The Vienna Schubert Trio was founded in 1985 and performed as a full-time ensemble until deciding to disband in 1993. From the outset the trio appeared regularly in the music centres of Europe, North America and Asia, and rapidly established a reputation as one of the foremost piano trios.
In its debut season, they won first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition “Sergio Lorenzi” in Trieste, Italy with Sandor Vegh as president of the jury, and as a result were given the opportunity to work with the Beaux Arts Trio. After its first tour of the United States in 1986, the Trio was named the year’s “Best New Visiting Chamber Ensemble” by the Washington Post. Subsequent seasons took the Trio to the music festivals of Vienna, Ossipach, Bratislava, Stresa, Spoleto, Napoli, Besancon, La Chaise-Dieu, Guanajuato and Washington. In 1986 they gave a series of four concerts at the Wigmore Hall, London, in 1987 they toured Japan, and in 1988 the ensemble made its first appearance at the Salzburg and Turku Festivals. Beginning in 1988 the Vienna Schubert Trio presented its own annual series of five concerts at the Musikverein in Vienna. It first performed at the Philharmonie in Berlin, and at Sviatoslav Richter’s prestigious “December Festival” in Moscow in 1990.
The ensemble devoted itself to both the established masterpieces of the repertoire and many less familiar works, often presented in the context of concert series designed to demonstrate relationships between various composers and styles. In one season the trio focussed on music written around the turn-of-the-century, performing trios by Lili Boulanger, Ernest Chausson, Paul Juon, Hans Pfitzner, Max Reger and Philipp Scharwenka alongside works of Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
The string players of the Vienna Schubert Trio performed on important historic instruments from the collection of the Austrian National Bank. The violin is a 1698 Stradivarius, “La Rouse-Boughton”; the cello is a 1743 Guadagnini, “ex van Zweygberg”.
Philip Sawyers: Mayflower on the Sea of Time
Label: Nimbus ⏐ NI.6441