"Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."
- Jimi Hendrix
Many pianists start their training as a solo player, and so did Jialiang. It's true that it's through the solo piano repertoire that pianists establish a solid technical foundation and develop their musicality. It is also through the vast body of solo repertoire that pianists acquaint themselves with different musical styles. However, sometimes it gets a little lonely to spent hours and hours in the practice room by oneself. Jialiang has had the opportunity to discover the joy and excitement of jamming with other musicians during her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. Ever since, she has loved chamber music and vocal collaboration.
In September 2016, three friends from the U of T St. George campus, Alessia Disimino, Andrew Ascenzo and Jialiang, decided to start a piano trio together for their shared passion for chamber music. After a heated debate, they named themselves "Bedford Trio". Why Bedford? Because the three of them used to commute to campus by subway everyday and always used the entrance of St. George Station on the Bedford Road. One can say that "Bedford" represents the meeting point of three friends in a most literal sense.
Since then, Bedford Trio has performed at various venues in Ontario and Québec. They are the inaugural piano trio for the Irene R. Miller Piano Trio Residency at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. During the 2020/21 academic year, the trio adjudicated the first edition of the University of Toronto Piano Trio Composition Competition and gave a virtual premiere of the winning piece by Katharine Petkovski in September 2021.
Despite that many of their concerts have been postponed due to the ongoing situation, the trio has performed virtually at several international events in the past year, including the season opening gala concert at the Tartini Conservatory in Trieste, Italy, the 2020 Refugee Student Fund Benefit Concert at the University of Toronto’s Innis College, “Concert in the Cloud,” a virtual concert in China celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Music in the Atrium at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, and Skyky Multicultural Learning Foundation’s Youth Fundraising Concert for SickKids Foundation.
In August 2018, they participated in the Career Development Residency at Ottawa Chamberfest. You can hear the trio on CBC Radio One in a feature with composer Rob Kapilow (“What Makes It Great”), performing excerpts from Mr. Kapilow's latest composition-in-progress based on Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman” sculpture at the National Gallery of Canada.
Alessia, Andrew and Jialiang are ever grateful for their mentors' guidance and support, including Annalee Patipatanakoon, Roman Borys & Jamie Parker of The Gryphon Trio, Lydia Wong, Enrico Elisi, Tim Ying, Joseph Johnson, Shauna Rolston, and George Zukerman. To find out more about the trio or to watch their performances, please click HERE.