Frequently Asked Questions
Where did Jacob and Sasha meet?
Here's the Ezra origin story: While students at The Glenn Gould School, they both enrolled in the Sonata Repertoire class. Jacob ran into the first class a few minutes late, having come from a lesson. The instructor (esteemed late Canadian pianist Peter Longworth) had just finished asking the rest of the class about their repertoire choices, and asked Jacob for his requests. Jacob suggested something highly unusual: the George Rochberg sonata. Sasha was the sole pianist to show interest, while the rest recoiled in horror. Peter countered with Hindemith's Sonata Op. 11 no. 4, which Jacob happily accepted. Minutes later, having obviously taken note of Sasha's positive reaction to the Rochberg suggestion, Peter paired Jacob and Sasha together. Coincidence? We think not. Destiny? Probably.
Where does "Ezra" come from?
Shortly after beginning to play together, Jacob and Sasha were asked about their duo name for a concert program. Most duos simply hyphenate their surnames, but Sasha's already has a hyphen, and it would sound like three people were involved in the Bult-Ito-Clewell duo. They decided they either wanted a name with significant meaning to both of them, or a completely neutral name that neither had a connection to. After a little discussion, they landed on the neutral name "Ezra".
What kind of viola does Jacob play on?
Jacob plays on a viola from American luthier Gabrielle Kundert, made in 2003. The viola is quite special, as it was commissioned by Jacob's undergraduate teacher, Mara Gearman, and passed down to him. It was Kundert's first viola based off an 18th century Italian instrument of unknown origin, formerly attributed to Camillo Camilli, and now thought to be the work of one of his students. Jacob is also fortunate to play a rare French viola bow, made by Émile-Auguste Ouchard in 1945.
What kind of violin does Jacob play on?
Jacob plays on a violin made by German-trained Russian maker Daniel Tomashev in 1912. If you ask Jacob, he'll happily show you the numerous places the top of the violin had to be glued back together after being smashed over its lifetime (not by Jacob, we promise). His violin bow was made by German bow-maker Lothar Seifert... not quite as rare and refined as an Ouchard, but the violin really likes it.
What type of piano does Sasha prefer to play?
Sasha's favorite type of piano is an in-tune piano. She performs primarily on pianos made by Steinway and Yamaha, and occasionally on Fazioli, Bösendorfer, and others.
Who designed your logo?
Our beautiful logo was designed and hand-painted by the extraordinary Karen Mosbacher. Originally painted in blues and greens, the logo has been adapted to include the black, white and purple iterations seen on our website, on our concert programs and booklets, posters, merch and more.
Where can I find more Ezra on the internet?
You can find Ezra in a variety of places! Such as:
+ Instagram: www.instagram.com/theezraduo
For peeks into Ezra day-to-day, as well as announcements and news!
+ Facebook: www.facebook.com/theezraduo
For occasional updates, news, and information on upcoming events!
+ YouTube: www.youtube.com/@theezraduo
For performance archives, and any video projects we produce!
Catch a glimpse of Ezra's nerdy side - livestreams of performances (Ezra Electrified!), video games, and to just hang out!
+ Our Website: (You're already here!)
This is the hub for all things Ezra. It has our performance schedule, some photos and videos, our biographies, and links to tickets.