On Saturday’s live broadcast, we feature the Akros Trio of the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. The Akros Piano Trio is comprised of violinist Byron Fulop Laing, cellist Lydia Rhea, and pianist John Schindler. The trio is coached by artist faculty members Rodolfo Vieira and Abraham Stokman. The trio members have individually won local, regional, and national competitions and have been participants at numerous music events and festivals.
Byron Fulop Laing, 18, studies with Almita Vamos and has served as co-concertmaster of the Portland Youth Philharmonic. He has won the Metro Arts Young Artist Debut Competitions and participated in many summer programs including the Meadowmount School of Music and McDuffie Center Labor Day Festival.
Lydia Rhea, 16, studies with Hans Jensen and won first prize in the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and New World Youth Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competitions this season. She has participated in many programs including the Meadowmount School of Music and plans on attending the Heifetz International Music Institute this summer. She has also played for artists such as Richard Aaron and Sharon Robinson. In addition to music, Lydia has been dancing since the age of four and is also an avid reader when she finds the time.
John Schindler, 16, is a student of Alan Chow. This past year, he was the winner of the Theodor Leschetizky International Concerto Competition, the Brevard Music Center Concerto Competition, the Luminarts Piano Competition, and the NFMC Stillman Kelley Music Competition. He has played in master classes for Yoheved Kaplinsky, Julian Martin, and Nelita True. Music festivals he has attended include the Southeastern Piano Festival and the Brevard Music Center, and he will be a student at the Bowdoin International Music Festival this summer.
The trio brings together these talented young musicians from across the United States. Byron moved from Oregon to study at the Academy, Lydia lives in Indiana, and John lives in Wisconsin. They are all very grateful for the opportunity to play and study together in Chicago. Akros means “highest” in Greek, and reflects the trio’s desire to reach the highest level of playing both technically and musically.