About the Piano Trio Society

Since its formation in 1995, the Society has embraced a wide variety of activities around UK.


Piano Trio Day – this has proved to be a successful annual event for many years and has featured master classes for student trios, also often including a forum on some topic of interest to young musicians. Artists conducting master classes have included Peter Frankl, Emanuel Hurwitz, Bernard Roberts, Louis Carus, Peter Cropper, Jeremy Young, Wu Qian, Nicholas Trygstad, Alice Neary, Raphael Wallfisch, Krzysztof Smietana, Timothy Ravenscroft, Nicholas Roberts, Michael Bochmann MBE, The Israel Piano Trio and The Barbican Piano Trio. Piano Trio Days have been held at the Guildhall School of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, Chethams School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Clarendon Muse and at Warwick and Southampton Universities. The forums have often featured the important topic of “Health and the Musician” with world expert the late Dr Christopher Wynn Parry MBE and a number of visiting speakers.
Intercollegiate Piano Trio Competitions - these were first held at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2018 and included a competition for students at the Junior Colleges and Music Schools as well as the Conservatoires. These proved to be very successful and indicated a very high standard throughout.
Student Piano Trios - we are pleased to have a number of student piano trios as members and offer help and advice as well as concert opportunities when they arise.


• The Society has presented a variety of lectures at venues including the Wigmore Hall and Conway Hall. Speakers have included David Cairns, Rob Cowan, Basil Smallman and Clive Brown; among their subjects have been the early history of the piano trio and performance practice in the nineteenth century.
• A series of Trio Conversations has been held at Steinway Hall, London and has included talks by Peter Frankl on his life and work, Malcolm Lipkin, Gilbert Biberian and Cecilia McDowall talking about their piano trios, Roy Howat on the Ravel Piano Trio, the Lawson Trio talking about their work with Chamber Music 2000 – “Contemporary Music for Everyone”, William Bruce and Felicity Lipman talking about “Chamber Music for the Developing Child” and Nils Franke discussing the piano trios of Rachmaninov with the Mediterranea Trio. All the talks have been accompanied by performances of piano trios.
• A Society event at the University of Sheffield included symposiums dedicated to the study and performance of piano trios and the importance of published editions by Simon Keefe, Dr George Kennaway, Dr Mary Dullea and Dr Dorothy Ker. The event was arranged by Dr Mary Dullea and featured the Fidelio Trio, which also performed and gave masterclasses during the weekend.
• We collaborated with the Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London in a Piano Trio Conference arranged by Middlesex University.
• A special event for music teachers in October 2018 entitled “Chamber music for early learners of all ages” with members Nadia Lasserson and Heleen Verleur, provided a valuable insight into the large amount of music available for such ensembles.


The Society actively encourages links between composers and performers and has a number of composer members. We also keep members up to date with news of composers, compositions and first performances where possible. Past events have included lecture recitals by contemporary composers who have discussed and introduced a performance of one of their piano trios. The composers have included John McCabe, David Matthews, Philip Martin, Malcolm Lipkin, Gilbert Biberian and Cecilia McDowall. We have been able recently to connect composers with member trios and this has led to new works being recorded and performed. We commissioned a new piano trio from composer member Adrian Williams in memory of Dr Christopher Wynn Parry MBE, one of our Vice Presidents who died in 2015, and premièred the trio by Christopher Brammeld, one of our Trustees, which was performed by one of our student trio members.


The Piano Trio Society actively encourages participation in joint events with other Societies. These have included a concert with the Beethoven Society of Europe and a joint concert with the Iberian and Latin American Music Society featuring the music of Martin Kutnowski. The Society has also worked closely with the British Performing Arts Medicine Trust on its “Health and the Musician” lectures. In April 2010 and again in 2014 and 2016 the Society worked with the Beethoven Society of Europe on the Beethoven Chamber Music Masterclass and Competition which featured Piano Trios. We are also in a reciprocal agreement with EPTA which offers discounted subscriptions to members of both Societies. We welcome approaches from others wishing to promote joint events. Recent collaborative events have included our Christmas event at Stapleford Granary in 2014 and in 2015 we collaborated with Sheffield University on a weekend event on 18/19 April and with Warwick University on Saturday 21 November for our annual Piano Trio Day. In 2016 we joined forces with Gloucester Music Society to present two world premieres at the Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral in November.


For many years the Society has published a Newsletter which provides news, views and features and serves as a forum and notice board for the Society and its members. Due to the accessibility of email and the internet, our Newsletter has become an increasingly important way of keeping members in touch and is emailed to our members and those on our mailing list, with our website providing additional up-to-date information. Hard copy of the Newsletter can be sent to those without computer access. We welcome articles of interest for inclusion in the Newsletter - please contact the Administrator for details. Please use the contact page if you wish to be added to the mailing/email list. You can access some recent editions on our Newsletter page.

Please support us by making a donation

Our Society is funded almost exclusively by Membership subscriptions.  If you would like to help by making a donation towards our work we would be most grateful!