February 24th & 25th, 2020
Described by STRAD Magazine as “Sensational” “Bewitching” and “Models of vibrancy and control” GRAMOPHONE Magazine, the celebrated GRAMMY nominated Chicago-based Lincoln Trio—made up of Desirée Ruhstrat, violin, David Cunliffe, cello, and Marta Aznavoorian, piano—takes its name from their home, the heartland of the United States, the land of Lincoln.
The trio, formed in 2003 has been praised for its polished presentations of well-known chamber works and its ability to forge new paths with contemporary repertoire. The group’s reputation as a first-rate ensemble draws an eclectic audience of sophisticated music lovers, young admirers of contemporary programs and students discovering chamber music for the first time.
Bringing together performing experience spanning the globe, each member is an artist of international renown. Since her debut at age 12 with Lukas Foss and Milwaukee Symphony, violinist Desirée Ruhstrat has performed at the White House, and as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including the Berlin Radio Orchestra on a live radio broadcast heard world-wide. Cellist David Cunliffe studied at London’s Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, and the International Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. He has performed with the BBC and Royal Scottish orchestras and toured as a member of the Balanescu Quartet. Pianist Marta Aznavoorian studied at Indiana University and the New England Conservatory. She has garnered critical acclaim for her engagements with orchestras and in concert halls worldwide including Chicago’s Symphony Center, Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center, and the Sydney Opera House.
The trio has performed throughout the United States, including appearances at Carnegie’s Weil Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Bryant Park Festival, Ravinia Festival, Green Center, Barge Music, Poisson Rouge, the Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Chamber Music Series, University of Chicago, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series and in Springfield, Illinois, where the trio was chosen to celebrate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial celebration with President Barack Obama.
International engagements include performances throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.
Champions of new music, the Lincoln Trio has performed numerous compositions written especially for them, including premieres of seven Trio’s by members of the Chicago Composers Consortium, an award-winning work dedicated to the trio by young ASCAP winner Conrad Tao, Chamber Music America Award commission with composer Laura Elise Schwendinger and works by Stacy Garrop, Mischa Zupko, Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Ravinia commissioned works for the Lincoln Bicentennial by James Crowley, Eric Sawyer and Lawrence Dillon and most recently a commission from Colombia, South America, for a Trio by the renowned composer Juan-Antonio Cuellar.
Valuing the importance of cultural diversity in music, the trio are strong supporters of the Chinese Fine Arts Society and the Korean Sejong Cultural Society which has commissioned three works based on Korean themes, premiered at the University of Chicago and recorded by the Lincoln Trio in 2013.
The Trios extensive discography for the Cedille label includes the entire works for Strings and Piano by Joaquin Turina and their debut album “Notable Women”, which features Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower, Lera Auerbach, Stacy Garrop, Augusta Read Thomas and Laura Schwendinger. Their CD’s have received numerous accolades including NAXOS CD of the Month, Baker and Taylor CD Hotlist, Byzantion Recording of the month, TPR Classical Spotlighted album, WQXR/Q2 Music Album of the week, UK Observer Hidden Gems and was listed on Alex Ross of the New Yorker Magazine “Nightafternight playlist for summer’s end” and Fanfare magazine “Want List”. Other releases on the Cedille label include “Composers In the Loft”, “In Eleanor’s Words: Music of Stacy Garrop” and “The Billy Collins Suite”. August 2016 saw the release of their latest CD “Trio’s From Our Homelands” featuring the works of Rebecca Clarke, Arno Babajanian and Frank Martin. The CD was nominated for a 2017 Grammy in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Category.
The Lincoln Trio are winners of the 2008 Master Players International Competition in Venice, Italy and recipients of the 2011 prestigious Young Performers Career Advancement Award. 2013 saw the critically acclaimed and GRAMMY-nominated release on the NAXOS label of “Annelies” based on the Diary of Anne Frank with Westminster Williamson Voices, Clarinetist Bharat Chandra and soprano Arianna Zukerman. The Midwest premiere was given at the Ravinia Festival in February 2013 with the Chicago Children’s Choir and was the featured concluding event of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 20th Anniversary Tour of the United States in Chicago at the Harris Theatre. In 2017 they received a Grammy nomination for Best Small Ensemble Performance forTrios from Our Homelands
Staunch proponents of music education, the Lincoln Trio has had residencies at the Music Institute of Chicago as well as San Francisco State University, University of Wisconsin Madison, and SUNY Fredonia and is currently Artist-In-Residence at Chicago’s MERIT School of Music.