Monday, 28 March 2011

3 x 3 Beethoven Piano Trios new series, new ensemble, new venue

Introducing the Phoenix Piano Trio, undertaking a survey of everything that Beethoven wrote for piano trio,
containing many of the greatest works of the chamber music repertoire. Starts 10th April.

Each programme in the series is built round Beethoven's music for piano trio. A comprehensive traverse through the repertoire. Read more about the programmes HERE and also about the Phoenix Trio. .

If the Phoenix Piano Trio look familiar, well, yes they are. Impressive pedigrees! Each of them is very experienced and well-regarded. Sholto Kynoch, the pianist, plays, teaches and is a real repertoire buff - he's the creative blaze behind Oxford Lieder. Jonathan Stone, the violinist, has played in several ensembles including the Doric String Quartet.  Marie Macleod, the cellist, also plays with the Aronowitz Ensemble. Please follow the links, to read more. Chamber musicians don't usually have high public profiles, but knowing their backgrounds and networks gives a very good take on who they are. All three have worked together for years, so the Phoenix Piano Trio, though "new", comes with a long history..

What's also interesting is their interest in blending masters like Beethoven with new music that works in complement. "Beethoven was the ground breaking firebrand of his day", say the Trio, so for each programme they've commissioned a new work to fit the Beethoven. Don't let the "firebrand" tag bother you, since these are established composers. James Weeks, for example, the man behind Exaudi, one of the finest vocal ensembles around. Philip Venables, Edwin Roxburgh,  James Young (a pianist) and Cheryl Frances-Hoad. 

Five programmes, repeated in a mini-tour which starts in London and goes on to Oxford and points beyond.  In London, one of the places is The Forge, "Camden's newest hidden gem". Not yet another conversion, but a purpose built new building designed by award winning architects Burd Howard. The auditorium, seating 100, was specially planned for natural acoustics. Between the auditorium and restaurant is a big gass domed courtyard with a 6.5 metre "living wall" of plants. The outdoors indoors in the heart of town ! Read the specs for The Forge carefully as it seems like an ideal small venue for chamber and other intimate performances. Big selling point seems to be the acoustics- listen to sound samples on the website. Since The Forge is smaller than the Wigmore Hall or Kings Place, it would be a great place for conferences, weddings, parties etc. making it economically as well as audibly sound. Parking's a problem, though.Try the Holywell Music Room, Blackheath or Walton on Thames.

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