Composed of players hailed as “impressive” (NYTimes), “impeccable” (Fanfare Magazine), and praised for “a sense of joyful virtuosity” (South Florida Classical Review), Merz Trio has quickly emerged as a unique and award-winning ensemble, garnering the First Prize at the 2019 Fischoff Competition and the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2018 Chesapeake Competition.
Merz Trio’s 2019-2020 season includes performances at major venues in New York, Boston, and Chicago, along with residencies at Snape Maltings and Yellow Barn. Past major appearances include NEC’s Jordan Hall, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, the Melbourne Town Hall, and Aldeburgh’s Jubilee Hall. The Trio has enjoyed festival appearances at the Chesapeake Festival, Olympic Music Festival, and Lake Champlain Music Festival, and residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and Snape Maltings. The Trio has additionally been featured by the BBC’s Radio 3, Australia’s Classic FM, and Chicago’s WFMT Radio. They have given masterclasses at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory Division and C’est Bon Summer Academy.
Merz Trio is committed to passionate, original playing and thoughtfully curated programming. The Trio presents a wide range of repertoire each season, both in traditional recitals and in multidisciplinary shows that present music alongside art from other disciplines. In December, 2018, the Trio presented “Those Secret Eyes,” an immersive concert experience based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, featuring dancer Caroline Copeland at the Kosciuszko Foundation in NYC. Future performances of “Those Secret Eyes” will be presented in Burlington, VT, Boston, and New York City in the 2019-20 season.
The Trio has been the recipient of several New England Conservatory Entrepreneurial Musicianship Grants to support their multidisciplinary endeavors. Past multidisciplinary projects include an exploration of trios by Haydn, Schumann, and Johannes Maria Staud alongside visual art of Kurt Schwitters and excerpts from W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Other past projects have comprised a multi-course “tasting menu” of short musical selections with crafted food pairings by 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. The Trio has extended this aspect of interdisciplinary performance to their work in education, including in a series of upcoming educational residencies at the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival this 2019-2020 season.
Based in Boston, Merz Trio is the current Professional Trio in Residence at the New England Conservatory (2018-2020). They are deeply indebted to their work with their mentors at NEC — Vivian Weilerstein, Donald Weilerstein, and Merry Peckham — as well as their wider work with Julio Elizalde, Gerhard Schulz, Mark Steinberg, Marcy Rosen, Seth Knopp, Thomas Sauer, Alisdair Tate, Isabel Charisius, Nina Lee, Robert Mcdonald, Natasha Brofsky, and Serena Canin.