The Lysander Piano Trio, a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, has been praised by the Strad for its “incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas and wide palette of colours.” The Trio has developed a reputation for innovative programming of master works from the canon alongside newer works and hidden gems of the repertoire. An ideal example of this is the Trio’s 2014 debut recording, After a Dream (CAG Records), featuring music by Ravel, Haydn, Schubert, Joaquin Turina, and Moshe Zorman, which was acclaimed for its “polished and spirited interpretations” (New York Times).
The Trio will be touring extensively in the 2018-2019 including appearances at Bard Festival, Mobile Chamber Music, National Sawdust, Chamber Music Kelowna, Calgary Pro Musica, Clemson University and Pro Musica of San Miguel in Mexico. In addition, the group will perform in concerts and residencies across the United States as a featured touring group of Allied Concert Services. Previous seasons’ engagements include appearances at Mostly Mozart’s 50th Anniversary season at David Geffen Hall, as well as concerts at the Copenhagen Summer Festival and The Chautauqua Institution, and a critically acclaimed recital at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC. Other highlights included engagements at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (CAG New York Series), UCLA’s Clark Memorial Library, and Chamber Music Tulsa, along with debut performances at Spivey Hall (near Atlanta), The Kravis Center (West Palm Beach), and the Chamber Music Societies of Little Rock, AR and Melbourne, FL. The Trio was also featured in a special collaborative program with clarinetist Charles Neidich, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia in January 2017.
The Lysander Piano Trio is proactive in commissioning new works and creating programs that mix the music of today with well-loved masterworks. Their latest commission is Gilad Cohen’s Around the Cauldron, co-commissioned by CAG and premiered at Weill Recital Hall in March 2017 on the CAG Encores series. Other recent Lysander Trio commissions include: Ghostwritten Variations, by Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya, who received a 2015 McKnight Fellowship; Jakub Ciupinski’s The Black Mirror (also co-commissioned by CAG and premiered at Weill Recital Hall); and Four Movements Inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” penned by four pre-teen composers of ComposerCraft from NYC’s Kaufman Music Center and premiered at Merkin Concert Hall in January 2014.
Recent engagements in NYC include the Lysander Trio’s April 2014 Weill Recital Hall debut at Carnegie Hall, for which The New York Times lauded the ensemble’s “…rich sound and nuanced musicianship…resulting in a finely hued collaboration among the three musicians.” Other recent notable New York dates are Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and David Rubinstein Atrium, Schneider Concerts Chamber Music Series at the New School, Merkin Concert Hall and SubCulture.
Highlights in recent seasons from around the US are: the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; Purdue University’s Convocations Series, Los Angeles’ Clark Memorial Library at UCLA and the Chamber Music in Historic Sites series of the Da Camera Society of Mount Saint Mary’s University; Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Concert series and Rockford Coronado Concerts; San Francisco’s Music at Kohl Mansion; and Juneau Jazz and Classics (AK). In addition, the Trio recently made its concerto debut, performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra near Chicago.
The Lysander Piano Trio was formed at The Juilliard School in 2009, and selected that year to represent Juilliard in a special concert in Mexico City on the occasion of President Joseph Polisi’s visit to Mexico. The Trio has performed in master classes for Alfred Brendel and for Ida and Ani Kavafian at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and it has studied with Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet, Joseph Kalichstein of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and Seymour Lipkin. The Lysander Trio takes its name from the character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
These qualities have made the Trio a standout at other competitions, with top honors at the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the 2011 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition (Grand Prize), and the 2011 J. C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition (First Prize).
Brahms: Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 101, I. Allegro energico
Mozart: Piano Trio in C Major, Allegro
Schubert: Notturno in E-Flat Major, Op. 148
Shostakovich: Piano Trio in C minor (excerpt)
Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 "Archduke", Scherzo
Turina: The Circle..., Op. 91, Midday, Dusk
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 49, Scherzo: Leggiero e vivace
Dvorak: Piano Trio in F Minor, Op. 65, Poco adagio
Haydn: Piano Trio in E Major, Hob. XV: 28
Piazzolla: Otono Porteno
“…the ensemble’s unanimity of approach — vivid engagement carried by soaring, ripely Romantic playing — proved quite splendid.”
– The Washington Post
“…a passionate single-mindedness that wound up serving all of the score’s varied moods, right through to a finale of exhilarating panache.”
– The Washington Post
“…passion, rich sound, incredible ensemble, nuances and imagination to burn, and they set the small hall on musical fire.”
– Classical Sonoma
“…incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas and wide palette of colours. Performed with sensitivity, panache and emotional depth, it perfectly displayed the Lysander Trio’s enormous potential.”
“…technical assurance and thoughtful musicality…performed with rich sound and nuanced musicianship in the varied works, resulting in a finely hued collaboration among the three musicians.”
-The New York Times
“A trio with brio”
-New York Daily News
INSPIRED BY SONG
Schumann – Trio no. 2 in F major, op. 80
Ives – Piano Trio, op. 86
Paul Chihara – Ain’t no Sunshine (2006)
Beethoven – Trio in B flat major, op. 11
Song is arguably the most natural and basic form of musical expression, and accompanies us throughout our lives. Even for the great composers, the song is often a backbone of their large scale compositions, and this program brings it to the foreground. In his his second Piano Trio, Schumann quotes his own song, Intermezzo, from his song cycle Liederkreis, while Beethoven uses a melody which was such a hit in Vienna at the time, that it gave the trio its nickname, the “Gassenhauer trio” (meaning a tune that is whistled on all city’s streets). Paul Chihara, who is celebrating his 80th birthday in 2018, draws from Bill Withers’ blues ballad, Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone, and Charles Ives is throwing together a carnival of fragments from American folk songs, popular songs and fraternity songs to humorous effect in his famous “TSIAJ” movement (which stands for “This scherzo is a joke”).
LIGHT AND MATTER
Scriabin – Nocturne Op. 5 No. 1 (arr.: Krein)
Kaija Saariaho: Light and Matter (2014)
Faure – Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120
Schubert – Piano trio in E-flat Major, Op. 100
Inspired by Kaija Saariaho’s Light and Matter (2014), the program explores composers whose music is concerned with finding a balance between matter – the use of musical materials and forms in the classical tradition, and light – the search for new colors and a sense of timelessness. The connection between the two elements often results in a unique blend of beauty and imagina-tion.
Debussy – Piano Trio in G Major (1879)
Gilad Cohen – Around the Cauldron (2016)
Brahms – Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8
Every great composer goes through an evolution of style while discovering his unique musical voice. Early works are often full of energy and innovation, inspired by the great composers of the past while also looking ahead to the future. This program explores youthful compositions by two of the greatest composers in history – Brahms and Debussy, as well as a new work by young Israeli composer Gilad Cohen.