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Musical World

Florestan Trio

  • Piano Trio

Biography

“The Florestan Trio defines great chamber music playing.” (San Francisco Chronicle). In honouring the Florestan Trio with its award for chamber music in 2000, the Royal Philharmonic Society recognised the achievements of the Trio in a repertoire in which long-standing, dedicated ensembles have always been rare. The Florestan Trio has now pursued this path for fifteen years, and listeners all over the world express their appreciation of the Trio’s devotion to a field of music which they believe deserves wholehearted commitment.

Florestan is one of the most-recorded piano trios in the world today. Its recordings on Hyperion have received outstanding reviews; all their discs have been nominated for Gramophone Awards, and are recommended choices in major collectors’ guides. Their Schumann disc won a 1999 Gramophone Award; their CD of French piano trios is one of Hyperion’s best-sellers in the chamber music field, and all their other discs from Mozart to Saint-Saens have become benchmark recordings. Their latest disc, of Haydn Trios, was greeted by America’s leading record magazine Fanfare with the words, ‘The Florestan is the ultimate in gentility and grace… the playing, interpretation, and recorded sound are perfection; every note, every phrase, every balance is beyond criticism.’

The Trio are popular visitors at major European venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Brussels Conservatoire, the Berlin Konzerthaus, De Singel in Antwerp, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Philharmonic Society in Bilbao and the Società del Quartetto in Milan. They regularly visit the USA, and past tours have taken them to South America, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. They have had works specially composed for them by Judith Weir, Peteris Vasks, Sally Beamish, John Casken, Rudi Martinus van Dijk and Dmitri Smirnoff, and they premiered a newly commissioned trio by Huw Watkins in November 2009 at the Wigmore Hall.

A focal point of the Trio’s year is its own festival in Peasmarsh, East Sussex. Each June they present four days of concerts centred on the Trio, but also welcoming guest artists of international stature. Perhaps uniquely, they each appear during the festival as concerto soloists with orchestras such as the Academy of St Martin’s in the Fields and the Florestan Festival Orchestra. The Trio has founded a charitable company, The Florestan Trust, which aims to develop public awareness and knowledge of music through the presentation of concerts, educational work and commissioning new works.