Combining the talents of three award-winning soloists, the Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio brings to each performance its distinctive fusion of authority and experience, energy, and passion. These three musicians comprise an ensemble that embraces the music of the future while offering fresh insights into three centuries of masterworks. It’s latest CD, on the Bridge Records label, is the long-awaited Complete Piano Trios of Beethoven enthusiastically praised for its “Meticulous mastery” [Headline]. (EarRelevant)

“Like the legendary Beaux Arts Trio, the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio’s trademark is an uncommonly rich and full tone and the kind of rapt and attentive ensemble that only comes from magical empathy that they wear like a second skin from years of playing together.” (World Music Report)

Hailed by The New York Times as “Three strong voices, locked in sequence,” the Trio was founded in 2001 by pianist Yael Weiss and violinist Mark Kaplan, the distinguished cellist Peter Stumpf joined the group in 2014. The Trio has presented concerts throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East and will make its debut in Asia with a Korean tour in 2018. The ensemble has been engaged by distinguished series at The Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Baltimore’s Shriver Hall, Princeton, UCLA, Indiana and Oxford Universities, Tel-Aviv Museum, and for the Chamber Music Societies of Edinburgh, Santander, Pasadena, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Tucson and Memphis, among others.

The Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio is frequently engaged to appear as soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with orchestras such as the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Camerata, New Bedford Symphony and Sioux City Symphony. A performance of the Triple Concerto at the Prague Festival was praised for its “rare timbral refinement, nobility and virtuosic brilliance…among the brightest moments of this year’s Festival” (Lidove noviny, Prague). Other international festival performances have included appearances at the Jeju Island Music Festival in Korea and the Festival of the Sound in Canada.

The group is committed to new music, and has commissioned many works, including Lera Auerbach’s “Triptych: The Mirror With Three Faces”, Clancy Newman’s “Juxt-Opposition”, and “Variations on a Poem” by Michael Hersch. The trio gave the world premiere of Michael Gilbertson’s concerto for trio and orchestra, “Outliers”, commissioned for the group by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra.

The Trio is also known for its stimulating and varied programming of the entire trio repertoire, and for performances of Beethoven’s complete cycle of works for Piano Trio, which are an ongoing part of its programming. Current programming includes multiple presentations of this complete cycle.

On CD, the trio welcomes its latest recording, a set of the Beethoven’s Complete Piano Trios on the Bridge Records label. Its premiere recording of Paul Lansky’s Angles (sample the first movement here) and works by Fred Lerdahl are also on Bridge. An American Tour was released in 2014 and includes world premiere recordings of four American trios by Lera Auerbach, Chen Yi, Clancy Newman and Paul Schoenfeld. The Trio’s 2011 release of Brahms and Smetana trios has received wide critical acclaim – Fanfare Magazine hailed it as “absolutely one fabulous chamber music recording you cannot afford to be without. . . This may just be the best of the best Brahms B Major Trio recordings.” Previously Bridge also presented the Trio’s recording of Paul Chihara’s trio, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, a work the group commissioned and premiered in 2006 at the Kennedy Center.

The Trio is well known to American radio audiences through nationwide broadcasts on shows such as American Public Media’s Performance Today and WNYC’s SoundCheck. An appearance on St. Paul Sunday has been broadcast nationally several times, and was selected for St. Paul Sunday‘s “Best of the Year” CD.

Discography
Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio flyer

Bridge Records releases the Complete Beethoven Piano Trios recording by the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio in late 2023. Landmark repertoire for any trio, this completes a project interrupted in 2020.
The critics comment: “As the pianist Yael Weiss explains in the exhaustive liner notes, she did much additional research, going so far as studying the autographs when available to be able to interpret the tiniest signs Beethoven retained necessary to explain his intentions, signs which sometimes have been made uniform or worse, omitted in the official printed versions. Such an intensive study is rare nowadays but is characteristic of the meticulous scrutiny preceding the recording.” EarRelevant
“The stellar New York City based trio offer deep and full-bodied interpretations of eight immortal masterworks.”
Grigorian.com

“Start with the two masterpieces that everyone knows, the “Ghost” and “Archduke” Trios, and you are immersed in totally engrossing interpretations that evoke every mood the score contains. From bravura to introspection, nothing is slighted, and the phrase-shaping brings out countless gestures that are beautiful, touching, and insightful.” Fanfare Magazine_March/April 2024 [PDF]

Link to listen here.
Behind the Scenes with the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio Video

“a top-drawer ensemble… strong, engaging and simply superb.”
Virginia Gazette

“Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio showcase individual expertise while shining as one” [Headline]
“a concert of the highest quality that clearly thrilled the large audience.” “performed to perfection”
Calgary Herald

“Three strong voices, locked in sequence.”
The New York Times

“a wonderfully refined presentation….The three musicians were totally in sync”
New York Concert Review

“…a fine team, twining and dovetailing their lines to eloquent effect, not least in Schubert’s expansively lyrical writing. Underpinning the strings was pianist Yael Weiss’s liquid tone and unfailingly wise phrasing”
Washington Post

“an immensely accomplished ensemble…. This is almost certainly how Brahms wanted and expected his music to be played…”
International Record Review

“When it played Beethoven’s overexposed “Archduke” Trio, every moment felt new. How often does that happen?
Philadelphia Inquirer

Underneath it all? Trust. “We communicate mostly by playing… you’re very sensitive to each other in the moment of performance.”
From an interview with Mark Kaplan in The Tulsa Voice

“…performances were splendid and idiomatic…”
Washington Post

“All three performers were able to project a strong musical personality while nurturing a fine ensemble sound.”
Classical Sonoma

“a gem of an ensemble. As individuals, the three are distinguished musicians. Together, they’re a team, in the best sense of the word.”
Herald-Times

“Great ensemble playing”
The Washington Post

“a class act!”
Deseret News

“A beguiling, energetic new chapter”
New York Sun

“Dynamic new ensemble”
Chamber Music Magazine

“The dovetailing of give-and-take among the members…was seamless, and their playing swept up the listener….This performance was delightful in every respect…. With ethereal pianissimos, lockstep ensemble, and heart-felt phrasing, [the trio] gave one of the most completely convincing interpretations of this sprawling jewel [Schubert Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat] that I have heard.”
Classical Voice North Carolina

Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio flyer

CD Reviews (Brahms/Smetana disc on Bridge Records):

“This may just be the best of the best Brahms B-Major Trio performances I’ve yet to hear on disc… this is absolutely one fabulous chamber music recording you cannot afford to be without. Urgently recommended.” Fanfare Magazine

“For those of us raised on the Rubinstein-Heifetz-Feuermann version, this performance will appear a sweet rival, especially given the lush tone each of the participants brings to this romantic score. The vibrant intensity of the music finds bravura expression from this ensemble….” Audiophile Audition

“The pieces share a sweeping Romanticism that the members of the Trio set forth to splendid effect. The Brahms (in the final 1889 version) receives a performance full of warmth and vitality, as does the Smetana trio.” Cleveland Plain Dealer

“[The] group plays the Brahms with great passion, combining moments of virtuosity with a rare concentration in the slow movement…. Their emotional range is very wide, and I was particularly impressed with Weiss’s soft playing in the Adagio and her clean passagework in the finale. A terrific performance, able to stand with the best.” American Record Guide

“they aren’t afraid, collectively or individually, to step up to the plate when a given moment calls for really virtuosic brilliance…one of the finest accounts I’ve ever heard of Bedřich Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor and the most convincing account ever of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major. It all makes for one of the best chamber music CDs you are likely to hear, this or any year.” Phils Reviews

Complete Beethoven Trios CD: “Meticulous mastery: Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio sets high standard in new 3-CD set of Beethoven Trios” EarRelevant

“This beautifully recorded new set of Beethoven’s piano trios with violinist Mark Kaplan, cellist Peter Stumpf and pianist Yael Weiss shows the composer in the process of enlarging the genre’s dimensions in order to create an equality between the three instruments.” Gramophone Magazine [PDF]

“the spirit of Beethoven’s music comes through with profound understanding. I’d say without a doubt that this is the best set of the six numbered piano trios since the classic set on EMI with the young Danial Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jacquline du Pré.” Fanfare Magazine_March/April 2024 [PDF]

“Everything about their Archduke is memorable: the interplay of the voices, the way they smooth out the contrary movement of different lines and planes, and let the music unfold rather than just take place. Stumpf and Kaplan are superb in their solos leading into the pizzicato passage in the first movement and Weiss emerges out of their slow-motion trill as if rising from another world.” Gramophone Magazine [PDF]

“With the excellent performance of the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio this set is the one to go for. Their deeply communicative and musical playing is well suited to these majestic works.” World Music Report

“Weiss leads her mates in all sorts of merry chases [in op. 1, #3] as if the composer were at the keyboard” Gramophone Magazine [PDF]

“these three artists expose the creative spark…. This has to be one of the most convincing and cohesive recordings of Beethoven’s music for piano trio so far.” Classical Music Sentinel

“Generally speaking, this installment is by far the best I have listened to in recent years.”
“Also, thanks to the superior recording quality, the sound of this trio is so well balanced and delicate… it can surely be said that a new aesthetics has been created, much to the benefit of the Beethoven scores.” EarRelevant

“Yael Weiss, Mark Kaplan and Peter Stumpf deliver absolutely first-rate readings of six trios and two sets of variations”
“The performances are remarkably cogent and are distinguished throughout by exemplary playing befitting the time periods in which the music was written.” Transcentury Media

Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio live in concert: “a top-drawer ensemble… strong, engaging and simply superb.” Virginia Gazette    [PDF]

“Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio showcase individual expertise while shining as one” [Headline] Calgary Herald
“a concert of the highest quality that clearly thrilled the large audience.” “performed to perfection” Calgary Herald    PDF

“These three players… play with uncanny unity, blend” New York Concert Review

Beethoven Triple Concerto Sioux City Journal
“Peter Stumpf, the cellist, got a beautiful showcase in the Allegro; Mark Kaplan, the violinist, scored in the Rondo and Weiss pulled them and the orchestra together like musical glue.”

Beethoven Triple Concerto South Coast Today “energy, artistry and precision”

Brahms/Smetana CD Review International Record Review PDF “recommended with confidence”

Brahms/Smetana CD Review Fanfare Magazine PDF “absolutely one fabulous chamber music recording”

Brahms/Smetana CD Review  American Record Guide “virtuosity with a rare concentration”

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio at the Kennedy Center “robust, exuberant performances”

Brahms/Smetana CD Review Cleveland Plain Dealer  “a performance full of warmth and vitality”

Brahms/Smetana CD Review  “…one of the best chamber music CDs you are likely to hear, this or any year.”

Beethoven Piano Trio Cycle – Review #1  “a gem of an ensemble”

Beethoven Piano Trio Cycle – Review #2    “exceptionally high levels of unity”

Beethoven Piano Trio Cycle – Review #3    “performed here with gusto and buoyancy”

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio at SummerFest

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio 2nd SummerFest

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio in Washington

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio & Guest Artists play Mendelssohn

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio in Santa Rosa

Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio in New York

Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios CD Bridge Records – Spotify
Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios CD Bridge Records – Video
Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios CD Bridge Records – video sampler

Paul Lansky: Angles, movement I “With Pluck” – video

Beethoven Trio in E flat Major, op. 70, #2 – video

Beethoven Trio in G, op 1, #2 – video

Smetana Trio: movement I – video

Behind the Scenes with the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio – video

Beethoven op 70, #1, Ghost Trio (II) – video

Beethoven op 70, #1 Ghost Trio (III) – video

Dvorak Trio in F Minor, op. 65 (I) – listen

Dvorak Trio in F Minor, op. 65, (III) – listen