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Merz Trio: Of Light and Darkness

Hailed as “entrancing” (BBC Music Magazine) and "artists in the deepest sense of the word" (CutCommon), Merz Trio have established themselves at the forefront of the US chamber music scene, with upcoming debuts at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, CM Houston, CM Detroit, MN's Schubert Club, DC's Strathmore Mansion, and Music Mountain, among others. Winners of the Naumburg, Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff, and Chesapeake Competitions, they have been lauded for their “stunning virtuosity . . . fresh and surprising interpretations” (Reading Eagle), and “perfection of intonation and ensemble” (Hudson Review). Merz Trio are passionately committed to reshaping the narrative of classical music through vibrantly dynamic programming and wide-ranging interdisciplinary collaboration. Their narrative programming style juxtaposes classical standards, new music, and their own arrangements of familiar and forgotten works, fluidly interwoven and guided with speaking from the Trio’s members. Their interdisciplinary collaborations include ongoing projects with directors Emma Jaster and Jon Levin, dancer Caroline Copeland, and Sandglass Puppet Theater.

The Trio are equally known for their more immersive integrations of music and text in performance, ranging from their recital-theater piece built around Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Those Secret Eyes), to their debut album interweaving Ravel’s Trio with short pieces, poems, and diaries of the era (Ink, August, 2021), presented in the concert version Ink Spills. In their prolific arranging work, the Trio are committed to uplifting overlooked voices from history, ranging from Hildegard von Bingen to Lili and Nadia Boulanger, from Joséphine Baker to Irish folk melodies.

Merz Trio have been encouraged in their explorations by numerous institutional homes around the world: New England Conservatory, Yellow Barn, Snape Maltings, Avaloch Farm Institute, the Naumburg Foundation, the Lake Champlain, Olympic, and Chesapeake Music Festivals, and the Fischoff Competition, as well as many other venues and hosts around the US, Australia and the UK. They are currently represented by Concert Artists Guild.

Of Light and Darkness

Mieczysław Weinberg, Piano Trio, Op. 24
Pēteris Vasks, Episodi e canto perpetuo (1985)
Robert Schumann, Six Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (arr. Theodor Kirchner)
Stefano Landi, Augellin (arr. Merz Trio)
Pēteris Vasks, Episodi e canto perpetuo (1985)
Henry Purcell, Hush No More (arr. Merz Trio)
Ana Sokolovic, Portrait Parle (2006)
Pēteris Vasks, Episodi e canto perpetuo (1985)


Robert Schumann, Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80 (1847)

Salon-style performances offer a close connection between artists and guests, as audience members sit in six rows of seats on stage with the performer. Light refreshments are served before and after the performance.

Patron Sponsors

  • Anonymous
  • Anne Mischakoff Heiles & William Heiles

With deep gratitude, Krannert Center thanks all Patron Sponsors and Corporate and Community Sponsors.

If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please make a gift: advancement@krannertcenter.illinois.edu, KrannertCenter.com/Give, or faa.illinois.edu/giving.

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall
Su Sep 24, 2023 - 3:00pm CT
Advocate 90 / Standard 56 / SC 51 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10 Balcony: 10 / UI & YTH 5* *Balcony tickets do not include food and beverage.

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