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An Interview with The Jorgenson Trio

News St Martin – Talking Points

Monday 18 January 2016

As the St Martin’s 2016 Chamber Music Competition gathers momentum, we caught up with last year’s winners The Jorgenson Trio to find out how the competition has helped open the doors of the music industry.

Read their interview and get inspired to apply for this year’s competition or to come along to the final to support our 2016 finalists. Tickets are now on sale for the final of this year’s competition on Tuesday 22 March where the stunning trio will return to the platform for a guest appearance alongside this year’s fervent finalists.

JorgensonWhat have been your highlights of the past year since you won the competition in 2015?

2015 was a really exciting year for us; after winning the St Martin’s Competition we were appointed CAVATINA Chamber Music Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music and in the summer we were delighted to win the Malta International Music Competition in Mdina in Malta. At the moment we are busy preparing and rehearsing Cecilia McDowall’s chamber music works which we will be recording for a CD in April, and in the autumn we will be playing in the States, so we have lots of exciting projects ahead!

In the 2015 final you played a beautiful programme featuring Haydn and Frank Bridge. How and why did you choose your programme?

We had been asked to perform the Haydn A major trio for a concert series in remembrance of Myra Hess at the National Gallery, and realising what a great (and under-performed trio) it was, we quickly thought we would love to include it in our final programme. The Bridge we thought would very nicely contrast with the Haydn; it is a very passionate piece, not too long with several smaller, contrasting sections which we felt would show off our strengths as an ensemble.

Which composers do you like to play most and why?

We don’t have one favourite composer although we do like to explore and play pieces by lesser-known composers and we also have a special interest in modern music. We have been particularly fond of playing Schnittke’s Piano Trio for instance. We recently performed Gunther Schuller’s Piano Trio and Mendelssohn D minor trio at St John Smith Square, so very often we will try to programme pieces in a exciting way, linking pieces which are from very different eras and which have a very different musical language.

How do you approach a new piece?

We will very often start by having a run-through of the work to get a feel for the music and to get an overview of the structure, tricky bits etc. Then we go away, practise our own parts and then get together to intensely rehearse.

Do you have any advice for this year’s competitors?

Try and enjoy the competition as much possible! The great thing about the St Martin’s Competition is that it doesn’t feel as uncomfortable as some other competitions due to the incredible space which St Martin in the Fields is. Both the semi-final and final felt like concerts which made the whole experience less scary and very enjoyable!

How would you describe your experience of the competition?

Our experience was definitely a good one.  We entered with no expectations and so each round became more and more exciting and the final is a night we will never forget- the level of music making was really inspiring.

Are you looking forward to returning to St Martin’s as a special guest of this year’s competition and what else do you have coming up in 2016?

We are very much looking forward to returning to play at St Martin’s. In 2016 we look forward to giving a concert and master class at California State University and giving recitals in many of the UK’s music societies. We are also hoping to continue to enjoy working with and helping chamber musicians who are studying at the Royal Academy of Music.