Before formally known as Trio Séléné, Poletaev, Wang, and Lara first performed together in 2006 while graduate students at Yale. The Fauré Trio, op. 120 was the primary impetus for the ensemble's inception. Having learned that the work was very likely originally conceived as a work scored with clarinet instead of the more standard violin, the ensemble endeavored to record the work in this version. The Trio draws its name from the song Diane, Séléné from Fauré's beautiful song cycle, L'horizon Chimérique and its members have come together again to explore the repertoire for this ensemble including presenting and commissioning new works. In the spirit of balancing rhetoric and spontaneity, Trio Séléné aspires to bring the highest expression and understanding to the music it performs. In summer 2015, Trio Séléné recorded the Fauré Trio, op. 120, Zemlinsky Trio, op. 3, and Fernando Buide's Two Fragments with GRAMMY-winning producer Blanton Alspaugh with a tentative release date of early 2016.
Among the most significant pianists of his generation" (Süddeutsche Zeitung), Ilya Poletaev captured First Prize at the prestigious 2010 International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig and, as the winner, appeared in recital at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Among other awards, he was also the first prize winner at the 2008 Rina Sala Gallo competition in Monza, Italy and a prize winner at the 2011 George Enescu competition in Bucharest, Romania.
Mr Poletaev's activities in 2013-14 include Bach concertos with the St. Paul's Chamber Orchestra, a performance with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and an eight-city tour performing the complete Book II of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, which Mr. Poletaev performs on both modern piano and historical keyboards. Other recent performances include Medtner's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Peter Oundjian, solo appearances at Germany's prestigious Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Dresdner Musikfesttäge, Leipzig BachFest, and the Potsdam Musikfestspiele. His two-volume recording of the complete works of George Enescu for violin and piano, with violinist Axel Strauss, have been released on the Naxos label to much critical acclaim.
Mr Poletaev is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. He was previously joint faculty at Yale's Institute, School, and Department of Music.
A prizewinner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Woodwind Competition (1999), the Orchestral Instrument Competition (2001), and a recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission's 2013 Individual Artist Fellowship award, Clarinetist Mingzhe Wang is committed to promoting both the music of our time and the classics. He performed the Chinese premiere of Elliott Carter's Hiyoku and has worked closely with composers such as Martin Bresnick, Krzystof Penderecki, Aaron Jay Kernis, Paul Schoenfield, and Chen Yi. In addition, he has performed on period clarinets with prominent groups such as The American Classical Orchestra and the Clarion Music Society Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Wang has collaborated and continues to work with some of the most prominent young artists of today. Mr. Wang's performances have been broadcast on China's Central Television, New York's WQXR, Nashville's WPLN, and many public radio stations across North America. Mr. Wang holds degrees from Yale University and is currently an associate professor of clarinet at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. He is the co-principal clarinetist of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, an active performing group he co-founded in 2008 based in Clarksville.
Regarded for thoughtful interpretations, compelling execution, and depth of understanding, cellist Eli Lara has been praised for creating "a sense of complete awe." Dedicated to promoting contemporary music, Ms. Lara has worked with many composers including Krzystof Penderecki, Lee Hyla, and Jeffrey Wood, and has performed and premiered numerous works of contemporary composers in concerts and festivals including FOCUS! and the Summergarden at the New York Museum of Modern Art. An extensively accomplished chamber musician, she has won top prizes at the J.C. Arriaga and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competitions. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Lara has performed as principal cellist of the Paducah Symphony, Peabody Sinfonia, and Yale Collegium Musicum among many others. She has appeared on NPR, at major venues such as New York's Alice Tully Hall and London's Wigmore Hall, and at numerous festivals throughout North America and Europe. A recipient of the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship, Ms. Lara completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at the Juilliard School after receiving degrees from Yale College and the Yale School of Music. Currently, she is an associate professor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee and performs as co-principal cellist of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra.