The Artists

Founded in 1982, the Munich Piano Trio (“Münchner Klaviertrio”) is one of the most active and sought-after German chamber music ensembles. The musicians have undertaken lengthy concert tours throughout Europe, North America, Russia, Japan, China, and a few African countries. The trio has given concerts in the world’s most famous venues, including the Chamber Music Hall of the Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City, the Cuvilliés Theatre, Hercules Saal and Prinzregenten Theatre in Munich, the Suntory and Casals Hall in Tokyo and the Wigmore Hall in London. Festival engagements have included the Munich Opera Festival, the Orlando Festival and the European Chamber Music Festival in Strasbourg. Collaborative performances with the renowned German critic and author Joachim Kaiser also have played a major role in the trio’s concert activity.

The Münchner Klaviertrio has become a welcome guest worldwide with it’s exceptional programming. Repertoire includes the masterpieces of the trio literature, as well as less frequently performed Romantic and modern works, including new compositions written especially for the ensemble. Arrangements of Tangos by Astor Piazzolla by pianist Donald Sulzen complete the repertoire.

Fono Forum praises the “precision and homogeneity of its ensemble”, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung admires the Trio’s “well balanced agogic, fervent depiction of the musical lines, refreshingly lively phrasing” as well as “outstanding harmonious blending of accompanied and solo passages”. Global master classes, frequent performances on radio and television, including the highly appraised appearance at the Memorial Concert of Peter Jonas at the Munich Opera (May 2020), and more than 40 CD’s round off the activities of the Munich Piano Trio.

Michael Arlt, Violin

Michael Arlt, born in Erfurt, received his Artistic Diploma at the Musikhochschule Weimar with Karl-Georg Deutsch, the Performer Diploma at Indiana University with Miriam Fried and the Master of Music at Rice University with Kathleen Winkler. He has taken master classes with Joseph Gingold, Donald Weilerstein, Rostislav Dubinsky, Paul Katz, Walter Levin, and Serge Collot, among others. He is an alumnus of the German Scholarship Foundation “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes” and won first prizes at competitions in Rostock, Usti nad Orlici, Mainz and Houston. Numerous solo engagements have taken him to music festivals in Sweden, Canada, the USA, Israel and Holland. Since 1999 he has been principal second violin in the Bavarian State Orchestra. Since 2004 he has also performed as violinist of the Munich Piano Trio in Germany and abroad.

Gerhard Zank, Violoncello

Gerhard Zank completed master classes with Menahem Pressler, Riccardo Brengola, Hatto Beyerle, Norbert Brainin. The prize-winner of numerous international competitions is the founder and cellist of the Munich Piano Trio. He has performed as a chamber musician in renowned halls in Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Munich, London, Rome, Moscow, Paris, Beijing, etc. and has participated in numerous radio broadcasts and in well over 40 CD productions for the labels Orfeo International, BMG, Genuin, Arte Nova, CPO, Calig. Several of these CDs have received prizes and awards (twice the German Record Critics’ Prize, Spanish Critics’ Prize, Stereoplay Recommendation of the Month, etc.). Gerhard Zank is a guest at festivals and lecturer at master classes in Europe and the Far East and has been a member of the Bavarian State Orchestra since 1978. He plays a violoncello by Carlo Antonio Testore, Milan 1747.

Donald Sulzen, Piano

Donald Sulzen is one of the few pianists who has attained highest international recognition in the realms of song and instrumental chamber music. He performs with and has played for some of the worlds most celebrated singers, including Anna Caterina Antonacci, Laura Aikin, Doris Soffel, Julie Kaufmann, Marilyn Schmiege, Thomas E. Bauer, Thomas Cooley and James Taylor. He is also the pianist of the renowned Munich Piano Trio. His extensive concert activity includes tours through the most prestigious recital halls of Europe, the USA, South America and Japan. Numerous recordings for radio and television, as well as more than forty CD productions document the high artistic level of this pianist.
After teaching for several years at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, he accepted a professorship for the instruction of song duos at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where he presently resides. Donald Sulzen’s passion to combine the musicians of his trio with his vocal artists is revealed through unique CD recordings involving works of Joseph Haydn, Alberto Ginastera, Ned Rorem and Astor Piazzolla.

Website of Donald Sulzen