When MIT’s Hayden Library was originally dedicated in 1950, Czech-born composer Bohuslav Martinů was commissioned to write his “Piano Trio in D Minor” to mark the occasion. The piece received its world premiere in a performance by MIT professors Klaus Liepmann on violin and Gregory Tucker on piano, and George Finckel of Bennington College on cello.
Seventy-one years later, the MIT Libraries celebrated the renovation of Hayden Library as a trio of current graduate students performed a movement from the piece. Calvin Leung (cello), a PhD student in physics; William Wang (piano), a PhD student in computer science; and Katherine Young (violin), a student in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, played for a small audience in the Nexus, Hayden’s new event space.
“Hearing Martinů’s music brought to life by these wonderful musicians felt like the perfect way to inaugurate this new gathering space for the community,” says Nina Davis-Millis, director of community engagement at MIT Libraries.
The MIT Libraries’ Distinctive Collections owns sketches of the piano trio in Martinů’s hand, as well as the published version of the score, which carries the simple epigraph, “à MIT Cambridge.”
Video by MIT Video Productions with thanks to MIT Music and Theater Arts.