Maksim Shtrykov, clarinet
Anita Balázs, cello
Misuzu Tanaka, piano
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TRIO CONFERO Trio Confero was founded in 2018 by clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov as a logical continuation of his quest on bringing the superb yet seldom performed chamber music repertoire for clarinet to the larger audience. The quest began in 2012 when together with his partner, Japanese pianist Misuzu Tanaka they formed the Shtrykov-Tanka Duo and began touring the country garnering an impressive record of instant re-engagements. At this moment the duo is probably the most popular touring clarinet-piano ensemble in the US.
Confero is a Latin verb that means to bring together, unite and contribute. And this is precisely what Trio Confero’s mission statement was set to be when three musicians united in one pursuit to bring together the unjustly rarely performed repertoire for clarinet, cello and piano. This is arguably, one of the most beautiful chamber music combination with singularly magnificent works written by such giants as Brahms, Beethoven, Bruch, Faure and Glinka being a testament to this statement. The Trio comprises of three exceptionally talented musicians clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov [pronounced: sh-TRY-koff], cellist Anita Balázs and pianist Misuzu Tanaka – prizewinners of many international competition and graduates of World’s most prestigious music academies – The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music.
MAKSIM SHTRYKOV Clarinet: Already an acclaimed artist in his native Belarus, clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov is quickly gaining renown as an artist of profound musical sensibility and a performer of remarkable charisma. Recently hailed by the Lucid Culture for “clarity that’s viscerally breathtaking” and “effortless…quicksilver legato” Maksim continues to win over audiences with his profound musical sensibility and flawless technique. As the recipient of the Artists International New York Debut Award, Mr. Shtrykov presented his solo debut recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in April 2007.
Since his orchestra debut recital at age fourteen, Mr. Shtrykov has appeared as a regular guest soloist with the Belarusian State Symphonic Orchestra and the Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Shtrykov is a first prize winner of the Belarus National Woodwind Competition and a prizewinner of Dymtro Bida International Woodwind Competition in Ukraine. Mr. Shtrykov is also a two-time recipient of the Presidents’ Foundation Award “Young Talents of Belarus.” He has performed recitals and chamber music concerts in such major halls as the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, the Belarusian State Philharmonic, Izumi Hall in Osaka, Miller Theatre at the Columbia University and Baruch Performing Arts Center.
Maksim Shtrykov actively performs both as a recitalist and with various chamber music ensembles. As a founding member of the Chamber Trio “Reflection”, Mr. Shtrykov is a winner of the International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition in Poland, where he was awarded First Prize and the Special Award for the best performance of a work by Brahms, and a prizewinner of the International “Gaetano Zinetti” Chamber Music Competition in Sanguinetto-Verona, Italy. A passionate advocate of clarinet music, Mr. Shtrykov regularly tours throughout the United States with acclaimed pianist, Misuzu Tanaka, as members of the Shtrykov-Tanaka Duo.
Maksim Shtrykov holds a degree of Master of Music from The Juilliard School, where he had been a scholarship student in the studio of Charles Neidich.
ANITA BALÁZS, Cello: Hungarian cellist, Anita Balázs, was born into a musical family and started her music studies at the age of 5. From early childhood, she has been giving concerts in Europe and taking part in international festivals and masterclasses in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Croatia, France and Switzerland with professors such as Heidi Litschauer, László Fenyő, Philippe Muller and Wolfgang Boettcher. From the age of 12 she has been invited to play as soloist with famous Hungarian and European orchestras and conductors such as Andras Ligeti, Izaki Masahiro, Gábor Werner and Tamás Gál.
Her numerous prizes include First Prizes at the Antal Friss National Cello Competition, International Cello Competition in Liezen, Austria and János Starker National Cello Competition in Hungary; Second Prizes at Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition in Porec, Croatia and the Augustín Procházka International Cello Competition in Slovakia.
In 2016 Anita gave her New York Debut at Carnegie Hall as a finalist of Getting to Carnegie Competition.
She regularly appears at the "Les Pianos Folies du Touquet" piano festival in Le Touquet, France as soloist and chamber musician among world-famous pianists such as Boris Berezovsky, Nikolai Lugansky, Benjamin Grosvenor or Andrei Korobeinikov.
At the age of 17 she was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music of Budapest, Hungary in the class of Laszlo Mezo (Bartok Quartet) where she obtained both her Bachelor's and first Masters degree. In 2012, she continued her studies under Prof. Philippe Muller in France, attending two schools at the same time in Hungary and France. She holds an Artist’s Diploma from Montclair State University where she studied in the class of Nicholas Tzavaras (Shanghai Quartet).
A recipient of the Parisot Prize, Anita has been awarded the Master of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music where she studied with the late Aldo Parisot, Paul Watkins and Ralph Kirshbaum.
MISUZU TANAKA, Piano: Hailed by international press for her "dizzying speed and sensitivity" Today’s Zaman (Turkey) and “exceptionally high technical level” General-Anzeiger Bonn (Germany), Misuzu Tanaka has established herself as an artist of remarkable individuality with a rare combination of poetic sensitivity and breathtaking virtuosity.
She has performed in prestigious concert venues throughout the world, from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and Mozart’s Museum at Villa Bertramka in Prague to Alice Tully Hall in New York. Misuzu Tanaka is also a respected regular performer for Music from the Frederick Collection, a leading North-American venue for performance on historical instruments. Misuzu Tanaka has achieved notable success in international competitions, receiving prizes and awards in the International Janáček Competition, Poland International Piano Festival Competition and the Daniel Rutenberg Chamber Music Competition. Enjoying an active solo career in the U.S., she is among the country’s brightest emerging stars.
An avid small-ensemble collaborator, Misuzu Tanaka has also collaborated with prominent artists including James Dunham (Cleveland Quartet) and members of the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, together with her artistic partner and critically acclaimed clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov, she began touring throughout the United States as the Shtrykov-Tanaka Duo.
Born in London, United Kingdom where she began her piano lessons at age 5, she then continued her studies in Japan and in the United States with Martin Canin at The Juilliard School. Her Masters and Doctoral degrees are from University of Michigan where she was a full scholarship recipient and devoted much time to the study and performance of the works of Leoš Janáček, which led to further studies with Miroslav Brejcha and the late Ivan Moravec in the Czech Republic.