Formed at the University of Georgia in 2018 by Claudia Malchow (viola), Caroline Owen (piano), and Kelly Riordan (clarinet), the Athena Trio enjoys exploring music written for its unique blend of instrumentation while promoting new music and collaborating with living composers. As an all-female ensemble, the group also aims to foster opportunities for female musicians and female composers in particular. The Trio most recently participated in the inaugural Chamber Music Athens festival (Georgia), where they performed and worked with pianist Peter Frankl, soprano Sarah Shafer, and members of the Jupiter String Quartet. In 2019, the Trio performed the American premiere of Metronome by California-based composer Jordan Kuspa, whose music has been praised by the New York Times as “consistently alive and inspired.” The Athena Trio primarily coaches with Maggie Snyder, principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, and Liza Stepanova of the Lysander Piano Trio.
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Native of West Des Moines, Iowa, Claudia Malchow has performed with Baltimore-based ensemble Symphony No. 1 (assistant principal), the Peabody Concert Orchestra (assistant principal), and the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra (principal). She has participated in the Madeline Island Chamber Music, Domaine Forget, and Green Mountain festivals and was accepted into the Aspen Music Festival. Malchow has worked with artists including Ivo-Jan Van Der Werff (Rice University), James Dunham (Rice University), Lawrence Dutton (Emerson String Quartet), Jean Sulem (Conservatoire de Paris), and the Ahn Trio in masterclass settings––the last of which was broadcast on Iowa Public Television. She has studied primarily with Victoria Chiang (Peabody Conservatory, Aspen String Trio) and Maggie Snyder (University of Georgia). Kelly Riordan has performed with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Wind Enseble, UGA Hodgson Wind Ensemble, and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Some of her notable performances include the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (San Jose, CA), the Summa Cum LauDe Festival (Vienna, Austria), and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Her primary teachers include Todd Levy of the Milwaukee Symphony and Santa Fe Opera (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and D Ray McClellan (University of Georgia). Riordan is a native of Dousman, Wisconsin.