The Elgin Trio
The Elgin Trio strives to bring the passion, fulfillment and excitement its members experience in music to audiences throughout the Greater Chicago area. Founded at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in 2011, the Elgin Trio is comprised of Steven Gooden (clarinet), Mira Luxion (cello), and Yoshiko Arahata (piano). Besides performing standard classical repertoire, the ensemble is dedicated to discovering contemporary works and exploring other genres, including jazz. The Elgin Trio has performed in masterclasses with Lynn Harrell, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Dr. Elizabeth Buccheri, and has been coached by Dr. Sylvia Wang, Christopher Millard, and Steve Cohen. The trio was featured on the Bienen School of Music’s Clarinetissimo! concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall this spring.
The Musicians of the Elgin Trio
Steven Gooden, clarinet
Acclaimed for the passion and enthusiasm he brings to his music, whether teaching or performing, Steven Gooden’s energy is apparent and infectious. Mr. Gooden began his musical training at Georgia State University, where he studied music education. While there, he flourished with a busy schedule teaching masterclasses and lessons at the elementary through the high school level in many of the top schools in the state of Georgia. While in Atlanta, Mr. Gooden performed with the Grammy Award Winning Atlanta Boy Choir, performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with his University Symphony Orchestra, and can be heard on the debut album of the Georgia State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, entitled American Manuscripts.
After finishing his degree at Georgia State, Mr. Gooden continued his studies in the highly charged performing environment of the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. He maintains an active schedule of recital, sacred, orchestral, and chamber music performances. Mr. Gooden is also on the faculty of the Merit School of Music, teaching young musicians throughout the Chicagoland area.
Steven Gooden currently resides in Evanston, Illinois and fills his free time with cycling and any creative hands-on project he can find.
Mira Luxion, cello
Mira Luxion is a Presser Scholar at Northwestern University, where she studies cello with Hans Jørgen Jensen. She is a recipient of the Nerenburg Award (2011) and the Farwell Award (2007) from the Chicago Musicians Club of Women, a National Merit Award and an Illinois Regional Award from the National Foundation for the Arts’ YoungArts program (2008), and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Mollendorf Award (2008). Mira previously served as principal of the CYSO, and was featured on NPR’s “From the Top” with her piano trio, winners of the 2007 Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition. She has a special interest in new music, and has performed with the ICE, Dal Niente, VulpineLupin and CUBE contemporary music ensembles, as well as premiering numerous student compositions. In 2012, she was selected to participate in a weeklong Weill Institute of Music Professional Training Workshop with Kaija Saariaho and Anssi Karttunen that culminated in two performances at Carnegie Hall. She has performed in solo and chamber masterclasses with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Lynn Harrell, Menahem Pressler, Joseph Silverstein, Steve Doane, and Matt Haimovitz. She has spent summers at the Lucerne Festival Academy (Switzerland), the Ottawa Young Artists Programme (Canada), the Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Madeline Island Music Camp, and the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Program.
Yoshiko Arahata, piano
A native of Los Angeles, pianist Yoshiko Arahata is pursuing a diverse career as a soloist, collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and orchestral keyboardist. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, where she studies piano under Alan Chow with full scholarship and Alvia S. and Helen Cottongim VanKirk Graduate Endowed Scholarship. This summer, she will tour with her trio, the Elgin Trio, throughout Texas as a winner of the 2012 Music Bus Tour residency, and she was invited back to the International Gijon Piano Festival in Spain where she will take lessons with prestigious pianists and will perform in concerts and master classes.
Ms. Arahata’s versatility as a pianist and a musician is reflected through her multi-cultural background and experiences in performing a wide range of repertoire and musical formations. She has lived in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Rochester, NY, and studied piano with Nobuyo Nishizaka, Manami Kawamura, and Nobuko Kuriyama. In May 2010, Ms. Arahata completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance under the guidance of Barry Snyder at the Eastman School of Music with the Howard Hanson Scholarship. She has appeared in festivals around the world, including the International Academy Moulin d’Andé (France), International Gijon Piano Festival (Spain), Adamant School of Music, Portland Music Festival, Music Teachers Association of California Summer Chamber Institute and Hong Kong Music Festival, and she has performed in master classes with Menahem Pressler, Paul Roberts, Meng-Chieh Liu, Nelita True, Natalya Antonova, and Malcom Bilson, among others. She has won over two dozen awards in competitions, including the Grand Prize in the Long Beach Mozart Festival Concerto Competition and a debut with the Long Beach Festival Orchestra, where she performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in c minor. Ms. Arahata has appeared twice as a solo pianist in the Annual Music Gala Concert at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where she graduated as a valedictorian. In 2009, she was appointed as a judge member for the Friends of William Still Grant Music Competition in Los Angeles, where she has also given a solo concert and a lecture at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts Music Department and has received a Certificate of Recognition by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of the City of Los Angeles. An advocate of contemporary media, Ms. Arahata has enjoyed performing compositions by living composers as well as her own compositions in venues including Composer’s Forum Concerts at Eastman and Northwestern and Women in Music Festival.
Ms. Arahata has distinguished herself as a pianist of collaborative, chamber, and large ensemble music in diverse musical styles and genres. Her duo collaborative repertoire includes pieces with all string, woodwind, and brass instruments, as well as marimba. Most recently, Ms. Arahata was appointed an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the 2012-2013 Season. Last summer, Ms. Arahata was hired as a staff pianist at the Castleman Quartet Program and performed numerous Sonatas with string musicians, including the renowned violinist Charles Castleman. An active member of piano trios, she was broadcast twice on k-Mozart 105.1FM. Currently, she has appeared with the Elgin Trio (Steven Gooden, clarinet; Mira Luxin, cello) in numerous concerts, including “Clarinetissimo!,” Honors Chamber Recital, and master classes with several guest artists. Her passion for jazz has also led to performances with improvisations and arrangements, and she was a pianist for the University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble during her undergraduate studies. Her collaborative and chamber music coaches include Sylvia Wang, Elizabeth Buccheri, Christopher Millard, Jean Barr, Sylvie Beaudette, Elinor Freer, David Ying, Mikhail Kopelman, Richard Killmer, Delores Stevens, and Linda Rose.
While maintaining a full-time piano career, Ms. Arahata completed a Bachelor of Sciences in Brain and Cognitive Sciences with Dean’s list at the University of Rochester in four years. Upon completion of her undergraduate degrees, she was named a Take Five Scholar and received a full scholarship to study for an extra year to pursue her own academic research, “Health and Community: The Influences of Society on Individual Psyche.”