Recital: Merz Trio
NEC’s Artist Diploma and Professional Chamber Music Programs offer training at the highest level for exceptional artists and ensembles. The Merz Trio are currently the resident ensemble in the Professional Piano Trio Program.
Hailing from opposite corners of the globe, Merz 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, 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 and Fischoff Competitions and 2018 Chesapeake Competition.
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 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 Hanover 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.
And we 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, puppeteers, and graphic designers, and each time we collaborate, we understand the music that we play differently.
We've been 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.
NEC Professional Piano Trio Program
Under the direction of Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, NEC’s Professional Piano Trio Program is open to advanced ensembles who show the talent and commitment necessary to pursue a concert career. One trio is in residence at a time, typically for a period of two years.
The program offers intensive training and coaching for exceptional piano trios. Highlights include three hours of ensemble coaching per week, weekly individual studio instruction from NEC strings and piano faculty, daily group rehearsals, and training in all aspects of musicianship and career development. Piano trios perform an annual recital in world-renowned Jordan Hall and give performances in venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society.
Previous graduates of the program include Trio Cleonice, The New Trio, Moêt Trio, Trio Cavatina, Tel-Aviv Trio, and the Tal Trio.
- Merz Trio
- Lee Dionne, piano
- Brigid Coleridge, violin
- Julia Yang, cello
Alma Mahler (arr. Merz Trio) | from Five Songs
I. Die stille Stadt (The Quiet City)
III. Laue Sommernacht (Mild Summer Night)
Alban Berg (arr. Merz Trio) | from Seven Early Songs
VII. Sommertage (Summer Days)
Hildegard von Bingen (arr. Merz Trio) | Hymn: O ignee spiritus
Cheryl Frances-Hoad | My Fleeting Angel (2005)
Allegro spiritoso e scherzoso
Johannes Brahms | Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, op. 8 (rev. 1889)
Allegro con brio - Tranquillo - In tempo ma sempre sostenuto
Scherzo: Allegro molto - Meno allegro - Tempo primo
Robert Schumann (arr. Merz Trio) | from Myrthen, op. 25