Ariya Laothitipong, Nickolas Hamblin, and Benjamin Penzner

The Matisse Trio is an established Piano Trio of distinguished and award-winning musicians. The trio was founded in September 2021 by Nickolas Hamblin (Clarinet), Benjamin Penzner (Viola) and Ariya Laothitipong (Piano) at the University Of Michigan. The Matisse Trio are currently under the tutelage of Amy I-Lin Cheng and Kirsten Docter. Since then, they have performed and competed regularly throughout the past year. Their recent achievement includes being chosen as the winner of the New York International Young musicians in 2022.

The musicians of the Matisse Trio are renowned musicians with many musical achievements. Nickolas Hamblin is an active chamber and orchestra musician. He currently serves as principal clarinet with the Dearborn Symphony orchestra and has also performed as principal clarinet in the Michigan Philharmonic orchestra. He received first prize in many competitions, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Bradlin Scholarship competition and the Southern Great lakes Symphony orchestra.
Born in 2004, Ariya Laothitipong became one of the most acknowledged young Thai pianists after winning First Prize at the 5th International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists in Weimar, Germany, Second Prize (no first prize awarded) along with the Press Prize and the Audience Prize from the International Piano Competition 2018 in the Netherlands. Ariya was also chosen as a participant at the 2019 Van Cliburn Junior International Piano Competition in Texas, USA and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition 2020.
Benjamin Penzner was recently named first prize winner in the solo and excerpt competitions with the American Viola Society. He is a core member of the Lansing Symphony and has performed with groups such as the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra while on tour in Edinburgh and Dublin, the Pasadena Symphony, and the American Youth Symphony in which he was Principal.

The Matisse trio aims to compete at a high level and alter the colour of a more conventional piano trio.

You can find the trio’s 2022 Winter Music Competition performance here.