PHOTO CREDIT: RIchard Blinkoff

PHOTO CREDIT: RIchard Blinkoff

Itamar Zorman, violin | Liza Stepanova, piano | Michael Katz, cello

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 season 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).