United by a commitment to continuing to raise the profile of the Austrian-British composer Hans Gál, the Briggs Piano Trio were first brought together by AVIE Records to record a disc contrasting Gál’s poetic E major Trio with Shostakovich’s dark E minor Trio.
Sarah, David and Kenneth have previously collaborated in various contexts going back as far as the early 1990s. While Sarah and David were originally brought together through Mozart, in recent years, the Hans Gál connection was again what partnered Sarah with Kenneth, when he conducted the world premiere of Hans Gál’s Piano Concerto with Sarah as soloist for an AVIE disc which was awarded a Gramophone Critic’s Choice.
As well as exploring hidden gems, the players look forward to returning to all the great chamber works for Piano Trio that they have enjoyed performing as part of their past chamber ensembles. The Briggs Piano Trio share a special affinity for the piano trios of the leading composers of the great Austro-German tradition from Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert through Brahms and Zemlinsky to Hans Gál, perhaps the last great figure in that line.
Away from the concert platform, the three share a love of dogs, wine and coffee.
CD of Hans Gál and Shostakovich
Gramophone Editor’s Choice – October 2018
MusicWeb International Recording of the Month – November 2018
The playing throughout is simply exquisite. Recommended with all possible enthusiasm.
The Briggs Trio responds to the style with enormous affection, following the mood changes from passionate to witty with eagle ears, and it sounds as if they have been living with the music for a long time.
BBC Music Magazine
Overall, this is outstanding playing by the Briggs Piano Trio and this recording is recommended without reservation.
A couple of sample programmes, each featuring a major work from the Briggs Piano Trio’s debut CD
- Haydn – Piano Trio in F sharp minor Hob XV/26
- Hans Gál – Piano Trio in E major, op 18
- Schubert – Piano Trio in B flat major, D898
- Mozart – Piano Trio in E major, K542
- Shostakovich – Piano Trio in E minor, op 67
- Hans Gál – Variations on a popular Viennese melody
- Schumann – Piano Trio in F major, op 80
‘ a performance of striking panache’
BBC Music Magazine
‘… an absolute cracker in every respect. … It’s very hard not to be swept away by music-making of this calibre. Be prepared to be refreshed and blown away by the sheer exuberance of the playing.’
Music Web International
David Juritz was born in Cape Town, South Africa and, after winning a scholarship, came to London to study at the Royal College of Music with Hugh Bean and Jaroslav Vanecek. During his time at the RCM he won all the major prizes for violin including the College’s highest award, the Tagore Gold Medal.
On leaving the RCM he joined the English Chamber Orchestra before being appointed leader of the London Mozart Players, a position he held from 1991 to 2010. He made many solo appearances with the LMP, including his debut at the 2006 BBC Promenade Concerts.
He has appeared as soloist and/or director with many orchestras around the world. His recording of the Vivaldi Four Seasons with the LMP was hailed by critics as one of the finest interpretations of the work. David’s recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo and of music by the Polish composer, Gracina Bacewicz, have also been warmly received.
He has played with many chamber groups including the Razumovsky Ensemble and the LMP Chamber Ensemble. He made acclaimed recordings of Schubert (live at the Wigmore Hall) and Symanowski Quartets with the Maggini Quartet and has recorded, broadcast, and performed internationally with many other ensembles.
In 2005 he took on the role of artistic director of the Burton Bradstock Festival in Dorset presenting a series of folk, jazz and classical concerts in August each year.
David plays on a violin made by J.B. Guadagnini in Piacenza in 1748.
“….abundant lyricism… in Woods’s gracefully phrased opening cello line… warm and resonant.”
” …. Woods, adopting a very broad tempo, discovers ever deeper refinements of instrumental tone and character…”
International Record Review
Cellist Kenneth Woods is recognised as a musician of rare versatility, equally at home as conductor, recitalist, chamber musician and soloist.
A founding member of the NEA Rural Residency Grant winning Taliesin Trio, he has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, the US, Canada and New Zealand.
He was the cellist of the Masala String Quartet from 1993-1999 and of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo from 2008 – 2017. The Ensemble’s debut CD, featuring world-premiere recordings of the string trios of Hans Gál paired with those of Hans Krasa, was released in 2012 on Avie Records to international acclaim, selected as a Gramophone Critic’s Choice, Disc of the Month on MusicWeb and hailed by The Strad as a “thought provoking disc.”
Festival appearances include the Festival at Sandpoint, Great Lakes Chamber Festival, Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Schloss Weinberg Festival in Austria, Chautauqua Institute, Domaine Forget Festival in Canada, Wallowa Lake Chamber Music Festival and the International Festival Institute at Round To. In recent years, he has been heard as cellist at the Newburyport and Two Rivers festivals, and as artist in residence at the Scotia Festival of Music in Canada.
Kenneth Woods chamber music colleagues include members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Pro Arte, Audubon, La Salle and Tokyo Quartets, the Cincinnati, Chicago, and Toronto Symphonies, and the Minnesota, Gewandhaus and Concertgebouw Orchestras.
Kenneth Woods plays a cello of Italian origin made by Antonio Mariani in the mid-1600s