The Lysander Piano Trio has been praised by The Strad for its “incredible ensemble, passionate playing, articulate and imaginative ideas and wide palette of colors” and by The Washington Post for “an uncommon degree of heart-on-the-sleeve emotional frankness” and “vivid engagement carried by soaring, ripely Romantic playing.” Beyond these qualities, the group has developed a reputation for exciting programming, combining fresh interpretations of beloved master works from the canon with a passion for new music and discovering hidden gems of the repertoire. The Trio’s debut recording After A Dream (CAG Records) was acclaimed by The New York Times for its “polished and spirited interpretations.” Its most recent album, Mirrors, featuring world-premiere recordings of six works the ensemble has commissioned or premiered, was released in early 2021 by First Hand Records.
In the 2021-22 season, the Trio performs with Chamber Music Raleigh, Oneonta Concert Association, Massachusetts' Valley Classical Concerts, Connecticut's South Windsor Cultural Arts Center, Arizona's Hayden's Ferry Chamber Music Series, and Florida's Palm Beach State College and Florida Keys Concert Association. Highlights of the past two seasons include a return engagement at Atlanta’s premier chamber music series at Spivey Hall, a multi-concert residency with Chamber Music Tulsa, a weeklong series of performances and educational activities at New Orleans’s Crescent City Chamber Music Festival, and appearances with Concerts International Memphis, Florida's Melbourne Chamber Music Society and Norton Museum of Art, Wasserman Music Festival, and New York's Shelter Island Friends of Music. In addition, the ensemble performed in concerts and residencies across the United States as a featured touring group of Allied Concert Services.
The Lysander Piano Trio has spent over a decade performing around the US with appearances at notable venues such as the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, Los Angeles’ Da Camera Society, San Francisco’s Music at Kohl Mansion, West Palm Beach's Kravis Center, Juneau Jazz and Classics, and notable college venues including Middlebury College, Clemson University, Purdue University’s Convocations Series, and University of Illinois’ Krannert Center. Summer and festival appearances include the Bard Music Festival, Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, Copenhagen Summer Festival, The Chautauqua Institution, Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts, and a critically acclaimed recital at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Among special projects, the Trio recently collaborated with clarinetist Charles Neidich in a unique program presented by the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia and Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music. Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and Greenwich Village Orchestra in New York City.
The Lysander Piano Trio was formed at The Juilliard School in 2009, and selected that year to represent Juilliard in a special concert in Mexico City on the occasion of President Joseph Polisi’s visit to Mexico. Cellist Michael Katz joined in 2010-11, now regarded as the group’s official first season. The Trio studied with Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet, Joseph Kalichstein of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and with the late Seymour Lipkin, and had a memorable masterclass with Alfred Brendel. Early in their career, Lysander became a standout at competitions, with top honors at the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the 2011 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition (Grand Prize), and the 2011 J. C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition (First Prize).
The Lysander Trio takes its name from the character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Previously managed by Concert Artists Guild after winning the CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition in 2012, the Trio joined the Dinin Arts roster in May 2020.
Itamar Zorman, violin - Recently awarded the 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Itamar Zorman is also the winner of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, where he subsequently performed in the winners' concerts with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Other competition successes include the first prize and special prize for a performance of a Mozart Concerto at the 2010 International Violin Competition of Freiburg and the Juilliard Berg Concerto Competition in April 2011, which led to his Avery Fisher Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra led by the late James DePreist. Itamar Zorman has performed as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, Het Gelders Orkest in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Tokyo Symphony in Suntory Hall, Utah Symphony, Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, and Orquesta Filharmonica de Cali, amongst others. As a chamber musician, Itamar Zorman has appeared at the Lincoln Center, the Zankel, and Weill Recital Halls in Carnegie Hall, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. A founding member of the Israeli Chamber Project, Zorman has toured Israel and North America for the past five seasons. Born in Tel-Aviv in 1985 to a family of musicians, Itamar Zorman began his violin studies at the age of six with Saly Bockel at the Israeli Conservatory of Music in Tel-Aviv. He graduated in 2003 and continued his studies with Professor David Chen and Nava Milo. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as a student of Hagai Shaham. He received his Master's of Music from The Juilliard School in 2009, where he studied with Robert Mann and Sylvia Rosenberg and received an Artist Diploma from Manhattan School of Music in 2010, and an Artist Diploma from Julliard in 2012, studying with Ms. Rosenberg. Itamar Zorman is currently a student of Christian Tetzlaff at The Kronberg Academy.
Liza Stepanova, piano - Praised by The New York Times for her “thoughtful musicality” and “fleet-fingered panache,” pianist Liza Stepanova is in demand as a soloist, collaborator, and educator. She has performed extensively in Europe, most recently as a soloist with the Southwest German Philharmonic and in chamber music performances at the Berlin Museum of Musical Instruments and Belgrade’s Kolarac Hall. In the United States, she has appeared in Carnegie Hall’s Weill and Zankel recital halls, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Steinway Hall in New York City; at the Kennedy Center and The Smithsonian in Washington, DC, with performances aired by WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and WETA Washington. Stepanova received her DMA from The Juilliard School with a Richard F. French Award for an outstanding dissertation. Previously a graduate of the Hanns Eisler Academy in Berlin, Germany, she studied with Joseph Kalichstein, Seymour Lipkin, Jerome Lowenthal, and George Sava, and performed in master classes for Alfred Brendel, Daniel Barenboim, and András Schiff. Following teaching positions at The Juilliard School and Smith College, she is currently an assistant professor of piano at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia.
Michael Katz, cello - Born in Tel-Aviv Israel, Katz began his cello studies at age 7. Hailed by the press for his “bold, rich sound” (Strad Magazine) and “nuanced musicianship,” (New York Times) Israeli Cellist Michael Katz has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, Oji Hall (Tokyo, Japan), Philips Hall (Eindhoven, Netherlands), Teatro Cervantes (Malaga, Spain), Lucerne KKL (Lucerne, Switzerland), and Henry Crown Auditorium (Jerusalem, Israel). He has performed at music festivals such as Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn, Lucerne, Sarasota, Malaga Clasica, Mostly Mozart, Festival Mozaic, Orford, and Classical Bridge, and has collaborated with conductors such as James DePriest, David Stern, and Dongmin Kim. His musicianship has been recognized with many awards, among them all three awards at the 2011 Aviv Competition, first prizes at the 2010 Juilliard School’s Concerto Competition, and the 2005 Turjeman Competition, as well as scholarship awards from the America Israel Cultural Foundation and the Ronen Foundation.