Manhattan Piano Trio – Biography

Dmitry Kouzov, cellist
Milana Strezeva, pianist
Wayne Lee, violinist

Hailed by critics as “a grand departure from the usual” (News Herald), the Manhattan Piano Trio is one of the most creative, exciting, and dynamic young ensembles in America. Now celebrating its 13th season, Manhattan Piano Trio is one of the most active groups in the classical music scene, having performed hundreds of concerts for enthusiastic audiences in almost 40 states, Australia, South Africa and Italy. The Washington Post described the Trio as “impressive” and “outstanding” while the Sarasota Herald Tribune said “one seldom is privileged to enjoy music of such a wide range of styles performed with self-effacing skill and relaxed assurance.” Their third album, a disc of Schumann and Chopin trios in honor of the composers’ bicentennials, was successfully released in 2010 on the Marquis Classics label.

Shortly after its formation in 2004, the Manhattan Piano Trio captured grand prizes at the Plowman Competition and the Yellow Springs Competition, and received the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Listeners’ Choice Award at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. Since then, Manhattan Piano Trio has performed in prestigious venues such as the Kravis Performing Arts Center, the Clark Memorial Library at UCLA, Chamber Music Sedona and Pro Musica Detroit.

Strongly committed to educating new generations of musicians and music lovers, the Manhattan Piano Trio enjoys communicating with their audiences through both music and commentary. The Trio also presents master classes and outreach programs to preparatory schools, colleges, and communities wherever it goes. As part of the community rebuilding effort in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, they were one of the first musical groups to perform in the city and were honored to give a benefit concert at the University of New Orleans.

The Manhattan Piano Trio is an ensemble that embodies, in the deepest sense, the borough that provides its namesake: these three American musicians represent starkly different backgrounds, and yet connect on a fundamental level to enjoy making music together. Wayne Lee, violinist, is a native of San Francisco;  Milana Strezeva, pianist, is originally from Chişinău, Moldova; and Dmitry Kouzov, cellist, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In addition to their rigorous concert schedule, the members of Manhattan Piano Trio are teachers, soloists, and recitalists who have performed internationally. The performers all completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School, and the group still enjoys an active presence in Manhattan.