2021 Naumburg Chamber Music Award
Brigid Coleridge , violin; Julia Yang, cello and Lee Dionne, piano
Monday, April 17, 2023, 7:30pm / Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie HallTickets: $25; $10 for students and seniors
Available at Carnegiehall.org or 212 247 7800
Program to include a Naumburg commission by George Lewis and works by Alma Mahler, Alban Berg, Hildegard von Bingen, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Johannes Brahms and Maurice Ravel.
Click here to download the full program.
Hailed as “entrancing” (BBC Music Magazine) and "artists in the deepest sense of the word" (CutCommon), Merz Trio have established themselves at the forefront of the US chamber music scene, with debuts this season at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, CM Houston, CM Detroit, MN's Schubert Club, Philadelphia’s CMS, and Music Mountain, among others. Winners of the Naumburg, Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff, and Chesapeake Competitions, they 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 directors Emma Jaster and Jon Levin, dancer Caroline Copeland, and Sandglass Puppet Theater.
The Trio are equally known for their immersive integrations of music and text in performance, ranging from their recital-theater piece built around Shakespeare’s Macbeth (“Those Secret Eyes,” 2019), to their concert / album interweaving Ravel’s Trio with short pieces, poems, and diaries of the era (“Ink Spills" / "Ink," 2021), to their presentation of Tchaikovsky's Trio alongside unexpected diary excerpts and a range of works from Jeffrey Mumford to Alma Mahler ("undiluted days," 2022). 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.
From Merz Trio's violinist Brigid Coleridge: "The most thrilling thing about our work is the energetic communities that it has produced. 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."
Merz Trio have been encouraged in their explorations by numerous institutional homes around the world: New England Conservatory, Yellow Barn, Snape Maltings, Avaloch Farm Institute, the Naumburg Foundation, the Lake Champlain, Olympic, and Chesapeake Music Festivals, and the Fischoff Competition, as well as many other venues and hosts around the US, Australia and the UK. They are currently represented by Concert Artists Guild.
Brigid Coleridge is an Australian violinist currently based in Boston. Her recital projects focus on her interest in music and literature, displaying a critical and multidisciplinary engagement with the works she presents. She is particularly interested in exploring the theatrical possibilities of performance, combining her experience as a violinist with her experience as an actor and theatrical director during her earlier studies. Highlights of her theatre work include a restaging of excerpts from Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale for actor and mirrors, as well as roles in works by Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard, Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter.
Brigid has performed as soloist and chamber musician in major international concert venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. She is a frequent recitalist, most recently having completed a recital tour of Holland with her duo partner, pianist Lee Dionne and she has received repeated invitations to perform at Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival in Vermont USA. Her appearances as concerto soloist have included the works of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich.
Brigid holds an Artist Diploma degree and a Masters Degree in Performance from the Royal College of Music, London. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with degrees in English Literature, French Language and Violin Performance. Currently, Brigid is a doctoral candidate in music performance at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she works with Daniel Phillips. Previous important music mentors include Maciej Rakowski and Mark Mogilevski.
Brigid is a former recipient of the Welsford Smithers Travelling Scholarship from the University of Melbourne, a Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship award and the Australian Music Foundation’s Guy Parsons Award. She gratefully acknowledges additional support from the Youth Music Foundation, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and the Ars Musica Foundation.
Artist Webpage | SoundCloud | Downloadable Bio
Pianist Lee Dionne holds passion, imagination and play at the core of his art. His playing has been described as "impressive" (NYTimes) and "impeccable" (Fanfare Magazine); his performances seek to combine an essential freedom of elocution with an underlying depth of understanding, and his repertoire spans the Renaissance to the 21st-century. Lee cultivates a particular interest in creating performances that help audiences form personally relevant connections with music. Experiences in this area have ranged from performance-based conversations at conferences and universities, to interactive performances at elementary schools and community centers.
Lee’s performances in recent seasons season have taken place at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, NEC's Jordan Hall, the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, Paul Hall at the Juilliard School, Joe’s Pub and St. Peter’s Church in NYC, Sprague Hall at Yale University, Stull Hall at Oberlin College, and at the Philharmonie and Conservatoire Nationale Supérieure in Paris. As a soloist Lee recently made his debut at both the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Philharmonic in Bratislava. A dedicated chamber musician, Lee performs frequently as a core member of Cantata Profana, and he is an alumnus of Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW, a joint program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Institute).
Lee has appeared performing concerti alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi. As a chamber musician he has been invited to perform at Staunton Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, and Norfolk Summer Music. Lee’s performances have been broadcast live on NPR, Britain’s Classic FM, Holland’s Classic FM, and Portugal’s Antena 2, and his recordings can be heard on the MSR Records and Cantaloupe Music labels.
Lee has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a DAAD fellowship for study abroad in Germany, a Presser Foundation Music Award, and Third Prize in the 2012 James Mottram International Piano Competition.
Lee holds a D.M.A., M.M.A, and M.M. in Piano Performance from the Yale School of Music and a B.A. in literature from Yale College. He was the recipient of top prizes at both schools in recognition of his musical leadership and the quality of his academic work in music analysis and comparative literature.
Lee currently co-teaches the chamber music performance seminar at Yale College with violinist Wendy Sharp. His many wonderful teachers and mentors have included Vivian Weilerstein, Don Weilerstein, Merry Peckham, Mark Steinberg, Boris Berman, Matti Raekallio, Wei-yi Yang, Patricia Zander, Wilma Machover, Michael Friedmann, Paul Berry, and Arthur Haas.
Artist Webpage | YouTube | SoundCloud | Downloadable Bio
Praised for “her sense of joyful virtuosity” (South Florida Classical Review) as a concerto soloist, Julia Yang is a dynamic and versatile cellist, founding member of the Merz Trio and former member of Carnegie Hall's Ensemble Connect and the New World Symphony.
As a soloist, Ms. Yang was featured in spring 2019 on Performance Today as a Young Artist in Residence and has garnered top prizes at numerous competitions such as the Lennox International Competition and the Union League of Chicago’s Young Artist Competition. She has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras including the New World Symphony Orchestra, Central Florida Symphony Orchestra, and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Julia has been noted for her “ecstatic solos” (Reading Eagle), “deep tone,” and “precision,” (South Florida Classical Review) and has performed throughout the United States and internationally in Europe, Australia and Canada. Festival appearances include Marlboro, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Chamber Music Program, Britten-Pears’ Young Artist residencies, and Poland’s Krzyzowa-Music. Her solo and chamber performances have been broadcast throughout the United States as well as in Germany, and she can be heard on CD with the Aldeburgh Strings (Linn Records).
As an orchestral leader, Ms. Yang has toured as principal cellist of the New World Symphony, and has performed as principal under conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Susanna Malkki, James Gaffigan, John Adams, and Leonard Slatkin and many others in halls ranging from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall to D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Miami’s New World Center and Arsht Center.
Artist Webpage | YouTube | Downloadable Bio