The Rautio Piano Trio has emerged as one of today’s finest chamber ensembles known for their refined and powerfully expressive performances. With a passion for performing 18th and 19th century repertoire on both modern and period instruments, they have developed a fresh and engaging approach to their interpretations of historical masterworks.
They are joined by special guests Michele Bruil and Jan Zahourek
Beethoven ‘Pastoral’ Symphony No.6 in F major Op.68 (Transcribed for quintet by Jan Rautio)
Schubert ‘Trout’ Quintet A major D.667
In a historically authentic tradition of repurposing compositions, pianist Jan Rautio transcribed Beethoven’s programmatic symphony, The Pastoral, for the same combination of instruments as Schubert’s immortal Trout Quintet. Composed when Schubert was 22, the quintet was inspired by the surroundings of a summer trip in the Austrian Alps and uses his earlier song ‘Die Forelle’ (’The Trout’, D550) for the basis for the beautiful fourth movement. One of the most popular chamber music pieces of all time, it was the centrepiece of the 1969 documentary featuring cellist Jaqueline Du Pré
The Trio has released two critically acclaimed albums with Resonus Classics and are frequently heard on BBC Radio 3. They have performed at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, South Bank, Bridgewater Hall, throughout the UK and in France, Austria and Germany.
In 2022 the Rautio Trio launched the first volume of the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Trios, recorded on fortepiano. This is the culmination of a wider project charting the evolution of the piano trio from its emergence in the mid-18th century, with the music of JC Bach, CPE Bach, Mozart and Haydn, through to Beethoven’s complex and mature realisation of the genre. Kindly supported by a Continuo Foundation grant, this project, ‘The Dawn of the Piano Trio: Beethoven’s Building Blocks’, refines their approach to performing on historical instruments by drawing inspiration from a variety of earlier works.
The Rautio Trio not only masters core repertoire but commissions new works and is active in working with contemporary composers. In 2021 the Trio gave the world premiere of a new work by Brian Elias at Kings Place, London. This concert was listed in the Guardian’s Top Ten Cultural Events and live-streamed globally. Other highlights include the Trio’s performances at the London Bach Society, Hambacher Musikfest in Germany, SOUND contemporary music festival in Scotland, English Haydn Festival, Pablo Casals Festival in France and at the Haydn-Saal in Vienna.
Born in Rotterdam, Michelle Bruil took up the violin at the age of seven. She studied viola at the Rotterdam Conservatory, the Conservatoire de Paris and graduated with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London. While at the Academy she won the Max Gilbert Solo Viola prize and the Sir Arthur Bliss Prize and was awarded the Alfred Gibson and Maurice Loban Prizes.
For the last 5 years Michelle was no 4 Viola with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared as guest Principal with the Royal Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestra, as guest co-principal with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and played with the London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony and Royal Opera House Orchestras. In addition to her orchestral work she appears on film and television soundtracks ranging from The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter to Planet Earth. As a chamber musician Michelle has performed at the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, Cadogan Hall, Conway Hall, the Cité de la Musique and the Kleine zaal of the Concertgebouw.
She has appeared on stage and recordings with Paul McCartney, Herbie Hancock, Shirley Bassey, Ray Davies, Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Winton Marsalis.
Jan Zahourek hails from the U.S. He credits a childhood spent half in New York City, and half in the university town of Amherst, Massachusetts, for cultivating and nourishing his passion for music. The New York of his childhood was alive with music and emerging arts, both in formal venues and out on the streets and in parks. Meanwhile, the Amherst community and schools had exceptionally well-supported music programs with superb teachers and performers.
Jan studied music at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where he focussed mainly on jazz bass, with a little classical piano on the side, and then, after a three year hiatus due to finger injury, accepted a full scholarship for a Masters’ in Double Bass Performance at the University of Massachusetts, where he focussed entirely on classical double bass. Afterwards, Jan spent half a decade in Padova, Italy, playing extensively with the chamber group Ensemble Musagete, as well as other small orchestras around Padova, and the Civic Wind Band.
Jan then moved to London, where he was offered a full scholarship for another graduate degree, this time in viola da gamba at Trinity College of Music, while he continued to play in the city, region and across the globe in orchestras and ensembles, including the Philharmonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Solomon’s Knot, the English Concert and many others.