On 28th November 2023 we had a large audience to welcome the London Piano Quartet: Simon Callaghan (piano), Michael Trainor (violin), Jessie Ann Richardson (cello), and Zahra Benyounes (viola). Michael, Jessie Ann and Zahra are members of the distinguished Piatti String Quartet. In a generous and wide-ranging programme, we moved from Mozart’s charming piano quartet in E flat to the well-known Brahms quartet in G minor, via something of a rarity: the piano quartet in D minor by William Walton, in its first public performance by the London Piano Quartet. Remarkably Walton was only 16 when he wrote this work, and while the influences of Ravel, Debussy, Vaughan Williams and others can be heard, Walton’s distinctive voice is also discernible. It is a great work, and made an immediate impression on our audience. The Brahms G minor quartet in the second half was superb, culminating in a scintillating performance of the rumbustuous last movement, Rondo alla Zingarese. This was a great evening with highly accomplished musicians, and was much appeciated by all those present.
On 22nd February 2024, we were delighted to host the Benyounes Piano Trio – Zahra Benyounes (violin), Eve-Marie Carravassilis (cello) and Jeremy Young (piano). Their programme contained two of the great works from the piano trio repertoire: Mendelssohn Piano Trio No 2 in C minor, and Schubert Piano Trio No 2 in E flat. Interspersed between the two was “Spinning Top”, a short work for piano trio by the Australian composer Nicole Murphy. The piece celebrates Jarrad Kennedy’s sculpture of the same name in Brisbane, with perpetual and complex rhythmic motion and repetition used to great effect. The Mendelssohn and Schubert works were superbly performed, with informative introductions from members of the trio, and this was another excellent evening of chamber music much enjoyed by our audience.