The Lysander Piano Trio (Itamar Zorman, violin, Liza Stepanova, piano, and Michael Katz, cello) was formed at The Juilliard School in 2009 and was selected that year to represent Juilliard in a special concert in Mexico City. The great beginnings of a fabulous career! Since then they have toured all over the world, and won numerous major competitions. The Trio takes its name from a character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
As a winner of the Concert Guild Competition, it has been praised by the Strad for its “Incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas and wide palette of colors.” They enjoy performing in community programs for audiences of all ages and in a variety of venues.
The Lysander Piano Trio, a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, has been praised by the Strad for its “incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas and wide palette of colours.” The Trio has developed a reputation for innovative programming of master works from the canon alongside newer works and hidden gems of the repertoire. An ideal example of this is the Trio’s 2014 debut recording, After a Dream (CAG Records), featuring music by Ravel, Haydn, Schubert, Joaquin Turina, and Moshe Zorman, which was acclaimed for its “polished and spirited interpretations” (New York Times).
The ensemble’s busy 2017-18 North American tour schedule includes Florida performances at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and for the Artist Series of Tallahassee, in addition to the Princeton Summer Concert series and the Chico Performances series at the California State University/Chico, plus a special engagement at the University of Wyoming, featuring a recital and educational residency activities, along with a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra. The Trio also continues touring their special collaborative program with eminent clarinetist Charles Neidich, with performances for Des Moines Civic Music Association and Lincoln (NE) Friends of Chamber music, following a successful presentation by the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia in January 2017.
The Lysander Piano Trio is proactive in commissioning new works and creating programs that mix the music of today with well-loved masterworks. Their latest new work is Gilad Cohen’s Around the Cauldron, co-commissioned by CAG and premiered at Weill Recital Hall in March 2017 on the CAG Encores series. Other recent Lysander Trio premieres include: Ghostwritten Variations, by Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya, who received a 2015 McKnight Fellowship; Jakub Ciupinski’s The Black Mirror (also co-commissioned by CAG and premiered at Weill Recital Hall); 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 January 2014.
Recent engagements in NYC include the Lysander Trio’s April 2014 Weill Recital Hall debut at Carnegie Hall, for which The New York Times lauded the ensemble’s “…rich sound and nuanced musicianship…resulting in a finely hued collaboration among the three musicians.” Other recent notable New York dates are Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Auditorium (for the Mostly Mozart Festival), Alice Tully Hall and David Rubinstein Atrium, Schneider Concerts Chamber Music Series at the New School, Merkin Concert Hall and SubCulture.
Internationally, the Trio has performed recently in Israel and at the Copenhagen Summer Festival, and current US career highlights include: the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; Purdue University’s Convocations Series, Los Angeles’ Clark Memorial Library at UCLA and the Chamber Music in Historic Sites series of the Da Camera Society of Mount Saint Mary’s University; Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Concert series and Rockford Coronado Concerts; San Francisco’s Music at Kohl Mansion; Atlanta’s Spivey Hall; and the Detroit Institute of Arts. In addition, the Trio recently made its concerto debut, performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra near Chicago.
The Lysander Piano Trio was formed at The Juilliard School in 2009, and selected that year to represent Juilliard in a special concert in Mexico City on the occasion of President Joseph Polisi’s visit to Mexico. The Trio has performed in master classes for Alfred Brendel and for Ida and Ani Kavafian at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and it has studied with Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet, Joseph Kalichstein of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and Seymour Lipkin. The Lysander Trio takes its name from the character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.