Trio in Residence

The Merz Piano Trio

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Composed of players hailed as “impressive” (NYTimes), “impeccable” (Fanfare Magazine), and praised for “a sense of joyful virtuosity” (South Florida Classical Review), the Merz Trio, formed in 2017, has quickly emerged as a unique and award-winning ensemble. Recipients of the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2018 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, highlights of their 2018-2019 season include major performances in New York, Boston, and Chicago, a feature on London’s BBC Radio 3 and two residencies at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh, UK. The Trio is currently based out of New York City and holds a two-year residency at the New England Conservatory (2018-2020).

Merz Trio’s members are both passionate musicians and determined innovators, committed to originality in their artistic interpretations and thoughtfulness in their carefully curated concert programming.  The Trio presents a wide range of repertoire each season, performing both in traditional concert formats as well as in multidisciplinary collaborations that present music alongside art from other disciplines.  In fall 2018, Merz Trio was awarded an Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant through the New England Conservatory for their upcoming project, “Those Secret Eyes,” an original recital-theater piece inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth and featuring dancer Caroline Copeland.  On December 7, 2018, the Trio will present Those Secret Eyes at the Kosciusko Foundation in NYC.

Multidisciplinary projects from their opening 2017-2018 season included an exploration of trios by Haydn, Schumann, and Johannes Maria Staud alongside visual art of Schwitters and excerpts from W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn. Other innovative concerts include a multi-course "tasting menu" of short musical selections paired with crafted food pairings with Chef Hunter Pittman and an evening of music and multi-course dinner in collaboration with Michelin star chef, David Bouley.

Taking their name from the early 20th-century "Merz pictures" of German visual artist Kurt Schwitters, the Trio draws inspiration from Schwitters’ unique style of found-object collage. In keeping with Schwitters’ aesthetic of creation from pieced-together fragments, Merz Trio's projects promote dialogue between seemingly disparate musics, texts, and artifacts, weaving and juxtaposing the trio's repertoire within differing artistic worlds of visual art, dance, theater, and culinary arts.

Currently based in New York, the Trio engages in local education and community building and donates 10% of its earnings from select concerts to local charities.