Piano Trio (Bernstein)

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Piano Trio
by Leonard Bernstein
Bernstein, Leonard (1918-1990) - 1944 - foto van Vechten2.jpg
The composer in 1944
Performed1937 (1937)

Leonard Bernstein's Piano Trio for piano, violin, and cello was written in 1937 while he was attending Harvard University as a student of Walter Piston. He was influenced by the conductor Dmitri Mitropoulos.[1] Several melodic ideas were recycled for use in later pieces. For example, the opening of the second movement was used later by Bernstein in his first musical, On the Town.


The Trio was premiered in 1937 at Harvard University by the Madison Trio: Mildred Spiegel, Dorothy Rosenberg, Sarah Kruskall.[2] It was published by Boosey & Hawkes.[3]


The Trio is written in three movements:

  • I. Adagio non troppo - Più mosso - Allegro vivace
  • II. Tempo di marcia
  • III. Largo - Allegro vivo et molto ritmico


In 2000, the Altenberg Trio's recording of this piano trio won the Edison Award in Amsterdam.[4]


  1. ^ Music Web Michael Cookson, Review of Piano Trio Anthology, 2006, quote: "Bernstein’s youthful Piano Trio is uneven in quality but it announces significant potential for the improvements that were to quickly come in his career."
  2. ^ Leonard Bernstein Chamber Music
  3. ^ Boosey & Hawkes
  4. ^ "Altenberg Trio Vienna Makes UMS Debut". 26 February 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2010.