- Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 70, No. 2
- Bent Sørensen: Phantasmagoria for Piano Trio
- Anton Arensky: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32
Soo-Jin Hong, violin
Jens Elvekjaer, piano
Soo-Kyung Hong, cello
“Glowing reports hold true. The Trio con Brio Copenhagen clearly occupies a lofty perch in today’s musical scene.” – Washington Post
“From the first note, Trio con Brio exudes class … both explosive and exquisitely intimate – aspects that this performance delivers with compelling panache.” – Strad
“Founded in Vienna in 1999 with the concept of pairs coming together, the two Korean sisters, and Soo-Kyung and Jens (who are now married), have since then been exploring the piano trio repertoire with freshness and curiosity as well as with respect and reflection. In particular they have been gaining a reputation for the freshness of their approach to the core repertoire: “works by Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms are transformed in their hands into the alive-and-kicking music of today.” – Esben Tange, editor at DR P2.
Since its inception the Trio has won most of the international competitions for piano trio, including the ARD (Munich), Vittorio Gui (Florence) and Norway’s Trondheim Competition. In January 2015 the Trio became the first ensemble to receive one of Denmark’s most prestigious music awards, the “P2 Artists Prize,” at a live televised concert where they performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Other major awards received include the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award (USA) and the “Allianz Prize” in Germany’s Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Trio con Brio Copenhagen is in great international demand and has an intensive worldwide touring schedule. Recent and future appearances include Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Seoul, London, Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Paris, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen among many other cities. In recent years, Trio con Brio Copenhagen has appeared in major concert halls in Europe, the USA and Asia, such as Tivoli Concert Hall, Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Berlin, Louvre Paris, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Seoul Arts Center, Bunka Kaikan Tokyo, and Teatro Olimpico Vicenza.
Trio con Brio Copenhagen continues to play a central role in Scandinavia’s vibrant contemporary music scene. Several of Denmark’s most prominent composers including Per Nørgård and Bent Sørensen, as well as Swedish composer Sven David Sandström, have composed and dedicated works to the Trio. Trio con Brio Copenhagen was enormously honoured to be chosen by Per Nørgård to be the dedicatee of a work that was premiered at a festival in Stockholm celebrating his 80th birthday in 2012. In January 2016 the trio presented the world premiere of Bent Sørensen’s Triple Concerto with the Danish National Orchestra for which Bent Sørensen was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2017.
The Trio’s recordings have been praised by critics. American Record Guide wrote: “One of the greatest performances of chamber music I’ve ever encountered …”. Gramophone Magazine wrote: “… Any group would be hard-pressed to imitate this blend of verve and poise …”. Their Mendelssohn CD was chosen by Classic FM, UK as Chamber Disc of 2011: “Every phrase soars and pulsates with the excitement of a fresh discovery as the Copenhagen players go the full distance with playing of skin-rippling sensitivity… sensational playing…”. Their latest recording of trios by Tchaikovsky and Smetana was hailed by The Guardian (UK): “… Trio con Brio Copenhagen scale the Tchaikovsky’s heights with the verve their name suggests …”
Trio con Brio Copenhagen is frequently featured as soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with orchestras. In 2011 the Trio premiered a new Triple Concerto by the renowned Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Kristjan Järvi in Copenhagen’s Koncerthuset. The following year, they were invited to perform the Triple Concerto with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for Sandström’s 70th birthday concert in the Stockholm Konserthus.
The Trio is artistic director of the Copenhagen Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival on Lundsgaard Estate in Kerteminde and the Hellerup Chamber Music Society in Copenhagen.
The Trio’s sound benefits from the superb instruments they play: Soo-Jin plays a violin built by Andrea Guarneri from the 17th century, Soo-Kyung plays a Grancino cello, and Jens is Denmark’s first Steinway Artist. Both string players are endorsed by Jagar Strings and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna.
The ensemble was coached by the Alban Berg Quartet, Frans Helmerson, Mihaela Martin and Harald Schoneweg at the Cologne University of Music and received excellent musical guidance by Ferenc Rados in Budapest.