Trifecta is a powerful and dynamic new string trio, presenting concerts designed to surprise, delight and stimulate their audiences. Made up of three of New York City's most accomplished and versatile chamber musicians, Trifecta's debut season consists of appearances across the US and Canada, working with organizations such as the ChatterABQ series in New Mexico and the IRIS Orchestra in Tennessee. Violinist Sarah Whitney, praised by the Washington Post for her " marvelous violin acrobatics," is equally expert at playing classical concerti as she is improvising jazz and rock solos on the violin, and is the founder and artistic director of the innovative concert series Beyond the Notes. Violist Angela Pickett, who holds a Doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, is not only an accomplished violist, winning several awards in her native Canada including a career grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, but is also a distinguished fiddler, appearing onstage on Broadway in the shows "Come From Away" and "Bright Star." Cellist Laura Metcalf, lauded by Gramophone magazine for her "brilliant" playing and "gloriously warm and rich tone," has seen her two most recent album releases both reach the top ten of the Billboard Classical Charts, and has been invited to tour internationally to countries such as Australia, Qatar, Nepal, Mongolia, Malaysia, India and many others.
All three players are also members of the acclaimed string quintet Sybarite5, the first ensemble of its kind ever to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition. With the quintet, they have performed hundreds of concerts worldwide, including over 40 US states, Argentina, Canada and Japan.
Trifecta is also dedicated to collaboration; their instrumentation and experience allow for flexible collaboration with many different instruments and musical styles.
Sarah Whitney Violin
Praised by the Washington Post for her “marvelous violin acrobatics”, violinist Sarah Whitney is known for her musical versatility and has been heard worldwide across stages in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the United States. She is recognized as a performer, teacher, entrepreneur and advocate for bringing fresh new ideas to classical music.
Based in New York City, she is a member of the acclaimed string quintet SYBARITE5, one of the fastest-rising chamber-music ensembles in the United States. SYBARITE5 is the first string quintet to win the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, giving their Carnegie Hall debut in 2012. SYBARITE5, whose album ‘Disturb the Silence’ reached the top ten on the Billboard Charts, has also performed at Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Aspen, Caramoor, Chautauqua and Ravinia Festivals, and on the CBS Early Show. Additionally, SYBARITE5 premiered the world’s first concerto for string quintet and orchestra by Dan Visconti with three orchestras last season.
Sarah is recognized as a pioneer in changing the perception of classical music and the way it is presented; in 2015 she founded Beyond the Notes, an innovative concert series that breaks down the boundaries between the audience and the performers. Sarah also performs regularly in the Seeing Double Duo with acclaimed violinist Julia Salerno, having been featured on the Rochester Chamber Music Society, New York City House Concerts and the First Parish Concert Series. Sarah is co-founder of the Jingle Punks Hipster Orchestra that has been featured on Mashable, Perez Hilton, Revolt TV, as well as with the rapper NAS in Johannesburg, South Africa. Additionally, Sarah has collaborated with the Alvin Ailey and Jose Limon dance companies, as well as featured on-stage with Adele, Ellie Goulding, the Transiberian Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Anne Murray, Andrew Wyatt, Tommy Lee, and with Father John Misty.
Active as a recording artist, Sarah has performed on albums with Darlene Love, Josh Ritter, Stephen Kellogg, Mark Geary and Etienne Charles and can be heard on William Bolcom's Grammy-winning album ‘The Songs of Innocence and Experience’. She has performed electric-violin with renowned DJ’s Doug E. Fresh and DJ Spooky, as well as opening for Jennifer Hudson and Diana Ross.
Sarah has extensive teaching experience and regularly gives master classes and workshops to students of all levels. She has given guest master classes at University of Arizona, Grinnell College, Ohio University, University of North Florida, the Walnut Hill School, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, among others, and has been guest artist in residence at Eastern Washington University. She is currently a Music Coach for Lincoln Center Stage and a teaching artist for the Bridge Arts Ensemble. She has served on faculty at Music in Chappaqua, The Music School of New York City and the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute. Her Suzuki training was under the leadership of pedagogue Kimberly Meier-Sims and she was named co-director of the Sato Center Outreach Group at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies in Cleveland, leading the group in concerts throughout the city. Her reputation and devotion to sound practice techniques led STRINGS magazine to feature Sarah in an article, ‘The Art of Mindful Practice’, in February 2015. She has also served on the New York State Presenters Network Panel in discussions about progressive programming and innovation.
Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan School of Music, as well as Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has been a scholarship student at many music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Music Academy of the West and the Meadowmount School of Music. Her teachers include Paul Kantor, William Preucil, Kathleen Winkler, Aaron Berofsky, Cyrus Forough, Stephen Shipps and Irina Muresanu.
Angela Pickett - Viola
A native of Newfoundland, Canada, Angela Pickett has performed as a violist, violinist, and fiddler throughout North America, South America, Europe, The Carribbean, and Japan. A two-time recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Career Grant, Angela’s solo performances have often been featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s regional and national radio programs. In 2006, Angela was a winner of the International Viola Society’s competition for the performance of a Canadian work, and was subsequently invited to perform at the XXXIVth International Viola Congress in Montreal.
Angela is currently the violist of acclaimed string quintet Sybarite5, with whom she has performed in thirty-five states, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and The Library of Congress to the NYC Apple Store and SubCulture. Sybarite5 has commissioned and premiered numerous works for string quintet, and their debut EP “Disturb the Silence” reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Charts. The ensemble has often been featured on NPR radio, and has recently been the subject of articles in Strings Magazine, Symphony Magazine, and The Strad. In 2013, Angela completed a doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, and her dissertation focuses on Sybarite5’s recent contributions to the repertoire for string quintet.
As a fiddler, Angela as toured and performed with artists including Irish tenor John McDermott, and The Chieftains. She has played on many recordings of Irish and Newfoundland traditional music, and has also been featured on two television commercials and the CBC radio series, “Fiddling Around.”
Angela currently lives in New York City where she is the principal violist of the Canadian Chamber Orchestra of NYC and also performs with ensembles including the IRIS Orchestra, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Argento Chamber Orchestra. In addition to a DMA from the Manhattan School of Music, Angela holds a Masters degree from the Juilliard School and a Conjoint Honors Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance and Music History from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Laura Metcalf - Cello
Cellist Laura Metcalf, noted for her "gorgeous cello legatos" (Washington Post) and her “brilliant” playing (Gramophone Magazine) is known for her compelling solo and chamber music performances worldwide and in her home of New York City. Her debut solo album, "First Day" was released in April 2016 on the Grammy-winning Sono Luminus label and debuted at #7 on the Billboard classical chart. The album has been praised as "a flat-out winner" (Greg Hettmansberger, Madison Magazine) and "rich and rewarding," (an earful), and prompted multiple critics to hail her as a "major talent." She is the cellist of acclaimed string quintet Sybarite5 who won the 2011 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, and has performed sold-out concerts at the Library of Congress, Lincoln Center and many other venues worldwide. Sybarite5 made its Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in 2012, and their album “Disturb the Silence” recently reached the Top Ten on the Billboard Charts. The quintet gave the world premiere of Dan Visconti's concerto for string quintet and orchestra with a consortium of American orchestras in 2015. The quintet has performed at the Ravinia, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Aspen and Grand Teton Music festivals. She has been featured as a soloist with the Zagreb Philharmonic, One World Symphony , Laredo Philharmonic, the Ensemble 212 Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa, and has repeatedly been invited to perform with renowned international artists at the Newport Music Festival. She has given concerts in nearly all 50 states, as well as Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Haiti, France, Kazakhstan. Nepal, India, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Austria, and Canada.
In 2011 Laura was appointed to the cello-percussion quartet Break of Reality, with whom she has toured extensively worldwide, most recently being presented by the Eastman School of Music at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, NY, the Austin Chamber Music Festival, the Victoria Bach Festival, and in Haiti and Kazakhstan by the US State Department. Their albums routinely sell in the tens of thousands worldwide, and they recently premiered an original concerto featuring the group as soloists with the Laredo Philharmonic. Laura performs regularly as a duo with renowned classical guitarist Rupert Boyd, with whom she has toured to Australia, India and Nepal.
Laura was appointed to the Malek Jandali trio in 2015, a trio with piano, cello and oud dedicated to new music and humanitatian causes. The ensemble has performed twice in Carnegie Hall , has toured to the United Arab Emirates., and has been featured in National Geographic and BBC World News.
Laura was the founder of the Ansonia Trio, who won the Grand Prize in the 2009 Rutenberg Competition at the University of South Florida The trio was praised for its "tremendous musical range" and "consummate skill." Prior to the Ansonia Trio she was a member of the Stella Piano Trio, who were the top-ranked North American Ensemble in the 2007 ARD Munich Competition and won the Artists International auditions.
As a former member of Ten O'Clock Classics, a four-piece collective of soloists committed to performance and outreach, she toured to 27 cities nationwide in 2010. She has also been a member of the Tarab Cello Ensemble, a group of 8 cellists with whom she has performed in the U.S. and Mexico. She has performed chamber music in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, (le) poisson rouge, National Sawdust, the Chateau de Fontainebleau in France, the French Consulate of New York, Kaufman Hall at the 92nd St. Y, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Bruno Walter Auditorium, and many other venues.
Laura is a regular visitor to the IMS Prussia Cove in Cornwall, England, where she is routinely invited to take part in the Open Chamber Music Seminar. Other festival appearances include the Aspen, Taos and Sarasota Music Festivals, the London Masterclasses, and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau (France).
Outside of the classical realm, Laura has appeared on the David Letterman Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the Today Show and The View with such artists as Adele, John Legend, Donna Summer, Clay Aiken, Chromeo and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. She has performed numerous times at the South by Southwest Rock Festival and the US Open Tennis Tournament, has performed at and recorded music for New York Fashion Week, and performed with DJ Spooky , and at the international conference of The Economist magazine hosted by Alec Baldwin. She appeares regularly with acclaimed Irish singer and composer Julie Feeney , both playing cello and singing backup vocals. She also appeared in Jonahhesburg, South Africa, as part of a chamber ensemble performing with rap legend Nas.
Laura received her Master of Music degree in 2006 from the Mannes College of Music, where she was awarded the James E. Hughes award for excellence in performance. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University's College of Fine Arts, where, as recipient of the prestigious Trustee Scholarship, she won the BU Solo Bach Competition. Her teachers and mentors include Timothy Eddy, Ralph Kirshbaum, Darrett Adkins and Mike Reynolds.
A devoted educator, Laura has given career-guidance presentations at the Eastman School of Music, the Hartt School of Music and Oklahoma State University. She served on the faculty of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music from 2006-2011, through which she also founded the first-ever cello program in New York’s Public School 129, and is currently a private cello teacher and chamber music coach for students of all ages as well as a faculty member of the New York Summer Music Festival. Laura is frequently engaged by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for outreach performance work in public schools in the New York area.