The Trio con Brio was created in 1991 by Jonas Nordwall, Donna Parker and Tom Hazleton. All internationally renowned organists and lifelong friends, they formed the group to explore fun, new expressions of music played simultaneously on three organs, yet performed orchestrally rather than in the typical organ performance style.
All three organists were students of noted American organist and composer, Richard Purvis. He was commissioned to write a work specifically for the group using his unique orchestral concepts, which ultimately set the tone for the performance style of the Trio con Brio. "The Symphonic Suite for Three Organs" was recorded in 1992 on their first CD, "Not Just Another Organ Recording."
Tom, Donna and Jonas arranged all of the Trio con Brio repertoire to be played on a variety of available keyboard instruments. With the advent of digitally sampled technology, MIDI and other contemporary musical tools, they utilized a variety of both acoustical and digital music instruments in their recordings and live performances.
Soon after its conception - and with thoughts of possible occasions when a substitute organist might be needed - the Trio con Brio invited Martin Ellis to become the fourth member of the group. Martin had the toughest job of not knowing just one part, but being prepared and ready to perform any of the three parts on a moment's notice. On a few occasions he performed in concert with Jonas and Donna in Tom's absence.
Their second recording, "Still Having Fun After All These Years," was released in 1994 and included a bit more contemporary music. The CD title reflected the sentiment shared by the three members and friends of their musical endeavors together through the years. Having fun while creating music was essential, and their reoccurring remark was always, "If you aren't having fun, then why do it?" The Trio con Brio continued to have fun as they performed in major concert venues in the United States.
Tom Hazleton unexpectedly passed away in March 2006, as the Trio con Brio prepared to record their next CD. To Jonas and Donna, this was not only a great loss of a spectacularly talented and gifted colleague, but of their dearest friend.
Upon Tom's passing, Martin became the official third member of the Trio con Brio and assumed a more active role in arranging repertoire with Jonas and Donna. They released their the third Trio con Brio recording - the first with Martin - in 2007 called "In The Key Of Three."
With three very successful recordings to their credit, their newest CD "Tales from the Chambers" in the works, and plans for another CD on the horizon, the Trio con Brio continues to have fun with their unique music style, to perform for enthusiastic audiences, and to receive high critical acclaim.
© Trio con Brio 2017