Strings Music Festival to host classical trio Saturday in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

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Strings Music Festival to host classical trio Saturday in Steamboat

The Christiania Trio plays at 8 p.m. Saturday at Springs Music Pavilion. Tickets are $5 to $37.

— Verne Lundquist doesn’t have a hard time making friends.

So when Verne and his wife, Nancy, were on a cruise ship north of Norway, he befriended the Christiania Trio, which was playing a show on the ship.

The Lundquists went to the show, and Verne invited the trio — violinist David Coucheron, pianist Julie Coucheron and cellist Christopher Rex — out for a drink. He then invited them to a speech he was giving on the ship.

"I told them if I make you laugh at one of my stories, I know we will have a friendship," Lundquist said. "They did laugh, I pointed at the back and said, 'I got you.' Now we've been close for the last three years."

The classical group will play a 8 p.m. Saturday at Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets are $5 to $37 and can be purchased here.

Each of the trio’s musicians is immensely talented. David Coucheron joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in September 2010 as the youngest concertmaster of any major U.S. orchestra. Julie Coucheron has won first prize in all the national competitions she has attended in addition to winning prizes in Italy, Germany and the U.S. She has worked with musicians such as Claude Frank, Emanuel Ax, Vladimir Feltsman, Elton John and Christopher O'Riley. Rex joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as principal cello in 1979, the same year he became the first cellist to win the string prize in the Young Artists Competition of the National Federation of Music Clubs.

"We see them a minimum of three times every fall," Lundquist said. "We love these kids. That's not too strong to say that we do. We've gotten really close to them. I tease their mom and dad and tell them they need not worry about them in the states because we're their American adopted parents."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com