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Trio Confero

Watch Trio Confero Live

Maksim Shtrykov, clarinet · Anita Balázs, cello · Misuzu Tanaka, piano
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.


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.


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 as well as participating in national and international competitions with excellent results.

In 2004, she took part in two international cello competitions: the Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition in Porec, Croatia and the Augustín Procházka International Cello Competition in Slovakia both in which she won second prize. In 2005, she received third prize at the Alfredo e Vanda Marcosig International Competition and the same year she also received first prize at the Antal Friss National Cello Competition for young cellists in her home country. In 2006, she received first prize at the International Cello Competition in Liezen, Austria and also, the second prize and special prize at Antonio Janigro Competition in Croatia.

She is invited every year to participate in 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.
In 2008, she participated in the János Starker National Cello Competition in Hungary, where she won the first prize and also the Grand Prix of the jury. 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.

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. She made her debut at the Carnegie Hall in January 2016.
From fall 2012, she continues her studied 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).

From Fall 2017, she has been studying at Yale School of Music in the class of Aldo Parisot, working towards her Master of Musical Arts degree.


Hailed by international press as a pianist "who dispatched everything with both dizzying speed and sensitivity" Today’s Zaman (Turkey) and for her “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 a respected regular performer for Music from the Frederick Collection, a leading North-American venue for performance on historical instruments. 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.


Seamlessness and Contrast at Trinity Church 

Thursday at Trinity Church clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov and pianist Alina Kiryayeva delivered a terrifically enjoyable show of some lesser-known pieces for the two instruments. Shtrykov has a clarity that’s viscerally breathtaking. His quicksilver legato made the streams and frequent torrents of notes seem absolutely effortless even though much of the program was considerably demanding. The only giveaway that he was working hard was how he swayed along with the music at the edge of the stage. Kiryayeva, by contrast, didn’t hold back. As comfortably fluid as her approach was, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to call it an attack, which brought a welcome energy to the bill. Their seamlessness together undoubtedly stems from having worked together since the middle of the previous decade. 

Up first was Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for Piano, Op. 70. It worked as an opener, perfectly pleasant and far more challenging for the performers than the listeners. The piece de resistance was Saint-Saens’ Sonata in E Flat for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 167, an absolutely delicious four-part suite. It’s got Saint-Saens’ signature humor, but also his signature plaintiveness, and it was here where Kiryayeva dug in and found the intensity in every unexpected dynamic shift, especially in the second, allegro animato movement while Shtrykov mined the poignancy in the pensive, lento third movement as well as the counterintuitively misty end of the final allegro. They closed with Weber’s Grand Duo Concertante, Op. 48 which is sort of the classical equivalent of garage rock: an endless series of call-and-response, you can see the changes and ideas coming a mile away, but playing them is another story! Even in the andante con moto second movement, the cascades come in endless waves and the duo met the challenge head on and walked away victoriously after another seemingly endless series of false endings. These works – and these performers – deserve to be better-known. 

-Lucid Culture, New York, NY

“Maksim is an unusually sensitive musician with excellent ensemble skills and a clarinetist who plays with great imagination and attractive stage presence. The recitals he has given have been among the best I have heard recently.” 

-Charles Neidich 
International Soloists and Recording Artists 
Artist Faculty: The Juilliard School; Manhattan School; Mannes College

“Mr. Maksim Shtrykov is a virtuoso clarinetist who performs with conviction and excellence” 

-David Dubal 
Emmy-Award winning Broadcaster and Classical Music Writer 

“We are pleased to have had the Shtrykov-Tanaka Duo performing on our concert series…Clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov and pianist Misuzu Tanaka, each an accomplished solo musician, achieved a perfect ensemble balance, two instrumental voices engaged in lively conversation, in music by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Carl Maria von Weber…It was a privilege to have them on our series.” 

-Patricia H. Frederick 
Manager, Historical Piano Concerts Inc. 

“…an outstanding performance. Both Misuzu Tanaka and Maksim Shtrykov fulfilled all of our expectations and left audience eager for more.” 

-Robert M. Nash 
Executive Director, The Cultural Center of Cape Cod 

“Patrons still speak of your performance that took place two weeks ago. As evidenced by the uncontained applause after each piece, the concert was magnificent. The standing ovation given at the conclusion of the program should serve as a testament to your talent and desire of the community to hear you play again. Your artistry for the piano, Misuzu, and for the clarinet, Maksim, shone through the music and enraptured the patrons.” 

-Salvatore J. Filosa 
Adult Program Coordinator, North Shore Public Library (Shoreham, NY)


Date 01-21-2021 7:30 pm
Cut off date 01-21-2021 3:00 pm
Individual Price $30.00
Richards Center for the Arts
2248 Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA Palm Springs, CA 92262
Richards Center for the Arts
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