Alma Trio

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The Alma Trio was a classical piano trio established in 1942 at the Alma Estate of Yehudi Menuhin in Los Gatos, California.

Original members[edit]

The original founding members of the Alma Trio were Roman Totenberg, violin; Gabor Rejto, cello; and Adolph Baller, piano. The members of the Trio had been encouraged by the famed artist, Yehudi Menuhin, to establish themselves as a professional piano trio. Adolph Baller had emigrated to the United States in 1938 with the sponsorship of Menuhin, following harrowing experiences at the hands of the Nazis in Austria and Germany. After arriving in the United States, Baller was a guest of Menuhin and became his regular collaborating pianist, as he had been earlier in Europe.

New violinists[edit]

In 1953 Totenberg left the Trio and was replaced by Maurice Wilk, who remained their violinist for ten years until his sudden death in Fall 1963. A review in the New York Times, December 1, 1954, had this to say:

"Having acquired a new violinist in Maurice Wilk, the Alma Trio has taken a new lease on life. It deserves to be long and prosperous — that is, if the ensemble continues to play as beautifully as it played last night when it opened the cycle of three Beethoven concerts that it is giving at Town Hall . . . few chamber ensembles play the Bonn master with such refinement of spirit and such subtlety of tonal shading."[1]

Violinist Andor Toth joined the Trio in the Spring of 1963. During the Fall of 1963, the Alma Trio made their first Russian tour. In a story related to this author, at the airport Rejto was informed of a new rule, that he would need a second ticket for his cello, and there were no remaining seats available. Faced with the impending cancellation of the tour, Rejto responded quickly, "But it is a bass balalaika." He was able to fly since that instrument was not listed by the airline

New pianist[edit]

This membership of the Alma Trio (Toth, Rejto, Baller) continued until Baller's retirement in 1971, when pianist William Corbett Jones joined the Trio until it disbanded in 1976. From 1982 to 1986 the Trio resumed performing with Andor Toth, Gabor Rejto and Adolph Baller for a few concerts mainly in the northern California bay area. The original cellist "Gabby" Rejto died in 1987, and the original pianist "Usiu" Baller died in 1994. Andor Toth lived until 2006 when he died of a stroke in Los Angeles, California at age 81.

References[edit]

New York Times Review[edit]

External links[edit]

Past performances[edit]

Discography[edit]

The following Alma Trio recordings in LP format are cataloged by the Library of Congress. They are piano trios by Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert.

  1. Trio in E-flat major, op. 1, no. 1. Trio in B-flat, op. 11 Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | [1955?] | sound recording-musical | LC Control No.: 99572538]. Trio in B-flat, op. 11 Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | [1955?] | sound recording-musical | LC Control No.: 99572538
  2. Trio in C minor (No. 3, op. 1); Trio no. 11 (op. 121A) ten variations on "Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu." Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | [1955?] | sound recording-musical | LC Control No.: 99567526
  3. Trio in D major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 70, no. 1 (Ghost). Trio in E-flat major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 70, no. 2. [Sound recording] Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | text | LC Control No.: r 62001425
  4. Trio in D major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 70, no. 1 (Ghost). Trio in E-flat major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 70, no. 2. [Sound recording] Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | text | LC Control No.: r 62001424
  5. Trio in E-flat major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 1, no. 1. [Sound recording] Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | text | LC Control No.: r 61001238
  6. Trio in C major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 87. [Sound recording] Brahms, Johannes, 1833-1897. | text | LC Control No.: r 61001239
  7. Trio in C major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 87. [Sound recording] Brahms, Johannes, 1833-1897. | text | LC Control No.: r 61001237
  8. Trio in E-flat major for piano, violin, and cello, op. 1, no. 1. [Sound recording] Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | text | LC Control No.: r 61001236
  9. Trio in E flat major, op. 100 Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828. | [1948?] | sound recording-musical | LC Control No.: 2001564588
  10. Trio in B-flat major, for piano, violin, and cello, op. 97. [Sound recording] (Archduke) Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | text | LC Control No.: r 64001395
  11. Trio no. 2, in E-flat major, op. 100. [Sound recording] Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828. | text | LC Control No.: r 61001037
  12. Trio no. 2, in E-flat major, op. 100. [Sound recording] Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828. | text | LC Control No.: r 61001036
  13. Trio in B-flat major, for piano, violin, and cello, op. 97. [Sound recording] (Archduke) Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827. | text | LC Control No.: r 64001396
  14. Trio in E-flat major, op. 100. [Sound recording] Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828. | text | LC Control No.: 72765783