The Apollo Trio was formed in 1997 after playing together in the Soirées des Junies Music Festival in the south of France, and has performed to critical acclaim in the United States and in Europe. In addition to frequent appearances at American music festivals— from the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York to Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and on chamber music series throughout the United States— the trio has performed at prominent New York venues, including Caramoor, Bargemusic, David Geffen Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2017 cellist Sophie Shao joined the Apollo Trio, succeeding Michael Kannen. The Apollo Trio was featured in The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Great Day in New York” Festival at Alice Tully Hall, and among their numerous performances there also gave the New York premiere of David Schiff’s New York Nocturnes, and the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Wind Across the Sky for piano trio and soprano. The Apollo Trio made its Kennedy Center debut in 2009. In 2011, David Schiff’s Borscht Belt Follies —written for the Apollo Trio, David Krakauer, Dave Taylor and Michael Sarin—was given its world premiere at Chamber Music Northwest Encore Series. The Apollo Trio has recorded music by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Adolphe and Schiff and, most recently, the complete Dvorak Piano Trios (available on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes).
Violinist Curtis Macomber is equally at home and committed to works from Bach to Babbitt, with a discography ranging from the complete Brahms String Quartets to Roger Sessions’s Solo Sonata to the complete Grieg Sonatas. Recognized as a leading advocate of the music of our time, he has performed in hundreds of premieres, commissions, and first recordings of solo violin and chamber works by, among others, Carter, Davidovsky, Perle, Wuorinen, and Mackey. In 2008 he premiered and recorded the Martin Boykan Violin Concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. As first violinist of the award-winning New World String Quartet from 1982 to 1993, Mr. Macomber performed throughout the United States and Europe, and, with the Quartet, recorded 14 discs and was appointed Artist in Residence at Harvard. A founding member of the Apollo Piano Trio, Mr. Macomber has been violinist of the Da Capo Chamber Players since 2007, joined the Manhattan String Quartet in 2011, and is a member of the New York Chamber Soloists. He was for many years the violinist of Speculum Musicae and has appeared with the New York New Music Ensemble, Group for Contemporary Music, Sea Cliff Chamber Players, La Musica in Sarasota, and the Monadnock Festival. He has recorded for Nonesuch, Koch, Bridge, Arabesque, Naxos, and Musical Heritage; CRI recently released his third solo recording, Casting Ecstatic. Mr. Macomber has been a member of the violin faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1994 and of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School since 1998. He has taught at Tanglewood, Taos, and Yellow Barn. He holds his BM, MM, and DMA degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Joseph Fuchs and winner of the Loeb and Naumburg prizes.
Cellist Sophie Shao received an Avery Fisher Career Grant at age 19, was a major prizewinner at the 2001 Rostropovich Competition, and a laureate of the XII Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002. She has given the world premiere performances of Howard Shore’s Mythic Gardens, a concerto written for her, and Richard Wilson’s Concerto for Cello and Mezzo-Soprano with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra, appeared as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Haydn C major concertos, performed the Saint-Saens La Muse et Le Poete with violinist Miranda Cuckson at the Bard Music Festival, and presented the six Bach Suites in one afternoon at Union College in Schenectady. She has made recital and chamber music appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, Middlebury College, and Vassar College. She can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (Marlboro Music’s 50th anniversary recording), and on Albany Records, and will be releasing a double-CD set of the Bach Cello Suites this season. Ms. Shao studied at The Curtis Institute with David Soyer and Felix Galimir, and, upon graduating, continued with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Yale College and a Master’s of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Ms. Shao plays on an Honore Derazey cello previously owned by Pablo Casals and is a former member of Chamber Music Society Two.
Pianist Marija Stroke has performed in chamber music, concerti and solo recitals in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, and Asia with performances at such music festivals as Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, City of London Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, and Chamber Music Northwest. Ms. Stroke has performed with Joshua Bell, Mark Steinberg, Eugene Drucker, Raphael Hillyer, David Krakauer, David Shifrin, and conductors Ransom Wilson and Reinbert de Leeuw among many others. She has appeared in concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at Wigmore, Carnegie, David Geffen and Alice Tully Halls, and the Kennedy Center, and has played with the Brentano, Miami, Daedalus, and Borromeo string quartets. Recordings include Bruce Adolphe’s Einstein’s Light, performed by Joshua Bell and Marija Stroke (SONY); Adolphe’s Turning, Returning with the Brentano String Quartet and Mark Steinberg (CRI); the Grieg violin/piano sonatas with Curtis Macomber (Arabesque); “Do You Dream in Color?” with Laurie Rubin (Adolphe, Rodrigo and Fauré, Bridge Records, awarded “Critics’ Choice” by American Record Guide); a CD of Piano Puzzlers (with six other pianists — Josef Kalichstein, Orli Shaham, Orion Weiss, Bruce Adolphe, Fred Child, and Fabio Luisi); and Parisian Inspirations with Dionne Jackson (Bridge). Ms. Stroke is co-artistic director of the Garden City Chamber Music Society.