HILLSBORO – To kick off the 20th anniversary season of the Hill College Performing Arts Series, Series Director Phillip Lowe brings the Crystal Trio all the way from Russia this Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The group originated in Siberia, Russia playing on crystal glass and now includes professional musicians playing a variety of glass instruments, including glass harp, verrophone and glass panflute bass. They perform variations of popular classical melodies of Mozart, Boccherini, Glinka and Vivaldi, in addition to original pieces written specifically for crystal glass.

Glass Music, an ancient art which had success in many noble houses of Europe, Russia and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, was often included as an integral part of the symphony orchestra. For a long time this art form was forgotten, but during the 20th century it regained popularity.

The “murmur of a mountain stream”, “soft, windy breeze” or “mysterious, wordless singing” are some of the descriptive phrases used for the unusual sounds of these instruments. As with all musical instruments, the designs of the musical instruments are key to the special sound in the crystal (also known as a harmonic glass or harmonic crystal). Even these special characteristics, of course, would be meaningless without the skills of the performers to properly touch the thin sides of the glass flasks on the Verrophone and glass harp or maintain the continuous stream of air on the glass-flute.

Crystal Trio is one of the first professional ensembles who have returned to this type of music, and they have performed for audiences worldwide. Members of the current ensemble are Igor Sklyarov, Vladimir Popras and Vladimir Perminov.

All performances take place at 7:30 p.m., on the date indicated in the Governor Bill Daniels Auditorium of the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center, just behind the Texas Heritage Museum on the Hillsboro Campus, and are free and open to the public.