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Celebrated trio’s debut performance as Merit’s new resident ensemble is Wednesday, September 11 at 8:30 p.m., part of the International Beethoven Festival

Lincoln Trio

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago’s Merit School of Music has signed an agreement with the internationally acclaimed Lincoln TrioMarta Aznavoorian (piano), David Cunliffe (cello) and Desirée Ruhstrat (violin) – to be the school’s first-ever Artists in Residence.

Through this new partnership, the Lincoln Trio will perform four public concerts in Merit’s showcase performance space, Gottlieb Hall, in 2013-2014. Lincoln Trio will also immerse themselves into Merit’s curriculum by providing an extensive series of concerts and master classes exclusively for Merit’s students.

“Our Artists in Residence program will be an exciting new core offering here at Merit,” said Thomas Bracy, Executive Director, Merit School of Music, which provides high-quality music education to nearly 5,000 Chicago-area students, from newborns to age 18, with a focus on underserved communities. “Everyone here – students, faculty, staff and parents – are thrilled to welcome Lincoln Trio to our community and curriculum, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact these incredibly talented chamber music artists will have on our students.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Merit family. Merit provides a nurturing environment that fosters creativity and achievement. We are looking forward to working with the students to fulfill their full potential and develop a lifelong love of music,” said Lincoln Trio’s Desirée Ruhstrat.

To launch their residency, Lincoln Trio will perform their debut concert at Merit on Wednesday, September 11 at 8:30 pm. Titled “Whirlwinds,” the concert is part of Beethoven Festival 2013: Love, and includes Piano Trio, Opus 11 by Ludwig van Beethoven, Grand Tango for Piano and Viola by Astor Piazzolla, Piano Sextet by Joaquin Turina and Piano Quartet in C Minor by Gabriel Faure. Special guests are David Aaron Carpenter (viola), Aurelien Pederzoli (violin) and Doyle Armbrust (viola).

Admission is $30 as part of a General Day Pass that includes four more festival events before and after Lincoln Trio on September 8. Admission is free for up to two children under 18 if accompanied by a paying adult. Merit School of Music, located at 38 S. Peoria in Chicago’s West Loop, is the new home venue for the International Beethoven Project’s third annual Beethoven Festival, September 7-15, 2013. For information and to purchase tickets, visit internationalbeethovenproject.com/festival/tickets.

More about Lincoln Trio
In 2012 FANFARE Magazine hailed the celebrated Chicago-based Lincoln Trio as “one of the hottest young trios in the business.”
Formed in 2003, the Lincoln Trio takes its name from their home, the heartland of the United States, the land of Lincoln. The trio has been praised for its polished presentations of well-known chamber works and its ability to forge new paths with contemporary repertoire. The group’s reputation as a first-rate ensemble draws an eclectic audience of sophisticated music lovers, young admirers of contemporary programs and students discovering chamber music for the first time.
Bringing together performing experience spanning the globe, each member is an artist of international renown. Violinist Desirée Ruhstrat has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the White House and performing on a live radio broadcast heard around the world with the Berlin Radio Orchestra; cellist David Cunliffe has performed with the BBC and Royal Scottish orchestras as well as touring as a member of the Balanescu Quartet; pianist Marta Aznavoorianhas performed throughout the U.S. and abroad appearing at Chicago Symphony Center, the Kennedy Center in D.C. and the Sydney Opera House.
The trio has performed throughout the U.S., including at Carnegie’s Weil Hall, Ravinia Festival, Poisson Rouge, the Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Chamber Music Series, Lane Concert Series, University of Chicago, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Music in the Loft, and in Springfield, Illinois, where the trio was chosen to celebrate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial celebration with President Barack Obama. The trio’s debut solo CD “Notable Women” received numerous accolades in the U.S. and abroad including NAXOS CD of the Month, Baker and Taylor CD Hotlist, Byzantion Recording of the Month, TPR Classical Spotlighted album, WQXR/Q2 Music Album of the week, UK Observer Hidden Gems of 2011 and was listed on Alex Ross of

New Yorker Magazine “Nightafternight playlist for summer’s end.” For more information visit lincolntrio.com.

More about Merit School of Music

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2013-2014, Merit School of Music is nationally recognized for providing accessible, high-quality music education to nearly 5,000 Chicago-area students. Founded in 1979, Merit’s primary goals are to help young people achieve their full musical potential, to remove economic barriers to participation and to stimulate personal and educational growth through music.

Merit’s esteemed faculty teaches a continuum of music programs to students ranging in age from six months to 18 years old. Its Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-Free Conservatory enrolls the Chicago-area’s most advanced and motivated young musicians. Merit also provides in-school and community center music instruction throughout the city to thousands of children each year through its Bridges: Partners in Music program.

Merit’s student body reflects Chicago’s diversity. Nearly 70 percent of students receive scholarships and financial aid. To learn more about Merit’s music education programs, visit meritmusic.org or call 312.786.9428.

Photo Caption: Lincoln Trio From left: Desirée Ruhstrat, David Cunliffe and Marta Aznavoorian

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