Brigid Coleridge, violin | Lee Dionne, piano | Julia Yang, cello
“Artists in the deepest sense of the word”
- Jeffery Palmer, CutCommon
Merz Trio's spirit animal might best be described as a koala having an argument with itself. Hailing from opposite corners of the globe, the Trio's members can only agree on two things: (1) how to pronounce the word ‘Merz' in a faux German accent, and (2) that shopping for concert clothes should be classified as a form of torture.
The Trio met in the middle of a snow storm in NYC in December 2016; hilariously - and gloriously - we now spend the majority of our lives together, rehearsing, laughing (a lot), traveling, and arguing - usually over music and whether Australian English is better than American English. Together, we've walked onto stages around the world and are humbled to have been recognized as Winners of the 2019 Concert Artists Guild Competition and Gold Medalists of the Fischoff and Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competitions.
But whether concerts or competitions, large or small, the most thrilling thing about all of these experiences is the energetic communities that have emerged from them. Merz Trio loves to be in community with others. We love talking and laughing and getting carried away - in the rehearsal room, on stage, after the concert. We understand what we do as a conversation between ourselves, the composer, our audience, and the changing world we step into each day. Our name, Merz, speaks to this: It's the term coined by German artist and polymath Kurt Schwitters, who once floor-to-ceiling decorated his parents' house in Hannover with found objects and insisted that art only occurred in shared spaces. So Merz refers to connection, to sharing, to possibility. And yes, we're very glad Schwitters didn't live with us.
Our rehearsal room is a noisy fusion of our interests: Music of all varieties, literature, theatre, cooking, dance, running, unnecessarily snobbish ideas about beverages. We love this messiness. We play in living rooms and large halls; galleries and schools; black box theaters and crypts. There are very few places we don't feel at home.
We also love investigating other people's messiness. Alongside our ‘traditional' recitals, we create original inter-disciplinary projects, sometimes just with ourselves and our extra-musical interests, more often with inspiring and generous artists. So far, we've brought our music into conversation with dancers, directors, chefs, sommeliers, and graphic designers. Upcoming work features puppeteers, mime artists and actors. Every time we collaborate, we understand the music that we play differently.
We are encouraged in our explorations by the New England Conservatory in Boston and its visionary faculty. We're grateful too, for other homes around the world: Yellow Barn, Snape Maltings, Avaloch Farm Institute, the Lake Champlain, Olympic, and Chesapeake Music Festivals, and the Fischoff Competition. Not to mention hundreds of welcoming venues and hosts around the US, Australia and the UK. We're with Schwitters on this one: art happens where people are. We hope you'll come along for the ride.