Photograph of Gould Piano Trio by Jake Morley
The Robert Stoker Concert
Lucy Gould – violin, Richard Lester – cello, Benjamin Frith – piano
The Gould Piano Trio has been compared in the Washington Post to the great Beaux Arts Trio for their “musical fire” and “dedication to the genre” and has remained at the forefront of the international chamber music scene for over a quarter of a century.
Launched by winning first prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, they were European Concert Halls Organisation “Rising Stars”, making a highly successful debut at New York’s Weill Recital Hall, described by Strad Magazine as “Pure Gould”. Their many appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall have included the complete piano trios of Dvořák, Mendelssohn and Schubert, and they returned to this iconic venue to present a Beethoven Cycle in the 2022-2023 season.
The trio’s passionate belief in the importance of developing new repertoire has resulted in commissioning works from many contemporary composers. Commissions from Sir James MacMillan and Mark Simpson saw premieres at the Bath International Festival and the PRS New Music Biennale in Hull, City of Culture, 2017. Their most recent commission, John Casken’s Lust of Roots, was premiered at the 2022 Buxton Festival, and at their Cheltenham Festival appearance the same year they performed the RPS commission, ilk, by Andrew Chen.
They also maintain a lively relationship with promising young chamber players by giving masterclasses worldwide, particularly in association with the Guildhall School in London and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Together with clarinettist Robert Plane, the trio are artistic directors of the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival in Northumberland which celebrated its 21st anniversary with a much-acclaimed new commission from Huw Watkins for clarinet and piano trio entitled Four Fables. The most recent edition of the festival promoted the music of Piers Hellawell and Pamela Harrison, alongside more familiar masterpieces.
Tours of N. America, the Far East, Europe and New Zealand have been interspersed by adventurous recording projects, including releases on Naxos, Chandos, Somm, Resonus, NMC and Champs Hill. In addition to their highly praised recordings of the standard works, the trio have thrown light on long neglected gems from late romantic British repertoire, such as trios by C.V. Stanford and John Ireland, plus fascinating works by Bax, Milford, York Bowen and Cyril Scott. More recent additions include John Casken’s piano trio and a disc of works by Charles Ives, Rebecca Clarke and Amy Beach.
The first volume of their Schubert Piano Trio cycle, in which these sublime masterpieces are juxtaposed with skilful arrangements (by Carl Zellner and Brian Newbould) of the composer’s dances, was released on the Resonus Classics label in 2021. The Goulds’ performance of Leokadiya Kashperova’s Piano Trio, recorded live at the Edinburgh International Festival the same year, was selected for the festival’s chamber music highlights disc on the Linn label, and featured on Radio 3’s Composer of the Week.
The album of chamber music by Pamela Harrison from the Gould Piano and Robert Plane, curated by Robert Plane, was released by Resonus Classics in early 2023, and was featured as one of Gramophone Magazine’s “best new classical albums this week”. Later this year, the Goulds embark on their next major recording project: the seven Heinrich Marschner Piano Trios and two Piano Quartets.