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"When talented young musicians come together to form as chamber music ensemble, their concerts are worth the journey. To hear the Trio Rafale in concert, no journey is too far“.


This is a comment by the German newspaper Oberbadische Zeitung from 2016 on the up-and-coming Swiss Piano Trio Rafale named after the French word for a gust of wind – although wind is not always a stormy gust, but can also be a warm flow of air or a cool breeze and is therefore an apt metaphor for all kinds of musically animated movement.

 

The three students from the Hochschule der Künste in Zurich came together through a request to play the Piano Trio by Maurice Ravel in the spring of 2008. From September 2009, the Trio Rafale was then tutored by Eckart Heiligers. From 2014 to 2015, the trio received tuition from Rainer Schmidt in Basel. The ensemble gained further valuable musical impulses from other musicians including Eberhard Feltz and Bernard Greenhouse.

 

Since its foundation, the trio has given numerous concerts in all major Swiss cities and was invited to many festivals including the Lenzburgiade and the Sommerliche Musiktagen Hitzacker in 2012. They gave their successful debut in Paris in the summer of 2013 and returned to Hitzacker the same year. In the autumn of 2013, the Trio Rafale embarked on a tour with the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kai Bumann with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. During the next few years, the ensemble gave recitals in many cities including Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Munich and Ulm and appeared at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Festival in Davos as young artists in concert.

 

Additional highlights included their debut at the Wigmore Hall London (October 2014) accompanied by the presentation of the Swiss Ambassador Award, followed by concerts in Cardiff, Edinburgh und Belfast and appearances at the Prague Spring Festival and the Niedersächsische Musiktage Hannover.
 

During the season 2015/2016, the trio gave their debuts in the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Berliner Philharmonie and at the December Nights of Sviatoslav Richter in Moscow. In November 2015, the Trio Rafale undertook an extensive tour to Japan, concluding with a concert in South Korea (Tongyeong Concert Hall).

 

The Trio Rafale was able to shine at two of the most renowned chamber music competitions with first prizes gained both at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (May 2014) and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (2011). Additional first prizes were won at the Concours national pour Trio instrumental Prix Geraldine Whittaker at the Jeunesses Musicales de Suisse (2010) and the chamber music competition held by Migros Kulturprozent in 2013 in which the trio also received the audience award. In 2014, the trio was awarded a Werkjahrespreis for Interpretation by the Music Commission of the City of Zurich.

 

In 2016, the trio performed works by Beethoven, Boulanger and Schoenberg at the Lucerne Festival. The same year, they were admitted to the Beethoven House mentoring programme in Bonn where they gave their debut concert in May 2017. Further highlights of the season 2016/2017 included an appearance in the Berliner Konzerthaus and a cooperation with the Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden. In March 2018, the Trio Rafale undertook a concert tour across Hawaii. The same year, the trio was able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its foundation with a concert on 27 May, exactly ten years to the very day after their initial concert.

 

Their debut CD with works by Schumann and Ravel appeared in 2012 (label monton). A second CD with works by Vasks and Brahms was released in 2013 (label Acousence). In February 2017 their third CD followed with early works of Debussy, Rachmaninov, Shostakovitch and Henze, further a piece written for the trio by Swiss composer Jannik Giger. This recording was awarded with the 'Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik' in May 2017. The Trio Rafale's next CD will be released in June 2018.