Merz Trio is a bold, new, fiercely creative ensemble. Formed in January 2017 as a collaboration between pianist Lee Dionne, violinist Brigid Coleridge, and cellist Julia Yang, Merz Trio was the recipient of a Judges’ Special Recognition Award at the 2017 Plowman Competition and a finalist for a 2017 Tarisio Young Artists Grant for their Macbeth project in spring, 2018. Merz Trio has been selected to compete as one of only five finalists for the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition in April 2018, and in July 2018, Merz Trio will head to Melbourne, Australia to perform two recitals presented by Musica Viva and compete as one of eight piano trios invited to the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
In fall 2018, Merz Trio has been invited to perform at both Britten-Pears “TransAtlantic Encounters” in Aldeburgh, UK and the Olympic Music Festival in Port Townsend, Washington.
Merz Trio’s members are both passionate musicians and determined innovators, committed to originality in their artistic interpretations and thoughtfulness in their carefully curated concert programming. Merz Trio presents a wide range of repertoire each season, performing both in traditional concert formats as well as in multidisciplinary collaborations that present music alongside art from other disciplines.
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.
Multidisciplinary projects this 2017-2018 season include an exploration of trios by Haydn, Schumann, and Johannes Maria Staud alongside visual art of Schwitters and excerpts from W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Other innovative concerts include a multi-course “tasting menu” of short musical selections paired with crafted food pairings, as well as a “mainstage” show featuring dance and inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Currently based in New York, Merz Trio engages in local education and community building and donates 10% of its earnings from select concerts to local charities.