The Schubert Ensemble of London on Twitter The Schubert Ensemble of London - seated

The Schubert Ensemble is recognised as one of the world's leading chamber groups specialising in music for piano and strings. Although in its entirety the Ensemble's repertoire includes over 130 works, the core repertoire is the piano quartet, encompassing the superb sets by Brahms and Fauré and favourites by composers such as Schumann, Dvorak and Mozart, along with less well-known but equally deserving composers such as Enesco, Korngold and Chausson.

Many of their concerts also involve other combinations of piano with strings, such as quintets or trios. With Peter Buckoke (double bass) one of the founder members, the Ensemble has blazed the trail in unearthing, commissioning and performing a surprisingly large repertoire of works for bass quintet. Aside from the obvious "Trout" quintet, after which the group was originally named, the ensemble has recorded two sparkling quintets by the nineteenth century female composer Louise Farrenc, has performed the newly discovered Vaughan Williams quintet all over the world and recorded it for Chandos Records. It has also commissioned over 15 new works for quintet with bass. In the field of new music, the Ensemble is held in high regard by composers for its energetic and prolific commissioning programme. In total the Ensemble has commissioned 37 major concert works for its various combinations of instruments, as well as a further 45 for its Chamber Music 2000 project.

In recent years the Ensemble has performed increasingly as a two-violin quintet. As well as recording many of the great quintets such as those by Schumann and Brahms, they have also recorded the less well-known quintets of Elgar, Korngold, and Cesar Franck (chosen by BBC Radio 3 as the best modern recording of this work). As a dedicated and full-time piano and strings group, the Ensemble is able to dedicate its energies to exploring and performing not only the great favourites of the repertoire, but also the many superb and unjustly neglected works that cannot be put together quickly by ad-hoc groups. As a result its programmes are always exciting and refreshing, casting the most popular works in a fresh light alongside new commissions and rarely heard gems.

"The piano/strings repertory is so often left to ad-hoc ensembles where pianists are grafted onto existing string quartets, where piano trios take on additional floating string players, where clusters of solo stars thrash it out at festivals, etc. You might gain spontaneity that way, but you often lose balance and direction - and to hear the splendid Schubert Ensemble of London was to realize what a full-time piano/strings ensemble can do.. the ensemble displayed a nearly supernatural degree of polish"
- Los Angeles Times [Full Article]

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