At a glance
London Bridge Trio
The poetry, flexibility and ardour displayed by these gifted players held me captive from first note to lastGramophone
The London Bridge Trio is one of Britain’s most exciting and brilliant chamber groups, whose primary focus is driven by the piano trio repertoire.
Ben Hancox, violin
Cara Berridge, cello
Daniel Tong, piano
The London Bridge Trio is one of Britain’s leading chamber ensembles, known for their deeply nuanced and searching interpretations. Formed in 2002, they continue their original mission of prioritising strong, composer-led programmes, often collaborating with regular guest artists. Their name reflects an admiration for English music of the early twentieth century, which forms part of the group’s varied repertoire and is represented by their hugely successful Frank Bridge recordings. For 2022 and beyond, founder Daniel Tong is joined by Ben Hancox and Cara Berridge, both members of the acclaimed Sacconi Quartet with whom Daniel has performed on numerous occasions.
Over recent years the trio has appeared frequently in London with Wigmore Hall and Kings Place concerts as well as a residency at St John’s Smith Square, entitled ‘Brahms and his World’, which represented four aspects of his composing life with mixed combinations and song. Their concert of Czech music at Champs Hill in Sussex was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, and their concerts at St George’s Bristol were broadcast as a series of BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts. The group has also appeared at venues including Queen’s Hall, St George’s and the Ponte de Lima Festival (Portugal).
The London Bridge Trio has a strong reputation in the recording field. In 2019 the trio released ‘The Leipzig Circle’, a new disc of works celebrating unheard female composers from the 1800s, involving the works of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn and Robert and Clara Schumann (SOMM Recordings). The disc, Volume 1 of a trio of CDs (they will record the complete piano trios by Schumann and Mendelssohn), garnered high praise; The Telegraph called it “a total delight… The performers do the works proud.” Gramophone Magazine and BBC Music Magazine joined The Telegraph in praising the new disc: “Everything here is played with sensitivity and conviction” (Gramophone); “The London Bridge Trio offer a fascinating glimpse into Leipzig… their works inhabit distinctive, highly Romantic soundworlds full of invention and drama” (BBC Music Magazine).
In Autumn 2015 the trio released a disc of Dvorak Piano Quartets on the Champs Hill label, with guest violist Gary Pomeroy of the Heath Quartet. The album received rave reviews in Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine (double five stars) and the Observer. The ensemble’s recordings of works by Frank Bridge were also released by Dutton and met with plaudits from the critics, including unreserved commendations from Gramophone Magazine, International Record Review, American Record Guide and BBC Radio 3 (CD Review). Their second Bridge disc was shortlisted for the Gramophone Chamber Music Award 2011. Their Schumann recording for Sonimage Classics drew observations such as “rendered with a bubbling brilliance”, and “heart touchingly eloquent” from the Sunday Times. A collection of works by Fauré followed on Sonimage Classics, and received excellent reviews from both The Strad and Gramophone magazines.
Thought-provoking pre-concert talks and lecture-recitals are something the trio is increasingly known for, and their collaboration with Richard Wigmore continues, exploring together the influences, connections and history of masterworks for the genre. The trio also has a long association with baritone Ivan Ludlow, enabling the inclusion of Lieder alongside connected chamber works.
In 2008 the ensemble founded its own festival, the Winchester Chamber Music Festival, in the hometown of their cellist Kate Gould. The festival welcomes capacity audiences each year in late April/early May and the trio have secured their reputation for stylish programmes involving exceptional international artists. In 2018 the festival celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of a new work written for the trio by Colin Matthews, ‘Hidden Agenda’, and the trio were joined by the Heath Quartet for a series of sold-out concerts. Guest artists have included the Gould trio and the Navarra quartet as well as members of the Elias Quartet and Kungsbacka Trio.
Violinist Ben Hancox and cellist Cara Berridge embark on a new musical adventure with Daniel Tong Read more
Three tracks from the new disc were featured on BBC Radio Scotland Classics Unwrapped Read more
The trio return to the music of Robert and Clara Schumann, as well as Felix Mendelssohn, for this second CD in their Leipzig Circle collection. Read more
The London Bridge Trio feature on two BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concerts during the 2019 festive period Read more
Gramophone Magazine and BBC Music Magazine join The Telegraph in praising the new disc Read more
Their performance shone from beginning to end, producing endlessly beautiful sounds that defied the acoustics by ringing on in the air beyond the end of the pieces.Music and Vision
...the effectiveness of the divertimento-like sequences of short, intensely characterised movements, free from the encumbrances of sonata form, was borne in on me anew.The Sunday Times
Melody shot forth with magical poignancy, particularly from the cello of Kate GouldThe Sunday Times
These stylish newcomers deserve a place at the top table next to such exalted predecessors as Benjamin Britten with members of the Amadeus QuartetGramophone
...the rapture caused the heart to race while the intensity of expression set the lip a-quiverThe Strad
rendered with a bubbling brilliance... heart-touchingly eloquentThe Sunday Times
If you're after an all Bridge disc [list of pieces]... all in excellent performances, then look no further..."BBC Radio 3 CD Review
Their performance of the Bridge Trio was one of the great chamber music experiences of my life.David Matthews, composer
The London Bridge Ensemble aren't afraid to tell it like it is... playing that is as compelling as it is rapt.Gramophone
In the hands of these virtuosi, this simple music could not help but dance, fly and rejoice.Music and Vision
Throughout, the London Bridge Trio performs with great panache, demonstrating a sensitive but confident approach.The Whole Note
The London Bridge Trio bring a vivid immediacy and an effortless sense of ensemble.Midlands Music Reviews
A persuasive performance, very much engaged with the spirit of the music.Fanfare Magazine
Everything here is played with sensitivity and conviction.Gramophone
Finely played and imaginatively programmed… The players excel.Midlands Music Reviews
Selected Discography —
The Leipzig Circle Vol II
The Whole Note
Throughout, the London Bridge Trio performs with great panache, demonstrating a sensitive but confident approach in this most intimate repertoire.
The Leipzig Circle
The performers do the works proud. They catch the storminess of the first movement of Fanny Mendelssohn’s Trio, but are careful not to go too far... Lightness of touch and a tender intimacy of feeling are the keynotes of this CD.
Dvorák Piano Quartets (with Gary Pomeroy)
BBC Music Magazine
The London Bridge Trio bring this unfamiliar work to life as if it were an old friend... The players succeed unerringly... This is a first-rate reflective chamber music recording. 5*
Faure Piano Quintet no 2, La Bonne Chanson etc.
The London Bridge Ensemble aren't afraid to tell it like it is... playing that is as compelling as it is rapt
Frank Bridge Piano Quintet, etc
American Record Guide
These are lovely performances of music... filled with succulent harmony, transparency, lyricism, light and shadow
Schumann Live Recording of Chamber Music and Song
The young ensemble, whose name alludes not only to their base, but to their desire to bridge the gap between chamber music and song, and to their admired composer Frank Bridge, perform superbly
Frank Bridge - Songs and Chamber Music
The playing is replete with a passion that yields rich rewards
Related Media —
Mendelssohn Piano Trio in C min: Allegro energico e fuocoView on SoundCloud
Schumann Piano Trio in D min, ScherzoView on SoundCloud
- Ellie Shouls