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 over fifty new works, close to thirty of which have been commissioned.
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, 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.
Recent highlights include a California tour with performances in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and San Diego, a Midwestern tour (including performances at the Toledo Museum of Art and 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 at venues including Roulette, The Stone, The DiMenna Center in NYC and The Record Company in Boston, MA.
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 offered performances and masterclasses at UC Santa Cruz, Western Connecticut State University, Bowling Green State University and are Artists-in-Residence at the Snow Pond Composers Workshop (Sidney, ME).
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.