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Merz Trio & Karim Al-Zand, Composer

Merz Trio
May 6, 2023 – 7:00 pm @ Southern TheatreVIEW PROGRAM »

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. 

MERZ TRIO – Lee Dionne, piano; Brigid Coleridge, violin; Julia Yang, cello


A co-commission by Chamber Music Columbus and Chamber Music Houston, “lines in motion” by Karim Al-Zand draws inspiration from three striking woodcuts while connecting musically with three classic works that fill out the program. A unique combination of lush harmonies and scintillating texture characterize both the Rachmaninoff and Schumann Trios as well as the first movement of the Al-Zand in particular, while Al-Zand’s groove driven third movement forms a particularly effective dialogue with the danse macabre of Shostakovich’s eerily beautiful First Piano Trio.

      Jennifer Hambrick, Poet Laureate

      Ching-chu Hu (born 1969)
          An Eternal Hope: a fanfare to celebrate the 75th season of Chamber Music Columbus (composed 2022) World Premiere

      Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
          Trio Élégiaque in G minor (composed 1892)
              Lento lugubre

      Karim Al-Zand (born 1970)
          Lines in Motion (composed 2022) Co-World Premiere, Co-commissioned by Chamber Music Columbus and Chamber Music Houston for the Merz Trio
              On the Open Sea
              In the Big City
              At the Spirit Dance

      Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
          Trio no.1 in C minor, op. 8 (composed 1923)


      Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
          Trio no. 2 in F major, op. 80 (composed 1847)
              Sehr lebhaft (Quickly moving)
              Mit innigem Audsruck — Lebhaft (With innermost expression — Faster)
              In mässiger Bewegung (Moderately moving)
              Nicht zu rasch (Not too fast)

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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