photo credit: Aleks Karjaka

photo credit: Aleks Karjaka

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 premiered close to fifty new works, close to thirty of which have been commissioned. Many of these compositions include electronics.

andPlay has collaborated closely with numerous composers, including Robert Honstein, Scott Wollschleger, Clara Iannotta, David Bird, Bethany Younge and Ravi Kittappa, 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 premieres of new works by Kristofer Svensson, Ellen Arkbro, Sky Macklay, and Anthony Vine.

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.

Highlights of their 2017-2018 season included a West Coast tour with performances and workshops at the Center for New Music in San Francisco and Monkspace in LA. Past performances  include the premiere of a new work with electronics by David Bird (developed during a 2016 Avaloch Farm Music Institute Residency), an artist residency at Snow Pond Composers Workshop (Sydney, ME), a Midwestern tour (including performances in Columbus, Ohio through CNX: The Columbus // NYC New Music Exchange, at the Toledo Museum of Art, Short North Stage in Columbus, OH), and a performance as guest artists at the 2017 Omaha Under the Radar Festival (Omaha, NE).

The duo has also performed at the NUNC!2 Conference at Northwestern University, the New Music Gathering at Peabody Conservatory, and the String Theories festival in New York City, as well as performances at venues including Roulette, The Stone, The DiMenna Center in NYC and The Record Company in Boston, MA.

Upcoming plans for the duo include a European tour with performances in Sweden and New York performances at Scandinavia House, NYU and Areté Venue. andPlay will also be going into the studio to record their first album.

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’ve offered performances and masterclasses at UCSanta Cruz, Western Connecticut State University, and Bowling Green State University.

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.

 Maya is a lover of dark coffee, sharing fresh baked scones with friends, biking, striped shirts, writing letters, basil plants, Trader Joe's powerberries, and discovering wacky violin sounds.

Maya is a lover of dark coffee, sharing fresh baked scones with friends, biking, striped shirts, writing letters, basil plants, Trader Joe's powerberries, and discovering wacky violin sounds.

 Hannah enjoys looking for recipes for her monthly cake night, green smoothies, running faster than traffic on the George Washington Bridge, farmers markets, trying to keep up with magazine subscriptions, and bow rehairs.

Hannah enjoys looking for recipes for her monthly cake night, green smoothies, running faster than traffic on the George Washington Bridge, farmers markets, trying to keep up with magazine subscriptions, and bow rehairs.