Bearthoven is a small ensemble that has its roots in the Bang on a Can organization's Summer Music Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art—known worldwide as a mecca for emerging composers of adventurous contemporary music. Comprised of Karl Larson (piano), Pat Swoboda (upright & electric bass) and Matt Evans (percussion & drumkit), the group started in name only as a cheeky tribute to Beethoven, and quickly took on the mission of making art music more accessible to a wider range of listeners than the traditional "classical music" crowd. Trios features the work of six young composers and serves as a living blueprint of Bearthoven's support network.
"Each of their individual voices is reflected in our identity as a trio," Larson explains. "When Bearthoven began, we were determined to build a new repertoire for our instrumentation; piano-bass-percussion trios are common in jazz, for example, but pieces for this format in the modern canon were virtually non-existent. So our goal in building this repertoire wasn't to cultivate a particular sound or style, but to act as a blank page for composers and give them the chance to project their distinct voices onto our ensemble."