Robert Plane won the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition in London in 1992 and has since enjoyed a career encompassing solo and chamber work alongside holding the principal clarinet positions of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He has also played as a guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and in Aurora Orchestra’s recent memorized performances of Brahms’ First Symphony.
He is a successful recording artist and is particularly highly regarded for his solo recordings for Naxos. His account of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto won Classic CD Magazine’s ‘Best Concerto Recording’ Award and was selected as BBC Radio 3’s recommended version in ‘Building a Library’, whilst his recording of Bax Sonatas was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award. Robert has played concertos with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Dortmund Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Ensemble in concert halls across Europe, from Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional and the Zurich Tonhalle to London’s Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall. He toured China as soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, including a performance at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, broadcast live to a TV audience of 6 million.
His appearance at our festival sees him with the Gould Piano Trio, a partnership going back over twenty years, including the recorded cycle of the complete trios of both Beethoven and Brahms; they also work together directing the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival in Northumberland.
The Gould Piano Trio
Benjamin Frith is well known to us, having visited only last year, with his Frith Piano Quartet. He is joined by Lucy Gould (violin) and Alice Neary (cello)…
Their discography not only includes the renowned masterpieces of the repertoire but also many hidden gems, brought to life through an ongoing collaboration with clarinettist Robert Plane. Trio cycles by Brahms (Quartz), Hummel (Naxos) and Dvorak (Champs Hill) have been complemented by the late romantic works of Charles Villiers Stanford, John Ireland, Robin Milford, Cyril Scott and Arnold Bax, many of which are in world premiere recordings. A disc of contemporary works by Peter Maxwell Davies, Sally Beamish and James MacMillan (Champs Hill) was released in 2015 helping to bring British music to an international public. This year sees the release of Saint-Saens’ Trios, the Piano Quartets of Brahms and his friend Kirchner’s transcriptions of the master’s String Sextets for piano trio – another exciting rarity.
First-hand experience working with contemporary composers has led to the commissioning of many new works. They will celebrate their 25th anniversary year in 2017 with performances of a new commission from young British composer Mark Simpson, supported through Beyond Borders and the PRS for Music Foundation.
The ensemble will be performing a programme of chamber music including a Schubert Piano Trio, a new work specially written for the ensemble by Huw Watkins (‘Four Fables’) and Brahms’ magnificent, autumnal Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano.
[Picture credits: Jake Morley (pics 1-3); Chris Stock (pic 4)]