History of the trio

“When young musicians get together to form a chamber music ensemble it is always worth a concert visit. But to hear the young Trio Rafale no distance should be too far“.
Written by Beatrice Ehrlich in the “Oberbadische Zeitung“ in 2016 about the Swiss piano trio Rafale.


The offer to perform Ravel’s piano trio brought the three young students from the “Zurich University of the Arts” together in spring 2008.
From September 2009 on they were coached by Eckart Heiligers as Trio Rafale*.
They then took lessons with Rainer Schmidt in Basel from 2014 to 2015.
Further valuable musical impulses came from Eberhard Feltz and Bernard Greenhouse.

*rafale, la: French word for gust of wind. The ensemble chose this name because a gust of wind can be mild or strong. Thus, this describes accurately the diversity of mouvement found in music.

Travels, distinctions

The Trio Rafale won first prizes at two of the most prestigious international music competitions in Melbourne (2011) and Osaka (2014). They then undertook an intense worldwide concert schedule. In addition to regular appearances in the German-speaking countries, the trio has also given performances in France, England, the Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, Korea, Australia and Hawaii.
The trio also won 1st prizes at the “Concours national pour Trio instrumental Prix Geraldine Whittaker” of the Jeunesses Musicales de Suisse in 2010 and the chamber music competition of the Migros Kulturprozents 2013 where the ensemble also received the audience award. In 2014 the music commission of the city of Zurich awarded the ensemble an annual prize for interpretation.

Major events

2012 Lenzburgiade
2012/13 Summer music days Hitzacker
2013 Successful Paris debut, tour with the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kai Bumann, with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto
2014 Concerts in Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Munich, Salzburg and Ulm, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Davos Festival and debut at Wigmore Hall London, at the Swiss Ambassador Awards, followed by concerts in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast
2015 Concerts at the Prague Spring Festival, „Niedersächsische Musiktage” Hanover and “December Nights of Sviatoslav Richter in Moscow”, debut in the Berlin Philharmonie and an extensive tour of Japan followed by a concert in South Korea (Tongyeong Concert Hall)
2016 Debut at the “Alte Oper” Frankfurt, Lucerne Festival and participation in the mentoring programme of the “Beethoven-Haus” Bonn with a debut concert 2017 in the chamber music hall of this institution
2017 Konzerthaus Berlin, concerts with the Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden, Villa Rot and Wachenheimer Serenade
2018 Hawaii tour, Leitheim Castle Concerts, Braunwald Music Week and a festive jubilee concert celebration the trio’s 10th anniversary
2019 Debut at the Engadin Festival
2020 Regensburg Chamber Music Festival


Their first CD featuring works by Ravel and Schumann was released in 2012 by the label Monton.
A second recording displaying works by Vasks and Brahms followed in 2013 on Acousence.
Their third recording appeared in February 2017 on the label Coviello. This recording features early works by Debussy, Rachmaninow, Schostakowitsch, Henze and a piece by the young Swiss composer Jannik Giger wich is dedicated to the trio. This CD was awarded the German Record Critics’ Prize in May 2017.
The latest release by the Trio Rafale is a double CD featuring Schubert’s complete works for piano trio appeared in June 2018. It was also released by Coviello Classics.