‘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 over 30 years together. The Trio has performed regularly at major London venues, and toured abroad. The Trio has presented complete Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven programmes at London’s South Bank. At the Usher Hall, Edinburgh they performed an all Shostakovich programme with readings from the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. From 2013 until 2020 the Trio gave regular performances in the recital room of Colston Hall, Bristol. These were presented with the BBC musicologist Stephen Johnson. Many of these programmes were also performed 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 Gurney’s works for piano trio in Bristol.
As well as playing for promoters, music societies and festivals in the UK, the English Piano Trio has toured abroad, often with repeated visits. These countries have included Turkey (Istanbul and Ankara), Cyprus, Austria, 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 have been 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 2023 the Trio recorded the complete works for piano trio combination by the English composer Rutland Boughton (1878 -1960) on the English Music label, for which they have received excellent reviews. In their exploration of different 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. At the invitation of the Rinck Society in Germany, the Trio performed piano trios by Rinck (1770 – 1846) in Mainz, Germany. These delightful works, previously unknown in the UK, are a welcome addition to the repertoire of the piano trio ensemble.
The English Piano Trio is constantly producing new programming ideas, 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’ was a collaboration with celebrated actor Timothy West CBE. In the 2023/24 seasonscripts featuring both Mozart and the recent new Beethoven – Beethoven – the Man and his Music are programmed, the latter at Guildford concert hall, G Live.
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.