‘the English Piano Trio brings these works to life…’
‘the instrumentalists play with capacity and boldness…’
‘the fizzing finale crowned the evening…’
‘they made no secret of their joy of playing…’
The English Piano Trio now celebrates its 27th season. Formed by three distinguished artists, the Trio has performed regularly at major London venues, and has toured extensively abroad. The Trio has presented complete Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven programmes at London’s South Bank, at both the Queen Elizabeth and Purcell Room. In 2013 they performed an all Shostakovich programme at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Since 2013 the Trio has been giving regular performances in the recital room of Colston Hall, Bristol. These are presented with the BBC musicologist Stephen Johnson. Many of these programmes have also been presented at Warwick Arts Centre.
In 2014, as part of Britten’s centenary celebrations, the Trio gave rare performances of his piano trio, in both the UK and in Germany. In 2014 they were invited by the Ivor Gurney Society to premiere his works for piano trio in Bristol.
As well as playing for promoters, music societies and festivals throughout the UK, the English Piano Trio tours abroad, often with repeated visits. These countries include Turkey (Istanbul and Ankara), Cyprus, Austria (Loosdorf), Spain (Barcelona), Germany (Mainz and Wiesbaden) France (Paris) and Italy (Bologna).
The Trio has promoted contemporary music by commissioning, performing and recording new works by Berthold Goldschmidt, Malcolm Lipkin, and David Matthews. (Kingdom label). The players held a residency at King’s College, University of London, working with young composers. For their 20th anniversary, the Trio commissioned and performed works by David Matthews, Cecilia McDowall and Joseph Phibbs. These works are now firmly in their repertoire and are performed at home and abroad.
The Trio’s recording of works by Sir Malcolm Arnold for the Naxos label, was part of a Gramophone Award winning series.
The English Piano Trio also researches works by lesser known composers. Their research and subsequent recording (Dutton Epoch label) and performance at the South Bank of music by the English composer Francis Edward Bache (1833 – 1858) gained critical acclaim. In their exploration of all styles of composition, the Trio gave the UK premiere at the South Bank of Oscar winning composer Anne Dudley’s arrangement of the Bach Chaconne for piano trio. In 2011, at the invitation of the Rinck Society in Germany, the Trio performed piano trios by Rinck (1770 – 1846) in Germany. These delightful works, previously unknown in the UK, are now in the group’s repertoire, and are a welcome addition to the piano trio ensemble.
The English Piano Trio is constantly producing ideas about programming, either as a trio, or with actors and narrators in their ‘Words and Music’ evenings, in which composers, writers or historic events are portrayed with music and readings. These have proved to be extremely popular with promoters. One of their more recent scripts ‘On the Danube’, is a collaboration with celebrated actor Timothy West CBE in an entertaining musical diary along Europe’s second longest river.
The Trio also works with other performers to augment the ensemble – ‘English Piano Trio and Friends’. These programmes include Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet, Mozart and Schumann Piano Quartets, Elgar and Shostakovich Piano Quintets.