Since its critically-acclaimed Portland, Maine debut in 2016, the Portland Piano Trio’s “enlivening tautness and precision,” “impressive ensemble and shared musical values” have entertained and inspired audiences throughout New England. Noted for “…sounding like a group that has played together for 10 years,” they have appeared on numerous chamber music series, including Back Bay Contemporary Music Festival, First Fridays at First Parish, and Portsmouth Atheneum, among others. The trio is serving as the first musicians-in-residence of 240 Strings, a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit dedicated to providing private music lessons to economically-challenged children in Portland, and providing affordable community concerts. Last summer, the trio was awarded a residency at the prestigious Avaloch Music Institute in Boscawen, New Hampshire, for a week of intense rehearsing and sharing with other nationally recognized chamber groups. Most recently, The Portland Piano Trio was asked to be the “core ensemble” for Portland’s Back Bay Contemporary Music Festival, a series of concerts dedicated to new music, featuring composers from New England. The group has a passion for playing house concerts-the venue where chamber music was meant to by played-and has garnered a strong following in the Portland area.
Anastasia Antonacos, Piano
Anastasia Antonacos has given notable performances around the world as a solo recitalist and chamber musician. She has played at venues such as the Salle Cortot, Casa Orfeo, Hollandʼs Alkmaar Conservatory, and Alice Tully Hall. She has also played in Greece, Russia, France, and Belgium, as well as various places in the U.S., including Washington D.C., where she testified for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
She won First Place at the International Young Artist Music Competition in Bulgaria, and she holds prizes from the Capdepera International Piano Competition in Mallorca and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition. In 2004 the Greek Womenʼs University Club of Chicago awarded her the Kanellos Award. She attended the Holland Music Sessions, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and the Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Course in Positano, Italy, where she was one of eight pianists selected for an intensive study of Beethoven led by John OʼConor.
Dr. Antonacos has made solo appearances with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with violinist Joseph Silverstein, as well as with members of the Vermeer, Cassatt and DaPonte Quartets. She was a chamber music coach at Bay Chamber Concertsʼ Next Generation program for many years. She regularly serves as a masterclass teacher and adjudicator. A former member of the full- time piano faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she holds a master's and doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Maine School of Music. She lives with her husband and daughter in Portland, where she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of Portland by the Phoenix.
Tracey Jasas-Hardel, Violin
Tracey Jasas-Hardel has been studying, performing and teaching violin for 35 years. Her passion for the instrument is notable and has led to numerous awards, performances, recordings, and teaching positions. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts academy, she went on to study with master pedagogues Linda Cerone, Victor Danchenko and David Russell at The Cleveland Institute of Music, earning undergrad and graduate degrees. While in college, Tracey attended Encore School for Strings in Ohio, as well as chamber music programs with the Audubon Quartet, the Cavani Quartet, and the Weilerstein Duo. She was chosen to play in the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, The Schleswig-Holstein Orchestra Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. She was awarded a Fulbright grant for violin study in Berlin, Germany, where she attended the Hochschule der Musik and toured around Europe performing both as a recitalist and an orchestra member.
Upon her return to the U.S., she was selected to be a member of the U.S. Marine Band Chamber Orchestra, which performs chamber music in the White House at the President’s request for state dinners, meetings, and parties. While continuing study at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, she was a regular performer with the National Symphony Orchestra, The National Gallery Orchestra, The National Chamber Orchestra, and the Alexandria Symphony. After returning to the Midwest, Tracey became a regular performer with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and the Bel Canto Choir Orchestra and Waukesha Symphony, as concertmaster and principal second violin.
Currently, Tracey is living in Yarmouth, Maine, where she is teaching and playing chamber music. She continues to travel around the nation for performances and teaching appointments, enjoying every violinistic minute and continuing the legacy of her training.
Wayne Smith, Cello
Wayne Smith gave his recital debut at the Kennedy Center in 1996, and has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Poland, and China. He is the principal cellist of the Manhattan Symphonie and a frequent performer at BargeMusic in New York City. He also performs with the Harlem Chamber Players and the Portland Piano Trio. In the Pioneer Valley, he is a member of the Wistaria String Quartet and a founding member of 1200 Horsehairs, a band of cellos. He is also the co-creator Arctic Moth, an improvising electronica duo. He has played with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the National Chamber Orchestra, the Harlem Chamber Players, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic of New Jersey, the Princeton Chamber Symphony, and the Heidelberg Castle Festival Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany, among other groups, and was a featured soloist on the PBS Series “Musical Encounters.” He has recorded and performed with such artists as Joe, Richard Smallwood, and the Spin Doctors’ Anthony Krizan, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Moody Blues. He has also enjoyed an active teaching career and has taught lessons and master classes at Amherst College, Salisbury State University in Maryland, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He did his undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music with Steven Doane and his graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with Astrid Schween.