There's a new sound coming out of Silicon Valley and it's so retro, so completely old school, that it's actually hip.
You hold in your hands their initial public offering, and you're about to learn why these guys are the bomb. Call them Silicon Valley's hot new sensation, the new, new thing.
Or you can call them The Saint Michael Trio.
Of course, boy bands are nothing new in Silicon Valley. It seems like every venture capitalist has a rock band, and sure, some of them aren't altogether delusional.
But here comes something completely different, a troika of Valley big shots and they're playing on 17th century equipment: a violin, a cello, a piano. It's varnished wood we're talking about here, horsehair drawn across string, and a guy throwing felt hammers-- technology that hasn't changed in three hundred years. There's no electronics anywhere to be found.
It's so quaint it's cool.
And here's the thing: even when they're playing the old gray-hair music it somehow sounds fresh and re-vitalized. Maybe it's because the guys playing are a vital part of Silicon Valley's tech sector and haven't spent their lives in musty conservatories and hushed concert halls, where Brahms and Beethoven are treated like museum pieces and the practitioners fancy themselves as curators.
Or maybe it's because the Saint Michaels play with absolute abandon. You see: they don't need this. They're passionately consumed by their day jobs (all three are considered industry leaders) and they frankly don't have time for this. So they're playing because they just can't help it. The music wells up out of them, uncontrollably.
That's what you're hearing on this CD, the sound of three guys who can't stop themselves.
But you're wondering if a software geek, a medical device guy, and a CEO have got the chops.
Well, that's what's so interesting: these are guys that were a sure thing for concert careers. They trained with the best and accumulated vast experience on stage, but to the disappointment of their mentors, all three decided the music would be even more satisfying if it wasn't the only thing.
So here they are, scarcely into their second year as a triumvirate and already they're being staged by no less than the Steinway Society, playing in elite concert venues, and being named Artists in Residence at Menlo College.
Oh, they've got chops, all right. You can hear the precision and control—and artistry—on this CD, and it will hold up against critical scrutiny. And because of who they are, they're reaching a new demographic—people beyond the arts crowd. They're turning on the techies and digerati and lots of regular folks who never imagined themselves in a concert hall--people who are hearing this old form as the new thing and finding themselves completely taken.
They are The Saint Michael Trio, and if they were a company I'd buy stock.
--Sal Pizarro, San Jose Mercury News
ABOUT THE SAINT MICHAEL TRIO
Established in 2007, the Saint Michael Trio has quickly staked out a place as Northern California's premiere piano trio. Highly praised for their vivid interpretations of the classic literature, they receive special acclaim for the way they make their concerts lively, accessible, and interactive.
In 2008 the Trio were named Artists-in-Residence at Menlo College, where they teach master classes and provide a stream of musical events. Though classically trained and highly experienced on the concert stage, each of the artists hail from the private sector:
Violinist DANIEL CHER won the undergraduate music prize at Stanford University and his concerto appearances include the Orchestra New England, and the New Haven Symphony. A medical doctor, he leads clinical trials for Chestnut Medical Technologies.
Cellist MICHEL FLEXER performed throughout his youth with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra; while a student at Harvard he studied with Bernard Greenhouse at the New England Conservatory. A software engineer and a serial entrepreneur, he has worked most recently with Gain Technologies and Siebel Systems.
Pianist RUSSELL HANCOCK's most recent concerto appearances include the Redwood Symphony, Ohlone Chamber Orchestra, Saratoga Symphony, the Orchestra at Temple Hill (Oakland), and the Nova Vista Symphony. A political scientist, by day Dr. Hancock is President & CEO of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network.