchestra over the past thirty years.  Recorded performances have been broadcast over public radio stations across the United States and Mexico. Graybert has been a member of the violin/viola faculty of the University of Southern Maine and Colby College. He has recorded for Albany Records where he can be heard on a disc of compositions by Maine composer Peter Ré, and he is a founding member of the Nordica Trio.

The Armenian Cultural Association of Maine was founded in 2003 by a group of Mainers who wished to preserve the history and culture of a unique branch of the Armenian diaspora. The Portland Conservatory of Music provides access to quality music education and performances for community members of all ages, abilities, and financial levels.

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