Garretts create beautiful music
Posted March 09, 2007
Rhiannon Mim
The Belrose Duo performed a series of pieces Tuesday. Pianist Junko Ueno Garrett was born in Japan and started playing at the age of three. Garrett is currently on the faculty at Occidental College. Cellist David Garrett is a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and has recorded solo albums for the Albany and Opus One labels. After completing recital tours in Japan, the couple received the Counsel General of Japan’s Citation for their contribution to the relationship between the United States and Japan.

After a long day of sprinting from class to class, dealing with enthusiastic professors, fighting for a parking space, and reacting to whatever else seems to happen in your day, there is nothing better than being able to relax to the classical melodies created by the Belrose Duo.

A 10-minute sonata composed by Mozart is enough to take away the stresses of the day and introduce a new world of musical harmony.

The husband and wife team of cellist David Garrett and pianist Junko Ueno Garrett blew away the small audience of about 40 in Founders Hall Tuesday evening.

Most of the audience sat mesmerized as the pairs’ fingers flew over the strings and the keys to create musical genius.

“This was up there in the top three concerts I’ve seen here,” Eva Hinojoza, senior music major, said. “If they played anything wrong at all I couldn’t hear it, it sounded totally perfect to me.”

It was an interesting combination of pieces that the duo picked to perform, starting with Mozart’s sonata in E minor.

The pair enjoyed the work so much that they adapted it for the cello so they could play it together.

In its original form the piece was not written for the cello, but the time and effort they took to change it only further demonstrated their love for the work.

The passion that the pair shared for the music was also carried over into the obvious love that they had for each other.

The two met playing chamber music together and they have been inseparable since 1994.

“Playing music with her makes it interesting,” Garrett said. “There are never any discrepancies, she is always right.”

Then he leaned over and grabbed her hand to pull her closer to him.

The two are known for their love of the romantic composers, and it is not hard to understand why.

With each appearance on stage the two smiled at one another with such understanding in their eyes.

Warm up and tunings were a snap because as individuals they could tell exactly what the other needed.

The audience was completely silent any time the two were on stage.

Even when applause was to be expected, there would be a slight hesitation amongst those seated in the auditorium.

“It was almost as if they had to wait for the end of the piece to settle into their minds,” Jamie Mahoney, senior communications major, said. “I just wanted to clap; their performance was certainly worth applause.”

The performance ended with a bang. The duo played one of the most difficult cello pieces ever written by David Popper.

David and Junko both played with such a calm demeanor, which would not have been possible without the years and years of training they both have under their belts.

The Belrose Duo will be performing a similar set of music on March 15 at Cal State Long Beach and on April 15 at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena.

Junko Ueno Garrett will be playing a solo show at Occidental College on March 24.

Either show would be a worthwhile visit.

Jillian Pena can be reached by email at

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