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Piano Trio No. 5

  • Wintergreen Festival, Wintergreen VA Wintergreen Drive Roseland, VA, 22967 United States (map)

Festival faculty members pianist Peter Marshall, cellist Sarah Kapps, and violinist Sharan Gale perform Piano Trio No. 5: Red is the Rose at the Wintergreen Music Festival on a concert on the festival's "Mix, Mingle and Music" series (cocktails begin at 6). The concert, entitled "Love's Philosophy," also features works by Gilda Lyons and a rare performance with piano of the Bernstein "Serenade."

Marshall, Hagen, and Kapps following the world premiere of Hagen's Sonata for Cello and Piano at the Wintergreen Music Festival on 25 July 2017.

Marshall, Hagen, and Kapps following the world premiere of Hagen's Sonata for Cello and Piano at the Wintergreen Music Festival on 25 July 2017.


Native Philadelphian, cellist Sarah Kapps has an active and diverse musical background that has taken her across much of the globe as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral member, and rock star.

As a performer, she is a sought after and respected chamber musician, often being called on to perform new works.  She regularly appears with Atlanta’s avant garde ensemble, Bent Frequency, Paramount Chamber Players, Music on the Hill, as well as countless self-produced chamber and solo concerts.  Her first concert of 2015 was a self-conducted concerto performance from the solo seat.  In the summers, she has been a long-time member of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, Chamber Players, and Academy faculty.  She was a founding member of the Red River and Denali String Quartets, and later came to serve on the faculty at The University of Texas Pan-American.  

In her various positions as instructor, she has taught string methods, music appreciation, and applied strings; as well as broader arts classes, eurythmics, improvisation, lectures, interactive projects, and school visits.  She has also been able to make arts advocacy an important part of her mission. She developed an interactive education course that calls on the students to produce their own opera scenes.  Through these methods, she has successfully tricked more than one thousand young people into enjoying Mozart operas!

 Sarah Kapps holds degrees from The Manhattan School of Music and The Mannes College of Music, and has studied with Paul Tobias and Peter Wiley of the Guarneri Quartet. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, pianist Peter Marshall.


Known throughout the Southeast for his astonishing versatility and expressiveness at the keyboard, Peter Marshall performs on piano, harpsichord, and organ. He has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras in Atlanta, Washington, D. C. (National Symphony), Richmond, Norfolk (Virginia Symphony), Buffalo, Columbus (OH), and Charlotte, and has given solo recitals in the United States and abroad. 

Marshall holds the Hugh and Jessie Hodgson Keyboard Chair at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and performs numerous concerts with the ASO throughout the year. Active as an accompanist and coach in Atlanta since 1993, he is in frequent demand as a keyboardist in vocal and instrumental recitals and in chamber music. He has appeared with the cutting-edge contemporary ensembles Bent Frequency and Sonic Generator; with the Southeastern Festival of Song; at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival; and with the period instrument ensembles Hesperus, Folger Consort, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, and Grande Bande Baroque Orchestra.

Peter Marshall can be heard with Hesperus on two CDs from Golden Apple records; on two upcoming CDs from Centaur Records with violinist Jeanne Johnson; and on a number of recordings with the Atlanta Symphony from Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc, and ASO Media.

Marshall joined the faculty of the Georgia State University School of Music in 2001. He chaired the organ department at the Catholic University of America from 1984 to 1993, and served as Chapel Organist at Duke University 1981-84. He holds degrees from Oberlin College and Yale University and studied at the Musikhochschule Lübeck as a Fulbright Scholar.


The Piano Trio No. 5 uses the story of the mythological character Icarus to explore the rapidly-changing emotional and psychological inner life of a person coping with bi-polar disorder. In psychology, there is discussed what is called the Icarus complex with respect to the alleged relationship between ambition and achievement; bi-polar disorder encompasses the pendulous swing from ecstatic highs to depressive-lows. The first movement, Rupture: Intensive Care, was commissioned in 2011 as part of "the Folktale Project" by the Phoenix Concerts in New York for premiere performances by the Beijing New Music Ensemble, the Finisterra Piano Trio, and the Entelechron Trio. Each of the fistful of composers tapped was asked to relate in music a folk tale that figured prominently in their own personal mythology. I chose the Icarus myth. The form of the movement is that of a mobile, with each musical idea a separate element, all the elements in constant, Varèse-like motion. There are four elements: the "heart monitor" ostinato idea (an emphatic fortissimo pizzicato, doubled with a martellato piano stroke) originates in the scene from my opera Amelia where Icarus and his father Daedalus are reimagined as a contemporary father and son who has "fallen from a great height." The "S-O-S" "rhythmic tattoo" originates in my choral song cycle of Amelia Earhart settings entitled Flight Music, and represents Earhart-as-Icarus-figure's electronic calls for help. The "piano roulades" originate in a song called "Coming," from the cycle Larkin Songs (2001). The "lyrical tune" began as the subject of a memorial symphony (1983) that I wrote (conducted with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and then immediately withdrew, its purpose fulfilled) when my best friend in Philadelphia, Norman Stumpf, took his life.

The second movement, Recollection: Red is… was commissioned in 2017 by The Phoenix Concerts for "the Folk-Tune Project" and first recorded by Entelechron (Roger Zahab, violin; David Russell, violoncello, and Robert Frankenberry, piano) for GPR Records. Dedicated to the memory of Tommy Makem, the movement consists of seven variations on the traditional Irish tune "Red is the Rose," which Tommy recorded, as did the Chieftans, and the High Kings, among many others. In the context of this trio, it is presented as Icarus’ memories of (and feelings about) flying prior to his fall.

The third (very sad) movement is the trio’s emotional nadir. Called Reverie: Just Once, it is based on my 1981 setting of Anne Sexton’s ruminative poem (from which I take the title) about walking along the Charles River at night.

The finale, Renewal: …is the Rose, consists of eight more variations on the Irish tune and a coda. It’s music swings manically from the ecstatic flight music of the second movement to the stunned heart monitor music of the first; from the music of the depressive third movement to new, hyper-emotional, operatic displays of emotion just prior to a final, soaring recapitulation of the finale’s opening. The coda, with its recollection of the heart monitor, ends with a tart reminder of reality. Piano Trio No. 5 is dedicated to the Prometheus Trio, faculty ensemble in residence at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee.

Earlier Event: July 8
Grandioso for Koto & Cello
Later Event: July 20
Chaplin's City Lights (New Score)