Photo by Shervin Lainez

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Described by I Care If You Listen as “enthusiastic champions for new music and collaboration” and performing “with a welcoming and dynamic spirit,” andPlay is committed to expanding the existing violin/viola duo repertoire through performing rarely heard works and commissioning emerging composers. The New York City-based duo of Maya Bennardo, violin, and Hannah Levinson, viola, first played to an eager crowd on Fire Island in the summer of 2012 and has since commissioned over thirty works.

andPlay has collaborated closely with numerous composers, including Robert Honstein, Scott Wollschleger, Clara Iannotta, David Bird, Bethany Younge and Sky Macklay, and consider those relationships to be an integral part of their artistic process. Honstein praises the duo for their "consummate professionalism, fierce musicality and an unflappable good spirit." Their upcoming season includes the release of their debut album, playlist on New Focus Recordings, ten world premieres, including works by Carolyn Chen, Matt Evans, Andrew McIntosh, Shawn Jaeger, and Chiyoko Szlavnics, and performances in Columbus, New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

andPlay was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Concert Artists Guild Victor Emaleh Competition and was the recipient of a 2016 CMA Classical Commissioning grant with composer Ravi Kittappa, made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.

Recent highlights include a five-city tour in Sweden performing their Translucent Harmonies program, appearances on the Oh My Ears Festival (Phoenix) and Re:Sound Festival (Cleveland), and a recording residency at EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY). The duo has also performed at venues including the Center for New Music (San Francisco), Scandinavia House (New York), Roulette (New York), Monk Space (Los Angeles), Short North Stage (Columbus), and Aftershock Theater (Pittsburgh).

Beyond the concert stage, Maya and Hannah are passionate educators offering workshops in contemporary string techniques, chamber music coaching and composition notation for strings. They have given performances and masterclasses at Arizona State University, UC Santa Cruz, Western Connecticut State University, Bowling Green State University and are Artists-in-Residence at the Snow Pond Composers Workshop (Sidney, ME). Their audience engagement series, andPlay (in) Conversation, includes events like graphic score workshops for children, and opportunities to look inside the collaborative process as composers write new works for andPlay.

Maya and Hannah met while studying at Oberlin Conservatory and continued their educations at New York University and the Manhattan School of Music. Despite living on opposite sides of the city, the members of andPlay enjoy taking the subway to meet for rehearsals and delicious baked goods.