2021 International Chamber Music Competition

Pictured: The Merz Trio | 2021 Winners

Winners Announced


for String Quartets, Piano Trios, and Ensembles including at least 3 members and not more than 8, without a conductor

The Merz Trio

About the Artists

Hailed as "artists in the deepest sense of the word" (CutCommon), Merz Trio, winners of the Fischoff, Chesapeake, and Concert Artists Guild Competitions, have been lauded for their "stunning virtuosity… fresh and surprising interpretations" (Reading Eagle), and "perfection of intonation and ensemble" (Hudson Review). Merz Trio are passionately committed to reshaping the narrative of classical music through vibrantly dynamic programming and wide-ranging interdisciplinary collaboration. Their narrative programming style juxtaposes classical standards, new music, and their own arrangements of familiar and forgotten works, fluidly interwoven and guided with speaking from the Trio's members. Their interdisciplinary collaborations include ongoing projects with dancer Caroline Copeland, Sandglass Puppet Theater, chef David Bouley, and videographer Chris Kitchen.

The Trio is equally known for more immersive integrations of music and text in performance, ranging from their recital-theater piece built around Shakespeare's Macbeth ("Those Secret Eyes"), to their debut album interweaving Ravel's Trio with short pieces, poems, and diaries of the era ("INK," August, 2021). "INK" will be presented in a live concert format (“Ink Spills”) for the 2021-2022 season. Finally, in their prolific arranging, the Trio are committed to uplifting overlooked voices from history, ranging from Hildegard von Bingen to Lili and Nadia Boulanger, from Joséphine Baker to Irish folk melodies.

Merz Trio has been encouraged in their explorations by numerous institutional homes around the world: New England Conservatory, Yellow Barn, Snape Maltings, Avaloch Farm Institute, the Lake Champlain, Olympic, and Chesapeake Music Festivals, and the Fischoff Competition, alongside hundreds of welcoming venues and hosts around the US, Australia and the UK. They are currently represented by Concert Artists Guild and make their home in Boston.

In partnership with Naumburg, the Merz trio will receive a fully subsidized New York Recital on April 17th, 2023 at 7:30 PM in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, as well as a commissioned work by George Lewis.