Prelude to 50 Season
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
7:30 pm Harris Hall
Merz Trio offers a program inspired by Tchaikovsky's Trio "in memory of a great artist," a work that is above all a celebration of a life. Balanced against it on the first half are a small community of works that similarly celebrate beginnings and endings, dedications, and evocations. From Haydn's Piano Trio No. 45, dedicated to his great friend and pianist Therese Jansen, to Alma Mahler, Édith Piaf, and Carlo Gesualdo's takes on love and loss, these works share a richness and depth of lived experience brought to full fruition in the Tchaikovsky.
Merz Trio is a bold, new, fiercely creative ensemble composed of players hailed as “impressive” (New York Times), “impeccable” (Fanfare Magazine), and praised for “a sense of joyful virtuosity” (South Florida Classical Review). Formed in 2017, the Merz Trio was the Gold Medalist at the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, as well as winning the Gold Medal and the Audience Prize at the 2018 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition.
“the trio’s playing is impeccably elegant, earmarked by unmannered musicianship and sui generis stylistic versatility.” — Rafael de Acha, All About the Arts
“careful layering of timbre, minute sculpting of the phrases, perfection of intonation and ensemble, and sincerity and elegance of performance” — Elizabeth Lyon, Hudson Review
“Artists in the deepest sense of the word” — Jeffery Palmer, Cut Common
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 snowstorm 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.