The Martinu Piano Trio
Piano, Cello, Violin
22nd October 2016
Trio Martinů was formed at Prague Conservatoire in 1990. Its current line-up Petr Jiříkovský – piano, Jaroslav Matějka – cello, Pavel Šafařík – violin, have remained unchanged since 1993.
Under Professor Antonín Kohout (a member of the Smetana Quartet) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the ensemble developed and embarked on a trajectory paved with success and awards. These have included being semi-finalists in the international competition at Trapani, Italy; third prize in the international contest of chamber ensembles at Heerlen, Netherlands in 1992, and was followed by winning this competition, again, three years later, in 1995.
Trio Martinů has taken part in several series of master classes: at Villecroze, France, conducted by Prague Trio (1992 and 1994), and at the Orlando Festival in Kerkrade, Netherlands, under Sandor Devich and Menahem Pressler (a member of the Beaux Arts Trio, 1995 and 1997). From 1996, the ensemble studied for two years at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik under Professor Michael Schnitzler, a member of the Haydn Trio.
In 1995 the ensemble received the annual Award of the Czech Chamber Music Society (CCMS) attached to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since then, the Trio has toured many countries (Japan, USA, South America, Africa and most of Europe) and performed at major international festivals and venues, such as Mitte Europa, Schleswig-Holstein, Sion-Valais, Ohrid Summer Festival, Prague Spring Festival (1999, 2014), the International Festival of Chamber Music in Český Krumlouv (2014), the Euro-Asian Chamber Music Festival in South Korea (2015), and others.
The Trio´s discography encompasses both studio and live recordings. In August 2010, Trio Martinů participated in the music festival in Bever, Belgium, at which live recordings were made. Because of the Trio’s highly accomplished performance and the high quality of the recordings, the production company Dille & Kamille decided to make a CD with compositions from Haydn and Schubert. Another CD with works by P.I. Tchaikovsky (Piano Trio in A Minor, op. 50) and Bohuslav Martinů (Trio in D Minor) was released at the beginning of 2013 by the German company Musicaphon.
The ensemble has performed Beethoven's Triple Concerto numerous times with various orchestras, including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Libor Pešek, the Prague Symphony Orchestra under Jean-Claude Casadesus, and recently (December 2012) with the Prague Symphony Orchestra under the Chinese conductor Muhai Tang. A live recording of this concert was produced and complemented by another recording of Beethoven´s Trio in C Minor, op. 1/3 which Trio Martinů presented in 2008 in the Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague. This was released on CD in June 2014.
In 2015 Trio Martinů celebrated its 25th anniversary, and it has concentrated on development of special programmes, which have been introduced on home and international tours.
The Trio has also entered into a relationship with the Birmingham Conservatoire and offers masterclasses and various educational concerts for students.
The new tours have included representing the Czech Republic at the Visegrad Cultural Festival in Korea in September 2015, concerts in the Netherlands in October and November 2015, as well as new tours of England and Scotland in spring and autumn 2016.
All three trio members are outstanding soloists and record regularly for the Czech Radio. Pavel Šafařík and Jaroslav Matějka have been engaged at the Prague Symphony Orchestra as assistant leaders for many years, and Petr Jiříkovský, in addition to his solo performances, teaches piano at the Prague Conservatoire.