CONCERT CANCELLED • The Los Angeles Trio con Brio • Spring 2023 Concert Artist Interview

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Los Angeles Trio con Brio • May 21st, 2023

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience but the Los Angeles Trio con Brio concert on May 21st is cancelled due to an injury. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, we will be reimbursing you now.
Thank you for your cooperation!

What’s better than a concert with an award winning musician? That would be a concert with three award-winning maestro musicians! The LA Trio con Brio, featuring pianist Lily Popova, violinist Boryana Popova and cellist Mark Bassett are bringing their brio (verve) to the stage on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

I first had the pleasure of hearing The LA Trio con Brio perform live-stream during the pandemic. Their passion and virtuoso performances had me riveted. I wanted to hear them perform again. So lucky to have them in our concert series!

I caught up with the trio to get the story about the program they’ve curated for our May 21, 2023 concert. But first, a little intro of each musician for your reading pleasure.

Lily Popova, pianist in The LA Trio con Brio is interviewed by The Athena Foundation for the Arts.

Lily Popova

Pianist Lily Popova hails from Bulgaria. This distinguished award winning pianist, composer and recording artist has been sharing her artistry with audiences throughout the world since the age of seven. In addition to appearing in live radio broadcasts for the classical music stations in Los Angeles as well as on CBS TV Channel 2, Ms. Popova has been the soloist for such noted ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, with the Mexico City Youth Orchestra under Jorge Mester and with the International Chamber Ensemble of Rome, Italy. She has recorded and released two albums, one featuring works by Frederic Chopin and the other a debut of her own original piano music. In addition to performing and recording, Lily Popova maintains a studio of over 25 private students of all ages and levels. Some of our readers might recall Lily’s fantastic October 2022 piano concert inaugurating The Athena Foundation for the Arts concert series, and her Athena blog interview.

Boryana Popova, violinist in The LA Trio con Brio is interviewed by The Athena Foundation for the Arts

Boryana Popova

Violinist Dr. Boryana Popova (Lily’s lovely sister) is a professional violinist based in Los Angeles. Born in Varna, Bulgaria, she started playing the violin at age 6. Boryana received her Bachelor and Masters degrees from the Bulgarian National Music Academy in Sofia. After coming to the US, she received Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from UCLA where she studied with Prof. Movses Pogossian and Prof. Guillaume Sutre from 2007 to 2012. While at UCLA, she was awarded with the Mimi Feldman Scholarship, Evelyn and Mo Ostin Scholarship, and the Gluck Foundation Fellowship. Boryana currently works as a freelance musician in Los Angeles, where she has performed with several orchestras including the Riverside Philharmonic, Long Beach Opera, Long Beach Camerata, LA Jewish Symphony, Opera San Luis Obispo, Opera Ritrovata, Musical Theatre West, and the Helix Collective. Boryana is a regular member of Mozart Classical Orchestra, Irvine and a concertmaster of the Pacific Opera Project. As a session musician, she has recorded on numerous scores for film and television, pop albums and commercials. Boryana is a violin teacher at the French Conservatory of Music in Beverly Hills and has her own private studio, as well.

Mark Bassett, cellist in The LA Trio con Brio is interviewed by The Athena Foundation for the Arts.

Mark Bassett

Cellist Mark Bassett earned his cello performance degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. He also has a degree in music education from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York. As a musician, Mark has played with many orchestras and chamber groups including the Philadelphia String Quartet, Calder Quartet, South Florida Symphony and the Fresno Philharmonic. He has toured with artists such as Josh Groban, Lindsay Sterling, and bands Evanescence, Celtic Thunder, and Hanson. Mark’s passion for video game music has led him to be principal cellist for the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess tour, and with the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds tour. As a studio musician, He has recorded for recent films such as Frozen 2, Charlie’s Angels, and Bad Boys 3. Mark has also recorded for many video game scores including Final Fantasy 12 remake and Final Fantasy 15 . As an active music educator, Mark currently teaches cello, violin, and bass in his private studio.

And now for their story.

LRW: How did The LA Trio con Brio come about?

Boryana: The LA Trio con Brio was established in 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, when Lily, Mark and I decided we needed to perform, despite the circumstances.

LRW: So glad you did. What’s the latest?

Lily: Since then, we have been working on various projects together, including performing at the Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist’s concert series, many house recitals and private events.

LRW: Nice! What types of music are in your Trio’s repertoire?

Mark: Our trio’s repertoire covers traditional pieces including works by Anton Arensky, Sergei Rachmaninov, Dmitri Schostakovich and Franz Joseph Haydn.

Lily: We also include some less popular but intriguing pieces by Joaquin Turina, Chick Corea and Ludovico Einaudi. The LA trio con brio is very excited and grateful for the opportunity to perform at the Athena Foundation for the Arts 2023 concert series.

LRW: That’s quite a repertoire. I’m an enormous fan of Joaquin Turina’s music and am excited to hear your program. It’s an honor to have you in the concert series. For your Athena program, may I ask how you decided on the pieces curated for the concert? Why these composers? Why now?

Lily: Our choice of music was born from the desire to bring fresh and less frequently heard pieces to classical music lovers. They represent very diverse points of view and showcase the three instruments both individually, and as an ensemble.

LRW: Very nice. Can you hint at the beautiful imagery or lighting effects you’ve selected for your pieces and why they were chosen?

Boryana: The lighting and imagery choices were made to support the music, to inspire the listener’s imagination and to allow them to experience the emotional depth of each piece to its fullest potential.

LRW: Wow. Can’t wait to experience this. May I ask, have you recorded these stunning pieces, or do you have plans to do so?

Mark: We have not recorded these pieces yet, but it is definitely a project that we hope to embark upon in the not too distant future.

LRW: Well, if you do, I’d like to opportunity to interview the trio on its album release. I’m curious. Do each of you have a favorite quote by a composer or musician that you’d like to share with our readers?

Lily: Without music life would be a mistake ~ Friedrich Nietzsche Share on X

Boryana: If I didn’t do this well, I just wouldn’t have anything to do… I can’t cook, and I’d be a terrible housewife. ~ Freddie Mercury Share on X

Mark: Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe - Lao Tzu Share on X

LRW: I love these! Thanks for sharing your inspo with my readers. We’re looking forward to your May 21, 2023 concert!

To learn more about these fantastic musicians, please enjoy visiting their websites and social media platforms.
Websites Lily Popova • Boryana Popova
Instagram Lily PopovaBoryana Popova • Mark Bassett
YouTube Lily PopovaBoryana PopovaMark Bassett
Facebook Lily PopovaBoryana PopovaMark Bassett

Eager to attend? Please see below.


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Check-in: 3:15 PM
Concert: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM PDT
Refreshments afterwards

Community Auditorium
Church of Scn of the Valley
11455 Burbank Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91601
•This concert is hosted exclusively by The Athena Foundation for the Arts.
•It is not a church event.
•The Community Auditorium is made available for rent to nonprofits and other charitable organizations. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us. Thank you.

FREE Parking: Farmdale Avenue lot and street parking

Purchase tickets on Eventbrite here or scan the QR code at the door. Cash or Credit card payments by Zettle/Paypal also available. Questions? Please feel free to email us. Looking forward to an inspiring concert!
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