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Lincoln Trio

Lincoln Trio to perform works by students on April 6 in Ganz Hall

Posted: 03/28/2014

One of Chicago’s most celebrated music ensembles, the Lincoln Trio, will perform works for violin, cello and piano written by composition students at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6 in the University’s seventh-floor Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “one of the hottest young trios in the business” and nominated in 2014 for a Grammy Award, the Lincoln Trio’s Desiree Ruhstrat on violin, David Cunliffe on cello and Marta Zanavoorian on piano will perform short works by seven Roosevelt students who are currently studying with Roosevelt composition professors Stacy Garrop and Kyong Mee Choi.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our composition students to have their work performed by professional musicians,” said Garrop, who heads the composition program at CCPA. “This unique event will not only showcase the work of our students but will also help these students to grow as composers,” she said.

Information about the students and their short works is included below. They wrote and submitted their compositions to the Lincoln Trio earlier this academic year.  A single winning entry will be selected and announced at the event, which is free and open to the public.  For information, visit www.roosevelt.edu or call 312-341-2238.

DavisEdward Davis, 24, of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, is a graduate student in CCPA’s Composition Program whose five-minute work, Starstuff, will be performed by the Lincoln Trio.  “I took an idea in which everything is formed by the carbons of stars and set it to music,” said Davis, whose contemporary classical music, which is primarily choral, has been performed throughout the United States, including at the IMEA All-State Conference in 2011 as well as the Catalunya region of Spain.  He describes Starstuff as “atmospheric,’ reflecting space in parts, and “full of motion and melody” in its middle section, reflecting life on Earth. Davis is the 2013 winner of CCPA’s composition competition for solo violin, Canticum Elementorum, which was performed recently by violinist Drew Williams in Roosevelt’s Ganz Hall.

FrigoDominic Frigo, 25, a native of Oak Park, Ill., is a junior and the composer of the five-minute piece, Reasons Not to Eat Pop Rocks, which was named by a friend.  “It’s a very sporadic piece moving quickly between thin and airy and thick and heavy textures,” said Frigo who has been performing, teaching and composing music for the last 12 years. With strong foundations in classical piano, voice and electric guitar, Frigo composes in multiple music styles for a variety of instruments. A member of the group Asa Nisi Masa, Frigo teaches piano and guitar in Oak Park and he has played in a number of west suburban venues.  He is also the recent winner of the Vector Project competition for his composition entitled Chinese Food, which was recently performed by Roosevelt’s CCPA Orchestra.

Hannau Jonathan Hannau, 24, is a native of Simsbury, Conn., a first-year graduate student in CCPA’s Composition Program and composer of the five-minute piece entitled Surreal Landscape No. 3.  He says he wrote the piece after conjuring images in his head of a tiny cloud on a grey landscape. “The piece reflects movement as the cloud floats slowly across an open landscape, but it is also about rain with a number of pitter-patter sounds in the second half of the composition,” said Hannau, who started his musical career as a classically trained pianist, finding his way as a composer through his interest in avant-garde and experimental music. Hannau is a member of Ursa Ensemble and is music director at Ravenswood United Methodist Church, both in Chicago.  Meixner

Andrew Meixner, 19, a native of Brookfield, Wis, wrote Compelling Thoughts, a four-minute, 20-second piece at his piano. “It’s a simplistic and minimalistic piece that is easy to play, but is also quite emotional,” said Meixner, who hopes to one day compose film scores and to incorporate his classical music arrangements into rock songs. A recent graduate of Brookfield East High School in Brookfield, Wis., Meixner wrote a flute composition for 30 flutes that was performed last year by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

 ZrobersonZachary Roberson, 31, a native of North Vernon, Ind., is master’s music student in composition at Roosevelt and the composer of the five-minute piece, Castor and Pollux.  Inspired by the two named stars in the constellation of Gemini, the piece switches back and forth between a bombastic sound and a soft melody, which represent the two stars in action. A 2001 graduate of Jennings County High School in North Vernon, Roberson spent eight years doing factory and retail work in Indiana before attending Central Methodist College in Missouri where he discovered as a senior his calling to become a composer. “I find composing therapeutic and expressive,” said Roberson, a percussionist who has written 14 pieces for everything from percussion ensembles to piano trios and brass quartets. He hopes to one day teach music theory and composition at the college level. 

Dan Russie, 24, a native of San Jose, Calif., is an undergraduate composition major who takes inspiration in his writing from video game soundtracks and one day hopes to write music for video games.  His five-minute piece for the Lincoln Trio is entitled Refractions and is based on his vision of what we see when we view things through a lens of water.  Russie is a 2008 graduate of Leigh High School in San Jose where he performed in marching and symphonic bands. He currently lives in Chicago’s Edgewood neighborhood.

Roosevelt student composer Joshua Wood’s E also will be performed during the Lincoln Trio recital.