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Published: Wednesday, 9/26/2007

Toledo church hosts concert by award-winning trio

The Manhattan Piano Trio comprises, from left, violinist Dmitry Lukin, pianist Milana Strezeva, and cellist Dmitry Kouzov.
The Manhattan Piano Trio comprises, from left, violinist Dmitry Lukin, pianist Milana Strezeva, and cellist Dmitry Kouzov.

Take two Dmitrys from St. Petersburg in Russia and add one Milana, a Moldovan native and what do you get?

The Manhattan Piano Trio.

What else would you call this young and lively group of professional musicians who, in the summer of 2004, met on the steps of the famed Juilliard School in New York City?

Since that fateful day, the trio - Dmitry Lukin, violin; Dmitry Kouzov, cello, and Milana Strezeva, piano - have performed more than 225 concerts in 25 states.

"Manhattan reflects the diversity in our group," says Strezeva. "I am a Moldovan-born American, the Dmitrys are Russian-Americans, our manager is an Indian-American. Between us we speak over eight languages. So we wanted a name that represents this blending and since Manhattan is the ultimate melting pot, we thought it would be an ideal name for us."

The trio is to make its Toledo debut at 8 p.m. tomorrow in a benefit for St. Lucas Lutheran Church, 745 Walbridge Ave.

Innovative, energetic, and yet precise in performance, the Manhattan Trio won the grand prize in the 2006 Plowman National Chamber Music Competition and the 2007 Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition. Also this year, the group received a Listeners'

Choice Award at the Melbourne International Competition in Australia.

Their repertoire includes classical favorites by Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms, contemporary works by Paul Schoenfield and Astor Piazzolla, and music for cello or violin and piano.

The group also is active in music education, with special performances for children at schools and colleges.

The Manhattan Trio's Toledo program will include music by Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rostropovich, Shostakovich, Piazzolla, and a Debussy Trio.

The Manhattan Piano Trio will perform at 8 p.m. tomorrow in St. Lucas Lutheran Church, 745 Walbridge Ave. Tickets, $10 and $15, are available at the church, 419-243-8189, and at the Country Hearth shop, 5106 Dorr St.

Contact Sally Vallongo at: svallongo@theblade.com or 419-724-6101.

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