Merz Trio is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild competition

The Merz Trio. Photo by Nile Scott

The Merz Trio, which includes pianist and Yale School of Music alumnus Lee Dionne ’11BA ’13MM ’14MMA ’19DMA, violinist Brigid Coleridge, and cellist Julia Yang, was named a winner of the 2019 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. The other winners were cellist Jamal Aliyev, violist Jordan Bak, and recorder player Tabea Debus.

“Each of the winners receives management contracts with CAG, including performance opportunities with more than 40 leading orchestras, concert series, and festivals, as well as a New York showcase performance and professional career development and coaching,” according to the organization’s news release. Application materials for this year’s competition required “a general statement of your artistic intent. This should also include how you plan to use your art to make an impact outside the concert hall.”

The Merz Trio, which won first prize at the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, “is passionate about connecting with diverse audiences through innovative concerts, multidisciplinary projects, and interactive performances,” the group’s website indicates. The trio’s work has been supported in part by Entrepreneurial Musicianship grants from the New England Conservatory, where it is in residence. The Merz Trio was formed in 2017 and won the Lerman Gold Prize and Audience Choice Award at the 2018 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition in Easton, Maryland.

Lee Dionne. Photo courtesy of the artist

A founding member of the Merz Trio, Dionne has performed as a chamber musician and as a soloist in venues around the world and has recorded for MSR Classics and Naxos Records. He is a core member of Cantata Profana along with several fellow Yale alumni including violinist Jacob Ashworth ’13MM ’14MMA ’18DMA, cellist Hannah Collins ’06BS ’08MM ’09AD, clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich ’13MM, stage director Ethan Heard ’07BA ’13MFA, guitarist Arash Noori ’12MM ’13AD, percussionist Doug Perry ’14AD, soprano Annie Rosen ’08BA ’12MM, composer-pianist Daniel Schlosberg ’10BA ’13MM ’14MMA ’18DMA, and bass-baritone John Taylor Ward ’12MM ’13MMA ’17DMA.

In addition to degrees earned at the Yale School of Music, Dionne has a soloist diploma from the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, and an undergraduate degree in literature from Yale College.

The final round of the 2019 CAG competition took place on October 6, 2019, at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City. Numerous YSM alumni have been among the winners of the CAG competition over the past decade. These include percussionist Mitya (Dmitrii) Nilov ’18MM; pianist Dominic Cheli ’16MM; guitarist Jiji (Jiyeon Kim) ’17MM; double bassist Samuel Suggs ’14MM ’20DMA; violinists Katie Hyun ’09AD and David Southorn ’09MM ’10AD, and cellist Mihai Marica ’04CERT ’08AD of the Amphion Quartet; violinist Sami Merdinian ’06MM ’07AD of Sybarite5; and violinist Sarah McElravy ’12AD, violist Eric Wong ’12AD, and cellist Felix Umansky ’12AD of the Linden String Quartet. The Argus Quartet, which served from 2015 to 2017 as YSM’s fellowship quartet-in-residence, was a CAG competition winner in 2017. The competition has been held since the early 1950s.

The Yale Daily News recently published a piece about the Merz Trio. Read it here.

MERZ TRIO

LEE DIONNE

Published October 17, 2019
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[ concerts ]

Hannah Lash offers three new works Feb. 9

Hannah Lash, composition facultyThe Faculty Artist Series at the Yale School of Music a concert of music by prize-winning composer Hannah Lash on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 pm.

Performing Lash’s music will be The City of Tomorrow wind quintet as well as YSM students and alumni: Molly Netter, soprano; Jeff Stern, percussion; Samuel Suggs, bass; Jacob Ashworth, violin; and Lee Dionne, piano.

The program will feature the world premieres of three new works by Lash. The City of Tomorrow will present a wind quintet, Hero and Leander. The Sonata for Violin and Piano will be performed by Jacob Ashworth and Lee Dionne. Four Songs will feature the composer on harp along with Molly Netter, soprano; Samuel Suggs, double bass; and Jeff Stern, percussion. MORE

Published January 20, 2016
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[ Students & Alumni ]

Canata Profana honored by Chamber Music America

Cantata Profana

Cantata Profana

Cantata Profana, the New York-based vocal chamber ensemble founded by YSM alumnus Jacob Ashworth ’13 MM, ’14 MMA, was honored at this year’s Chamber Music America Conference Awards with a prize for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

In addition to Ashworth, the theatrical and versatile ensemble is also home to several other YSM alumni, including Hannah Collins, cello; Arash Noori, guitar; Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet; Lee Dionne, keyboard; Doug Perry, percussion; Annie Rosen, voice; Daniel Schlosberg, piano; and John Taylor Ward, voice, as well as Ethan Heard, a graduate of Yale School of Drama.

Cantata Profana is one of three ensemble and four presenters that have been selected to receive the prestigious award, which will be presented by Cia Toscanini, vice president of concert music for ASCAP, at the Chamber Music America National Conference on Sunday, January 10, 2016. MORE

Published December 15, 2015
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Piano student Lee Dionne takes third in Mottram Competition

Lee Dionne ’13MM placed third in the James Mottram International Piano Competition, held last week at the Northern Royal College of Music.

The third biennial James Mottram International Piano Competition took place Monday, November 26 through Saturday, December 1, 2012. The competition offers an all-round learning experience for young pianists from all over the world, mixing opportunities to perform on the concert platform with a series of master classes given by a distinguished international jury.

“It was a wonderful learning experience,” said Dionne. “I greatly admired all of the artists on the jury and what they had to offer in master classes throughout the week.”

Graham Scott, chairman of the jury, called the event “a truly magical week of music.”

The three finalists in each category performed a concerto accompanied by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Hannu Lintu. Dionne performed Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major.

Lee Dionne is currently pursuing his M.M. degree at the Yale School of Music, where he studies withBoris Berman. Other major influences have been Wei-Yi Yang, Patricia Zander, Wilma Machover, and Michael Friedmann. Lee holds a B.A. in literature from Yale University, where he received top prizes in both comparative literature and music performance.

In the past year, Lee has had solo appearances in Holland and in Portugal, as well as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, where his performance was hailed by the New York Times as “majestic, technically impressive.” A frequent performer of new music, Lee was featured at the Kennedy Center as part of the Three Cities Marathon in 2012. he has performed concertos with the Philharmonia Virtuosi and the Yale Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he received a fellowship at Norfolk in 2010 and appeared at Yellow Barn in summer 2012.

Published December 3, 2012
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Student & alumni pianists perform in Ankara, Turkey

Maestro Isin Metin

On May 22, piano students Lee Dionne ’13MM, Henry Kramer ’13AD,  and Esther Park ’12AD, ’13MMA performed with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, Turkey.

The concert was conducted by the orchestra’s music director, Maestro Isin Metin (pictured at left).

Boris Berman, a faculty member and the chair of the piano program at the School of Music, noted that the concert received “great public acclaim.”

The performance was a conclusion of a week-long piano course given by Berman in Ankara. The program included movements of piano concerti by Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Schumann, Liszt, Ravel, Rachmaninov, and Tchaikovsky.

Along with the pianists from the Yale School of Music, four students from Bilkent Univerisity also participated.

Published June 4, 2012
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YSM students participate in the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project 2012

The Kennedy Center

Once again, graduate musicians from the School of Music will participate in the Conservatory Project at the Kennedy Center. On Saturday, February 25, three pianists will perform on the Millennium Stage.

Joo Hyeon Park ’12 AD will perform selections from Alexander Scriabin’s Preludes, Op. 11, and Nikolai Medtner’s Sonata Tragica in C minor, Op. 39, No. 5. Next, Rachel Cheung ’13 MM will perform Johannes Brahms’s Six Pieces, Op. 118. Esther Park ’13 AD will play Mendelssohn’s Fantasy in F-sharp minor, “Sonate ecossaise,” Op. 28, and two selections from Bartók’s From Out of Doors.

This concert will stream live. Visit THIS PAGE at 6 pm EST on February 25 to watch the performance.

In addition, on March 11 in the Terrace Theater, the Kennedy Center presents a Three Cities Chamber Music Marathon of works from each of the three cities: Quatuor Thymos perform early twentieth-century music; members of the National Symphony Orchestra perform early music; and the third Conservatory Project Chamber Ensemble performs contemporary work as selected and directed by composer Johannes Maria Staud.

Pianist Lee Dionne ’13MM will represent the Yale School of Music in the Conservatory Project Chamber Ensemble, which is made up of a musician from each Conservatory Project school.

The Conservatory Project is an initiative of Performing Arts for Everyone’s Millennium Stage. The semi-annual event is designed to present the best young musical artists in classical, jazz, musical theater, opera, and more from our nation’s leading conservatories, colleges, and universities in performance at the Kennedy Center.

The project creates an ongoing showcase for our nation’s exceptional young talent and introduces Washington audiences to young musicians on their way to having important careers.

Watch past Conservatory Project performances by Yale School of Music students HERE.

Published February 14, 2012
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[ concerts ]

YSM pianists survey Prokofiev’s nine piano sonatas

The Yale School of Music presents all of the Prokofiev Piano Sonatas in two pairs of performances: December 5 and 7 at 8 pm at Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, and December 11 at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

The concerts, which are presented by Yale in New York and the Horowitz Piano Series, feature performers selected in a competition open to all graduate-level piano students. The events mark the publication of a new performance edition of the sonatas, edited by faculty member and Prokofiev specialist Boris Berman.

The first program (Dec. 5 at 8 pm in New Haven, and Dec. 11 at 5:30 pm in New York) will frame the project by presenting the first and last of Prokofiev’s nine piano sonatas. Naomi Woo ’13MM will perform the Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 1; Euntaek Kim ’13AD will play the Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14; and David Fung ’12MMA will perform the second version of the Sonata No. 5 in C major. The second half of the concert opens with the Sonata No. 9 in C major, Op. 103, performed by Esther Park ’12AD. The concert closes with the Sonata No. 4 in C minor, Op. 29, played by Scott MacIsaac ’14CERT. MORE

Published November 17, 2011
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