July 1, 2009

N-E-W Trio Becomes Newest Resident Ensemble in NEC’s Professional Piano Trio Training Program

Fischoff and Coleman Prize-winning Group to Work with Vivian Hornik Weilerstein

The N-E-W Trio (Andrew Wan violin; Gal Nyska, cello; Julio Elizalde, piano), winners of the 2008 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2007 Coleman National Chamber Ensemble Competition, will become the next ensemble in New England Conservatory’s Professional Piano Trio Training Program. Beginning in September, they will work with training program director Vivian Hornik Weilerstein as well as other members of NEC’s chamber music faculty.

A specialized course of study in the art of chamber music established in 2001, the program offers intensive training and coaching for exceptional piano trios that show the talent and commitment necessary to pursue a concert career. Along with coaching, the trios perform an annual recital in NEC’s Jordan Hall and in such venues as the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society.

Formed three years ago while the players were students at Juilliard, the trio will join the NEC program in cooperation with Juilliard (where two of the members are still enrolled). Highlights of their upcoming 2009-10 season will include debut performances at Jordan Hall on March 12, 2009, the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Chamber Music Tulsa, The Sanibel Music Festival, and Queens College. In the 2008-09 season, the N-E-W Trio performed at the final two concerts at the Olympic Music Festival's 25th anniversary season in Quilcene, Washington; the Sunday Musicale Series in Livingston, New Jersey; the Cleveland Chamber Music Society; the Friends of Chamber Music in Reading, Pennsylvania; the Perlman Music Program in Shelter Island, New York; and the inaugural concert at the Kneisel Hall Music Festival’s Emerging Artists Fall Concert Series in Blue Hill, Maine.


Violinist Andrew Wan is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician.  In August of 2008, he was named co-concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under Maestro Kent Nagano, making him one of the youngest concertmasters of a major symphony. As soloist, he has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Toronto, Newfoundland, Juilliard, Aspen, and Edmonton under conductors such as Casadesus, Oundjian, DePreist and Stern. Highlights of next year’s concerto dates include performances of Brahms’ Double Concerto and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the MSO under the batons of Kent Nagano and Maxim Vengerov, and his debut with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.

Wan received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School under tutelage of Masao Kawasaki and Ron Copes.  In 2008, he was the only violinist to be accepted into the prestigious Artist Diploma Program at Juilliard.  He is currently on faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal.

Born near San Francisco, California, pianist Julio Elizalde earned his Bachelor of Music degree with honors at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a student of pianist/violist Paul Hersh. In May of 2007, Elizalde graduated as a Master of Music from the Juilliard School in New York City studying with Jerome Lowenthal and Joseph Kalichstein in addition to studying chamber music extensively with violinist Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is completing his studies at the Juilliard School as a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow studying with Robert McDonald. For his doctoral dissertation, he will closely examine the chamber works with piano of French composer Gabriel Fauré. In addition to his doctoral studies, he serves as an instructor in the college division of the Juilliard School.

Highlights of Elizalde’s 2008-09 season have included performances with violinists Pamela Frank, Robert Mann, Donald Weilerstein, soprano Susan Narucki, baritone William Sharp and cellist Bonnie Hampton. Dedicated to contemporary music, Elizalde worked with composer pianist Stephen Hough, Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov and American composer Leon Kirchner.

Active as a soloist and chamber musician, cellist Gal Nyska triumphed at the 2009 Aviv Competition, Israel's most prestigious contest for emerging musicians, winning both the Rachel and Dov Gottesman cello prize as well as the Meira Gera Audience Prize.  Nyska also recently made his New York solo debut with the Juilliard Orchestra at Avery Fischer Hall under Dennis Russell Davies.

Committed to the commissioning and performance of new works, Nyska has performed world and New York premieres of works by some of his generation’s most promising composers including Michael Brown, Gilad Cohen, Huang Ruo, Noam Sivan, and Avner Dorman. This year he also collaborates with Michael Brown on a new work for cello and piano, with composer Ronnie Reshef on a work for cello and narrator, and with composer Hadas Pe'ery on a work for cello and electronics, all to be premiered in 2009.

A recent graduate of the Master’s degree program at the Juilliard School, Nyska serves as a teaching assistant to Juilliard String Quartet cellist Joel Krosnick.

About New England Conservatory

Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 750 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 100-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of “From the Top,” a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory