The acclaimed, twice-nominated Lincoln Trio performs the standard piano trio repertoire alongside new discoveries and contemporary works.
Hailed by The Strad as “Sensational” and “Bewitching,” and by Gramophone as “Models of vibrancy and control,” the celebrated, Grammy-nominated, Chicago-based Lincoln Trio — Desirée Ruhstrat, violin; David Cunliffe, cello; and Marta Aznavoorian, piano — takes its name from its home, the heartland of the United States, the land of Lincoln. Formed in 2003, 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 Aznavoorian has garnered critical acclaim for her engagements with orchestras and at concert halls worldwide including Chicago’s Symphony Center, the John F. Kennedy Center, and the Sydney Opera House.
The trio has performed throughout the United States, including appearances at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Bryant Park Festival, Ravinia Festival, Green Center, Barge Music, Le Poisson Rouge, Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Chamber Music Series, University of Chicago, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series and, in Springfield, Illinois, where the trio was chosen to celebrate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial celebration with President Barack Obama. International engagements include performances throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. Champions of new music, the Lincoln Trio has performed numerous compositions written especially for them, including premieres of seven trios by members of the Chicago Composers Consortium, an award-winning work dedicated to the trio by young ASCAP winner Conrad Tao, a Chamber Music America Award commission by composer Laura Elise Schwendinger, and works by Cedille Records affiliated composers Stacy Garrop and Mischa Zupko, among many others.
The Trio’s extensive discography for Cedille Records includes their Grammy-nominated Trios From Our Homelands; the complete works for multiple strings and piano by Joaquin Turina; and their debut album, Notable Women, which features Grammy and Pulitzer prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower, Lera Auerbach, Stacy Garrop, Augusta Read Thomas, and Laura Schwendinger. The Trio has also appeared on the Cedille releases Composers in the Loft, In Eleanor’s Words: Music of Stacy Garrop, and The Billy Collins Suite, plus the Grammy-nominated Naxos release, Annelies, based on The Diary of Anne Frank.
Staunch proponents of music education, the Lincoln Trio has had residencies at the Music Institute of Chicago, San Francisco State University, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and SUNY Fredonia, and is currently Artist-In-Residence at Chicago’s Merit School of Music.