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Merz Trio & Karim Al-Zand, Composer

Merz Trio

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 dancer Caroline Copeland, Sandglass Puppet Theater, chef David Bouley, and videographer Chris Kitchen.

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). In their prolific arranging, 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. 

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Karim Al-Zand, Composer

The music of Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand has been called “strong and startlingly lovely” (Boston Globe). Chamber Music Columbus’ commissioning marathon comes to a close with Karim Al-Zand’s work for the engaging and riveting young Merz Trio.

His piece, co-commissioned by Chamber Music Houston, will punctuate Chamber Music Columbus’ 75th anniversary with music drawn from Al-Zand’s inspirations: myths and fables, folk music of the world, graphic art, spoken word, jazz, film, and his own Middle Eastern heritage.

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