Trio Gaia, New England Conservatory's newest Professional Trio-in-Residence, was formed in 2018 and is dedicated to offering audiences dynamic, personally relevant experiences inside and outside the concert hall. Recently, the trio won 1st prize at the WDAV Young Chamber Musicians Competition, as well as prizes in the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and the 2019 Plowman National Chamber Music Competition. Prior to serving as trio-in-residence, Trio Gaia served as an Honors Ensemble and Community Performances & Partnership fellows at NEC, in recognition of their work sharing classical music in the community. They have performed concerts at venues ranging from the historic Boston Public Library to MIT's Whitehead Institute, and have crafted educational content for the Panama Jazz Festival as well as local schools and senior homes. In the trio's first year, the trio was invited to Carnegie Hall’s Audience Engagement Intensive, presented in collaboration with Ensemble Connect, and more recently was invited to present a weeklong residency with the Virginia Arts Festival.
Recent engagements have included performances across Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Massachusetts, with upcoming summer appearances to include the Chamber Music Workshop at the Perlman Music Program and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at the Yale Summer School of Music. In recent seasons, Trio Gaia has remained active despite the pandemic, with virtual performances for Music for Food, NEC's Black Student Union, Massachusetts Peace Action, and Opus Illuminate, a concert series dedicated to showcasing music by composers underrepresented in classical music.
As individuals, violinist Grant Houston, cellist Yi-Mei Templeman, and pianist Andrew Barnwell have established performing careers that have taken them to nine countries for a range of solo and collaborative opportunities. Together, the trio has studied extensively with renowned artists Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, Donald Weilerstein, Merry Peckham, and Max Levinson. Additional mentors include cellists Lluis Claret and Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, and pianists Victor Rosenbaum and Orli Shaham. When not rehearsing or performing, you can find Trio Gaia shopping for new outfits or cooking together.