In 2012, Fanfare magazine declared the celebrated Chicago-based Lincoln Trio — Desirée Ruhstrat, violin; David Cunliffe, cello; Marta Aznavoorian, piano — “one of the hottest young trios in the business.” Formed in 2003, the Lincoln Trio takes its name from their home in 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.
With performing experience spanning the globe, each member is an artist of international renown. Violinist Desirée Ruhstrat has performed throughout the US and Europe, appearing at the White House and performing on live radio broadcasts heard around the world with the Berlin Radio Orchestra; cellist David Cunliffe has performed with the BBC and Royal Scottish orchestras and as a member of the Balanescu Quartet; pianist Marta Aznavoorian has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has performed at the Kennedy Center and Sydney Opera House.
Winners of the 2008 Master Players International Competition in Venice, Italy and recipients of the 2011 prestigious Young Performers Career Advancement Award, the trio has performed throughout the United States, including appearances at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Ravinia Festival, New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, the Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Chamber Music Series, Vermont’s Lane Concert Series, the University of Chicago, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series and Music in the Loft, and in Springfield, Illinois, where the trio was chosen to celebrate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial with President Barack Obama. Internationally the trio has performed in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Colombia, and Mexico.
Champions of new music, the Lincoln Trio has performed numerous compositions written especially for them, including premieres of works by Stacy Garrop, Mischa Zupko, Laura Elise Schwendinger, James Crowley, Eric Sawyer, Lawrence Dillon, and eight-time ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award winner Conrad Tao.
Staunch proponents of music education, the Lincoln Trio is resident ensemble at Chicago’s Merit School of Music and has had residencies at the Music Institute of Chicago, San Francisco State University, the University of Wisconsin Madison, and SUNY Fredonia.
The Trio’s previous discography includes Notable Women and three other albums on Cedille Records. 2013 saw the critically acclaimed Naxos release Annelies based on the Diary of Anne Frank with Westminster Williamson Voices, clarinetist Bharat Chandra, and soprano Arianna Zukerman.
The Midwest premiere of Annelies took place at the Ravinia Festival in February 2013 with the Chicago Children’s Choir and was the featured concluding event of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 20th Anniversary Tour of the United States.