Piano Trio No. 1 was composed between March, 1998, and June, 1999, in Charlottesville, VA. It was commissioned by the Guild Trio and the Southwest Chamber Music Society. The first performance was given by the Guild Trio in Hamilton, NY, on April 2, 2000. The first movement begins slowly and quietly with the piano alone, answered by the strings in octaves. The opening melody contains the germ from which every idea in the movement evolves. The three instruments gradually build to a climax and then subside, closing off the introduction. The main body of the piece begins in a moderate tempo with the strings alone, playing a variation of the opening melody. The piano joins in and builds to a climax where it takes the main theme. As this subsides, the piano introduces a new theme, which is answered by the cello (accompanied by the violin playing an inverted version of the theme). As this reaches a climax, the piano introduces a third theme: a dramatic series of chords. This is answered in the strings and gradually dissolves into string cascades, leading to a cadenza for the cello alone. As the ‘cello winds down with inverted fragments of the opening theme, the violin enters in answer. This motive is elaborated, becoming an accompanimental figure against which the strings recall a theme from the introduction. This theme is then extensively developed and transformed, building to a triumphant return of the main theme. This leads directly into the third theme which, as it subsides, leads into a reminisce of the second theme in the strings alone. A hint of the introduction brings the first movement to a close. The second (and final) movement begins with an aggressive and brilliant unison statement of its jazzy main theme. A lyrical theme follows in the cello, followed in turn by a playful theme in the piano. The strings take up the playful theme pizzicato then offer a sultry variation on it. This variation is interrupted by aggressive interjections that eventually take over. The piano introduces a new variant, which the strings answer in imitation, building to a return of the main theme. The lyrical theme returns, but this time the violin comments on it with fragments of the sultry theme. These jointly wind down, leading to a brilliant fugal coda based on the main theme.