"Truly, this is exquisite music, exquisitely played and exquisitely recorded, and it is definately recommended to all..." -Fanfare Magazine
A dazzling, colorful trio of soloists, the members of ENSEMBLE SCHUMANN – Thomas Gallant, Oboe, Steve Larson, Viola, and Sally Pinkas, Piano, present works by their name-sake Robert Schumann, as well as by Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Loeffler, Poulenc, Shostakovich and others. Gallant, Larson and Pinkas have each performed at notable venues, including Lincoln Center, the Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall in New York City, Jordan Hall in Boston, Wigmore Hall in London, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the festivals at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Lucerne, Spoleto and Mostly Mozart. Performing together since 2005, Ensemble Schumann has been featured at the prestigious Da Camera Series in Los Angeles, at the Clark Art Museum in Massachusetts and on Live From Fraser on WGBH- Radio in Boston.
Recent seasons have included performances for the Stockton Friends of Music in California, Mount Vernon Museum of Art and Principia College in Illinois, Cornell College in Iowa, Auburn Chamber Music Society in Alabama, Washington University Chamber Series in St. Louis, Young Auditorium in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and Strathmore Hall in Maryland, Big Arts on Sanibel Island, The Forum in St. Thomas, and appearances in Iowa, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Georgia.
Ensemble Schumann's recordings on the MSR Classics label have received high praise in such publications as Gramophone, Fanfare, and Audiophile Audition.
Considered by many to be the most difficult of all the musical instruments, the oboe is often called the “ill wind that no one blows good.” Oboist Thomas Gallant is one of the world’s few virtuoso solo and chamber music performers on this instrument and he has been praised by The New Yorker magazine as “a player who unites technical mastery with intentness, charm and wit.”
Thomas Gallant is a First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International New York Competition. His performances have taken him to Avery Fisher Hall, Weill Recital Hall and the Frick Collection in New York City, to Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, to the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and to the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Kronos Quartet at the Ravinia Festival and has collaborated with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, with Cuarteto Casals, the Colorado, Calder, Tesla and Lark Quartets, Cuarteto Latinoamericano and with the Adaskin String Trio. Recent and upcoming performances include a concert of solo and chamber music works for the oboe at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and tours across the United States as soloist with Camerata Bariloche from Argentina performing concerti by J. S. Bach and Vaughan-Williams. Thomas Gallant is dedicated to performing neglected and contemporary works for the oboe and has given the New York premieres of works for oboe and strings by Berio and Penderecki as well as the Washington, DC premiere of Elliott Carter’s Quartet for oboe and strings. He is a member of Ensemble Schumann and Artistic Director for Frisson.
Violist Steve Larson is an active member of the Adaskin String Trio and Ensemble Schumann, and also performs regularly as a soloist, in duo with his wife, violinist Annie Trépanier, and with their acclaimed chamber groups, Avery Ensemble and Cuatro Puntos. Praised for a singing tone and flawless intonation, Larson performs and teaches each summer at the Wintergreen Festival in Virginia and has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra and as a guest with esteemed ensembles such as the Emerson String Quartet and Miami String Quartet. Also a former member of the Alcan String Quartet, Larson won second prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in 1997 in Great Britain, receiving the award for his performance of the commissioned work.
Currently Senior Artist Teacher at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford in Connecticut where he has served both as String Department Chair and Chamber Music Chair, Larson holds degrees from McGill University, the University of Montreal and the Hartt School. He plays an exceptional 17- 3/8 inch viola made by Helmuth Keller in 1981.
Following her London debut at Wigmore Hall, Israeli-born pianist Sally Pinkas has been heard as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, Russia and Nigeria. Described by Gramophone Magazine as "...an artist who melds lucid textures with subtle expressive detailing, minus hints of bombast or mannerism...", she has appeared with the Boston Pops, Aspen Philharmonia, Jupiter Symphony and the Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra. Her summer credits include festivals at Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen, Monadnock, Apple Hill and Rockport, as well as Kfar Blum in Israel, Officina Scotese in Italy and Masters de Pontlevoy in France.
Pinkas’ extensive solo discography features the piano music of Schumann, Debussy, George Rochberg, Christian Wolff, Daniel Pinkham and Harold Shapero. As chamber musician she appears regularly with her husband, pianist Evan Hirsch (The Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo), with the Adaskin String Trio, and with the Boston-based Trio Tremonti, of which she is a founding member. Her principal teachers were Russell Sherman, George Sebok, Luise Vosgerchian and Genia Bar-Niv. Pianist-in-residence at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, she is Professor of Music at Dartmouth's Music Department.