BETHANY, W.Va. – The Sarasvati Trio will perform a concert of chamber music on Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Wailes Theatre on the Bethany College campus. They will play works to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. The works come from the last years of Mozart's creativity – the Trio in G, K. 564, Sonata in A for Violin K. 526, and Trio in G Minor. Admission to the concert is free and the public is cordially invited.
The trio features faculty members from West Virginia University's College of Creative Arts – Dr. Laura Kobayashi, violin; Dr. Christine Kefferstan, piano; and Mrs. Susan Bestul, cellist.
The Sarasvati Trio formed in Morgantown, W.Va., in 2005. The name Sarasvati comes from the Hindu goddess of all arts – music, painting, sculpture, dance and writing. She is credited with presenting the gift of writing to mankind so that her songs could be preserved.
Dr. Kobayashi, an Associate Professor of Violin at West Virginia University, holds degrees from the Julliard School, Yale University and the University of Michigan. As an active performer, she performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. Additionally, she has performed in South Africa, Norway, South America and the West Indies.
She has recorded an album of music by women composers for the Albany Records label. It has received praise from critics and has been broadcasted in the United States and Europe on National Public Radio. In addition, she has edited for publication a violin sonata by 19th century French composer, Marie Grandval, for Hildegard Publishing Company.
In 2002, Dr. Kobayashi was recognized by West Virginia University's College of Creative Arts with the "Excellence in Teaching" award. Prior to her position at West Virginia University, she held appointments with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Georgia and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has also performed in the violin section of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.
Dr. Kefferstan, Professor of Piano at West Virginia University, is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. At West Virginia University, she teaches piano to graduate and undergraduate piano majors and a number of pre-college students. Named "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" by the West Virginia Music Teacher's Association, she has spent many years teaching young pianists.
She maintains an active performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. Reviewers describe her playing as musically conscientious, brilliant and commanding.
Dr. Kefferstan was recently featured as the guest artist on the Stifel Arts Series in Wheeling, W.Va., the Silver Series in Plymouth, N.H., and the Steinway Society Series in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her collaborations with international artists include Eugenia Zuckerman, Harold Emert, Monica Fucci and Bruce Gbur.
She studied with Israeli pianist, David Bar-Illan and has additional coaching with Russian pianists, Sedmara Rutstein, Oberlin and Viachaslov Gabrielov.
An adjudicator for many competitions, Dr. Kefferstan has been invited to give master classes, lectures and recitals across the United States. In 2003, she co-presented "Issues of Dance and Duality in Maurice Ravel's Two-Piano Transcription of La Valse" for a convention. Her articles have appeared in Keyboard Companion, Clavier and Piano Quarterly.
Mrs. Bestull, a faculty member at Fairmont State University Community Music program and the West Virginia University Community Music program, received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music and continued her studies with Aldo Pariost at Yale University. She has also been instructed by Lynn Harrell, Zara Nelsova, Jack Kirstein and Peter Wiley.
From 1979 to 1999, she served as the principal cellist for both the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, in addition to performing frequently with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera Orchestra.
Mrs. Bestull has toured extensively with these groups, including numerous performances in Carnegie Hall. In 1998, she participated in the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and that same year played principal cello for Luciano Pavarotti.
After moving to Madison, Wis., in 2000, Mrs. Bestull was a founding member of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and served as the principal cellist for the "Concerts on the Square" held each summer at the Capitol.
She has held orchestral positions in the Caracas Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of New England, the Filarmonica de las Americas in Mexico City, the Colorado Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra.