Merz Trio is a bold, new, fiercely creative ensemble.
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 been described as “riveting” with “fresh and surprising interpretations” (Reading Eagle) . Formed in 2017 by pianist Lee Dionne, violinist Brigid Coleridge, and cellist Julia Yang, the Merz Trio has quickly emerged as a unique and award-winning ensemble, garnering the First Prize at the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2018 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition. Highlights of their 2018-2019 season include performances in New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, a feature on London’s BBC Radio 3, and two residencies at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh, UK. The Trio is currently based out of New York City and is the Graduate Piano Trio in Residence at the New England Conservatory (2018-2020).
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 as well as 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. 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.
Multidisciplinary projects from Merz Trio's first season 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 include a multi-course "tasting menu" of short musical selections paired with crafted food pairings with 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.
Currently based in New York, the Trio engages in local education and community building and donates 10% of its earnings from select concerts to local charities.