Who: Erin Breene is cellist in the Southern California-based Aviara Trio. Breene and her cohorts in the trio, violinist Robert Schumitzky and pianist Ines Irawati, will perform as part of High Desert Chamber Music’s 10th anniversary season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bend Church, 680 NW Bond St. The program features Piano Trio in C Major, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Piano Trio in D minor, by Gabriel Fauré; and Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, by Felix Mendelssohn. Tickets are $42, $10 for students and children.
Q: How many times have you been to Bend?
A: I think this will be our fifth time, believe it or not. I had to really calculate the times, but yeah, we’ve come in many incarnations over the years. We came the very first year that Isabelle (Senger, founder and director of HDCM) had the series. I think it was 2008. … We came as a string trio the first year. We came as a string quartet one year, which we loved, too, but I guess it’s been five years at least that we’ve been a serious trio with Ines. … I think we’ve finally found our true group with our trio.
Q: Have you developed a following here?
A: It’s funny, because when you’re not in a place for a year or two — we don’t come every year to play — you remember the people, you remember the faces. And so when I see people, I immediately remember — “Oh yeah, we came to your house for Music and Friends,” or “We talked to you at length.” We’ve met some wonderful people. It’s definitely a different crowd from Southern California.
Q: What drew you to the cello? How long have you been playing it?
A: I was not even 2 years old when I started playing the cello. I’m a good story if you want a story about playing the cello. Basically, before I even knew what was going on, I was playing the cello, apparently. My mom was taking my brother to Suzuki violin lessons in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, which happens to be a really famous sort of starting point for the Suzuki program. … Even though I grew up in a town of 4,000 people in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin, and my dad’s a farmer who knows nothing about music and is completely tone deaf, my mom took me along to the lessons when I was super young because she had to take my brother anyway. … I guess I just climbed around under the piano sometimes and didn’t always pay attention. … They took a laundry detergent box and put a yardstick through it, and that was my first little cello that I would use in the little group classes. … I guess I learned some basic motor skills. Then they took a viola and put an endpin in it and made that into my first little tiny cello.
Q: That’s crazy. I talk to musicians all the time and hear 5 years old, 7 years old.
A: I should probably be better considering how long I’ve been playing (laughs).
— David Jasper, The Bulletin