Released: April 11, 2011
Lincoln, Neb. - The Ezinma Trio, a student chamber trio in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's School of Music, were finalists in the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. The Trio competed at the national competition, sponsored by the Treetops Chamber Music Society, on April 10 at the Allegro Pianos Recital Hall in Stamford, Ct.
The Ezinma Trio includes Michael Glur-Zoucha, piano, a Bachelor of Music junior from Columbus, Neb.; Meredith Ramsay, violin, a Bachelor of Music junior from Omaha, Neb.; and Timothy Paek, cello, a Bachelor of Music junior from Lebanon, N.J. Their faculty mentors are the members of the Chiara String Quartet.
"We did not win, but it was a great experience to compete with the level of some of the more well-known music schools that the other contestants came from," Paek said. "It is just simply a stepping block for a great future."
Research Assistant Professor Julie Yoon, a member of the Chiara String Quartet in residence at UNL, said the experience of competing in this competition would help the Ezinma Trio.
"The Ezinma Trio competed at an international chamber music competition where the jury consists of two former and current members of the American String Quartet, a quartet in residence at the famed Manhattan School of Music, and Charles Neidich, a faculty member and renowned clarinetist at the Juilliard School," Yoon said. "To be playing for musicians of this caliber and to compete alongside professional and student chamber groups from around the world is a pretty big deal. The Chiara Quartet is absolutely thrilled."
The Ezinma Trio has been together for two and a half years and played for the Chancellor's State of the University address last Fall.
This spring, they embarked on a Tour Across Nebraska Concert Series, in which they will perform and meet with school children in 14 communities across the state by the end of the spring semester, including performances in Gothenburg, Chadron, Scottsbluff, Wayne, Columbus, David City, McCook and Peru. The series was supported with a grant from the Hixson-Lied Endowment.
"Just to have the School financially support us and show that the really encourage what we're doing is really exciting for us," Ramsay said. "It really gives us a glimpse into professional life, which we all want in the future."
School of Music Director John W. Richmond said this is an important moment in their career.
"The Enzima Trio has enjoyed a tremendous string of impressive successes in recent months, the highlights of which include their successful grant applications to conduct an outreach tour across Nebraska and also to create recordings of their performances for submissions to important competitions," said School of Music Director John W. Richmond. "This invitation to appear as Finalists at the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition is a natural outgrowth of these other projects. It is an exciting, 'break-through' achievement for them and for our strategic plans pertaining to Chamber Music. I couldn't be more thrilled for them or proud of them."
Yoon said their varying personalities help make the Ezinma Trio successful.
"Their personalities are very different from one another, and I think this has allowed a wonderful working relationship to develop," Yoon said. "It often works well to have varying personalities in a chamber group so that its members can bounce distinct ideas off of each other. We are extremely proud of the hard work they have put into developing the group's musical voice and look forward, with utmost hope, to their future success."
The Ezinma Trio:
Michael Glur-Zoucha was born in Hastings, Neb., in 1990. At the age of five, he began lessons with a local piano teacher after moving to Columbus, Neb. From elementary school to the end of high school, Michael studied with his grandmother Irene Zoucha, church music director Darlene Ernasti and Paul Parker of Omaha, Neb. In the past two years, Michael has studied with Professor Paul Barnes. Since taking piano seriously in high school, Michael has won various competitions in Nebraska and South Dakota. In the past four summers, Michael has attended such prestigious programs as the Indiana Piano Academy, International Institute for Young Musicians, the BÃ¶sendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna and the Oberlin Piano Festival. Michael is currently studying under Professor Mark Clinton as a junior in the School of Music. Along with his solo studies, Michael is also a member of the Ezinma Piano Trio. Last summer, Michael attended the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C.
Meredith Ramsay was born in 1991 and began studying the violin at age six in her hometown of Lincoln, Neb. Ramsay was winner of the 2009 Lincoln Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition, senior soloist with the Lincoln Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and also winner of the Larsen Young Artist Award. She has served as concertmaster of the Nebraska All-State Orchestra, Lincoln Youth Symphony and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Symphony. Meredith has attended music festivals such as Rocky Ridge Music Center, Interlochen, and Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. Currently, she is studying violin performance with Julie Yoon of the Chiara String Quartet in the School of Music. Meredith attended the Round Top Music Festival in Round Top, Texas, last summer.
A Korean American born cellist, Timothy Paek began his cello studies at the age of 9. Already at the age of 11, he was admitted into the prestigious Juilliard Preparatory division under the direction of Andre Emelianoff. He served as Principal cellist in the Juilliard Pre-college Symphony and Orchestra. Timothy has performed in many concert halls from Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and New York City Opera to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall. He was also the grand prizewinner of the Summit Symphony Competition and the Grand Prize winner of the National Korean Hymnal Concours Competition. He is currently a junior in the School of Music under the direction Gregory Beaver and the Chiara String Quartet. Timothy was also awarded a position in the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. Timothy attended the Round Top Music Festival in Round Top, Texas, last summer.