The Lysander Piano Trio has been praised by The Strad for its “incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas and wide palette of colors” and by the Washington Post for “an uncommon degree of heart-on-the-sleeve emotional frankness.” Beyond these endearing qualities, the group has developed a reputation for exciting programming, combining fresh interpretations of beloved master works from the canon with a passion for new music and discovering hidden gems of the repertoire.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary with the 2020-21 season, the Lysander Piano Trio has spent the past decade performing across the U.S. with appearances at The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC; Los Angeles’ Clark Memorial Library at UCLA and the Da Camera Society; San Francisco’s Music at Kohl Mansion and Morrison Artist Series; Illinois’ Krannert Center, Rockford Coronado Concerts, and Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago; Florida’s the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach (FL); Middlebury College (VT); Purdue University’s Convocations Series (IN); the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock (AR); and Juneau Jazz and Classics (AK).
The Trio also performs frequently in its hometown of New York City. The New York Times lauded the ensemble’s Weill Recital Hall debut at Carnegie Hall, highlighting its “…rich sound and nuanced musicianship…resulting in a finely hued collaboration among the three musicians.” Other notable New York City performances include dates at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and David Rubinstein Atrium, Schneider Concerts Chamber Music Series at the New School, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Mostly Mozart Festival’s 50th Anniversary season at David Geffen Hall.
The Lysander’s debut recording After A Dream (CAG Records) was acclaimed by The New York Times for its “polished and spirited interpretations.” Its next album, featuring world premiere recordings of six works the ensemble has commissioned or premiered, is scheduled for release in fall 2020 on First Hand Records.
The Trio has a long-standing commitment to working with living composers and building new repertoire for the piano trio. The ensemble’s commissions include Gilad Cohen’s Around the Cauldron (2017), co-commissioned by Concert Artists Guild and premiered at Weill Recital Hall; Ghostwritten Variations, by Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya; Jakub Ciupinski’s The Black Mirror; 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 2014. Lysander members also premiered Jennifer Higdon’s Love Sweet for soprano and piano trio, a work that will receive its world premiere recording on the group’s upcoming album performed with acclaimed soprano Sarah Shafer.
Recent and upcoming performance highlights include a return engagement at Atlanta’s premier chamber music series at Spivey Hall, a multi-concert residency with Chamber Music Tulsa, a weeklong series of performances and educational activities at New Orleans’s Crescent City Chamber Music Festival, and appearances at Bard Music Festival, National Sawdust, Calgary Pro Musica, Clemson University’s Utsey Chamber Music Series, Cooperstown Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Melbourne (FL), Mobile Chamber Music, Norton Museum of Art, Wasserman Music Festival, and Pro Musica of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Recent summer and festival appearances include the Copenhagen Summer Festival, a tour of Israel presented by the Schubertiade Festival, The Chautauqua Institution, Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts, and a critically acclaimed recital at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington.
Among the group’s special projects is a collaboration with clarinetist Charles Neidich in a unique program presented by the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia and Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music (NE). Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, and Greenwich Village Orchestra in New York City.
The Lysander Piano Trio was formed at The Juilliard School in 2009, and was selected that year to represent Juilliard in a special concert in Mexico City on the occasion of President Joseph Polisi’s visit to Mexico. Cellist Michael Katz joined in 2010-11, now regarded as the group’s official first season. The Trio studied with Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet, Joseph Kalichstein of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and with the late Seymour Lipkin, and had a memorable masterclass with Alfred Brendel. Early in its career, Lysander became a standout at 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).
The Lysander Trio takes its name from the character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Previously managed by Concert Artists Guild after winning the CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition in 2012, the Trio joined the Dinin Arts Management & Consulting roster in May 2020.