Connie Kim-Sheng (piano), Strauss Shi (violin), and Bennie Fried (cello) founded the Monterey Piano Trio in late 2021. Deeply committed to connecting the music of the past and present, they believe it is essential to give music greater prevalence in their community by working with non-profits and living composers. With this mission in mind, they have performed throughout Los Angeles to much acclaim. The trio has appeared in venues including Newman Recital Hall at the USC Thornton School of Music and Westerbeck Recital Hall at Pasadena City College, in addition to private house concerts and on-site performances to benefit non-profit organizations.
Within months of the trio’s formation, the group was invited to perform as an HEIR, or Heifetz Ensemble-in-Residence, for the Heifetz Institute in Virginia. The Monterey Piano Trio was a semi-finalist at the Coltman Chamber Competition and has been invited to compete as a quarter finalist in the Fischoff Competition.
The musicians have been active chamber music performers prior to the establishment of their trio, appearing in festivals such as Kneisel Hall, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival, and Heifetz Institute. The trio comprises of graduates of the USC Thornton School of Music, New England Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and The Glenn Gould School. The group has been mentored by pianists Jeffrey Kahane and cellist Andrew Shulman of USC.
Also passionate educators, Shi, Kim-Sheng and Fried share the honor of passing on the musical and artistic values to the younger generations, and are active teachers in Los Angeles.