Classical, all the way to today

Bach's "Goldberg" Variations, BWV 988; Beethoven's String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3; and Dohnányi's Serenade for String Trio in C major are just a few of the gems of classical music listed in Janaki String Trio's repertoire.

Chamber Music Concerts will present the Los Angeles-based trio, featuring violinist Serena McKinney, violist Katie Kadarauch and cellist Arnold Choi, at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

The trio was founded in 2005 at Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles and won the Coleman Chamber Music Competition the same year. In 2006, Janaki won the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The New York Times called Janaki's debut performance "magnificently polished" with "an irresistible electricity."

The makeup of that electricity might be defined by Janaki's programs. The trio combines standard works of the classical repertoire and rarely heard masterworks with newly commissioned pieces by composers such as Andrew Norman, Dan Visconti and Pierre Jalbert.

The Janaki String Trio's 2006 debut CD on Yarlung Records includes works by Beethoven, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki and Los Angeles composer Jason Barabba. The trio's second release on Naxos in 2007 included the flute quartets by Johann Baptist Vanhal with flutist Uwe Grodd.

McKinney performs on a Nicolaus Gagliano violin (circa 1760) on loan from the Mandell Collection of Southern California. Kadarauch performs on a Giovanni Grancino viola (circa 1695), also on loan from the Mandell Collection. Choi performs on a Carlo Tononi cello, on loan from an anonymous donor.

In 2007 and 2008, Janaki made appearances in concert halls across the United States. Other engagements included an Australian tour with pianist Kathryn Selby, along with a residency at Canada's Banff Centre. The trio partnered with The Da Camera Society to bring outreach programs to elementary schools, hospitals and retirement communities in Los Angeles.

Janaki takes its name from a Sanskrit word (ZHAN-uh-kee) that symbolizes self-realization.

Tickets to the show at SOU cost $27 and $32, $5 for full-time students, and are available online at www.chambermusicconcerts.org or by calling 541-552-6154.

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