Classical Beauties & the Beast

(Adam Eason, cello; Stacey Minkoff, violin; Sylvia Gray, piano) will be presenting a piano trio (Opus 17) by Clara Schumann; a number of other pieces for violin or cello with piano by Clara Schumann, Nadia and Lili Boulanger, and an original composition, Variations on the theme of Sakura, by Adam Eason.

Adam Eason is a Portland area cellist, teacher, and composer. He received a BA in Music from Southern Methodist University back in 2008 and has been teaching music and gigging basically ever since. As a performer, he pursues music with a wide-ranging curiosity, playing with a punk rock band, a free-improv music and dance group, as well as musical theater projects both mainstream and experimental. As a composer, his compositions draw upon his experience learning classical European music at school, as well as music from his Scotch-Irish and Japanese heritage. Since moving to Portland, his compositions have been featured several times on concerts organized by the local Cascadia Composers group, and he has had two pieces performed by the Boise Wind Quintet. Current projects include compositions which draw on his experience learning the koto, as well as pedagogical compositions for beginning and intermediate string players of all ages.

The most important things in Stacey Minkoff's life are culture, art, and music.These forces have shaped her life, and she believes they have the power to shape our world. After a long break she returned to Portland State University where she received her B.A. in Arts and Letters, Magna Cum Laude, studying violin with Carol Sindel and viola with Adam LaMotte. She has adjudicated violin and viola for the California Music Teachers Association (CMTA) and has recorded two albums on classical baritone ukulele, "et the Baroqueleles" and "A Baroquelele Christmas," available on CD Baby and iTunes. She has recently joined the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra, and she performs with pianist Sylvia Gray and Adam Eason as "Classical Beauties & the Beast."

Sylvia Gray's great love is music, which she has pursued as an avocation throughout her entire life, teaching piano, playing for weddings, and accompanying. Having recently retired from 30 years as an Instructor of History at Portland Community College (during which she achieved her doctorate in Educational Leadership), she now has more time to pursue her music. Sylvia performs in a piano trio with Stacey Minkoff and Adam Eason as "The Classical Beauties & the Beast." She has composed many art songs to poetry by Northwest poets, and she recently learned all 66 of Grieg's Lyric Pieces. She is currently studying piano with Nicholas Fontana, and she studied previously with Dr. Susan DeWitt Smith, who encouraged her to participate in the Van Cliburn Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in 2007, where she met her husband, Viktors Berstis. She and Viktors have hosted monthly house concerts of classical music since 2010, mostly with local musicians.

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