Violinist Laura Frautschi, cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper, pianist John Novacek, and their group Intersection, have forged a powerful connection with audiences worldwide.
Formed in 1998 [under the name “Kristina & Laura”], the group’s numerous recordings have been best-sellers in Asia and have topped the classical and crossover charts. In Japan alone, album sales have been well in excess of 100,000. In addition to their best-selling CDs, Intersection has released over half a dozen DVDs, and have become a familiar presence in the popular media, through numerous magazine covers, high-profile appearances on television (including CNN International), and even through their much-loved cameos on TV commercials.
An essential component of their concert activity has been their guest appearances, often televised, with major orchestras such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the Osaka Symphony, the Yomiuri Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Concertante repertoire ranges from the classic multiple-instrument concerti of Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn, to new, approachable works written expressly for the group in conjunction with orchestra, all intermixed with standard solo concerti. In addition to Asia, the group has toured Europe and the U.S.
The quintessential Intersection event is the trio concert, with a varied program of repertoire from all parts of the music world. A typical evening with Intersection may center on a Ravel, Dvorák or Brahms trio, but will veer into previously unexplored byroads. A Hungarian thread present in the Brahms may be further spun into a sequence of Gypsy tunes, Dvorák into Slavic dance forms, Ravel into the ethereal world of sensuous French song. American music, crucial to Intersection’s repertoire, is presented in musical forms spanning the most avant-garde of compositions to lighter fare such as excerpts of film music and popular theater and song. Various solos and duos add to the aural variety.
Intersection are renowned for the new catalog of trio works that they have directly inspired. These works, substantial but immediately accessible, figure prominently in their programs. Energetic young composers such as Patrick Zimmerli, Kenji Bunch, Dan Coleman, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Novacek himself have all contributed to the catalog, and one hallmark common to much of this music is a suggestion of the trio’s hometown, New York City, in its vitality, verve, and diversity.
Kristina, Laura and John have individually achieved enviable successes as soloists and chamber musicians in the world of classical music, but each have effectively ventured beyond circumscribed artistic borders, exploring new music, world music, jazz and pop. The uniqueness of the group is in tapping to the full these highly varied backgrounds, in shows that seamlessly fuse the traditional and the surprising, the premeditated and the improvisatory, and of course their easy verbal interplay with each other and with the audience. An evening with Intersection is a virtual collaboration between artists and audience.