City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Swiss Ambassador’s Award Concert 2012 Review


By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 19 October 2012

3
The Medea Trio
Show Details
Company: 
Swiss Cultural Fund
Production: 
Debussy, Piano Trio in G Major; Hefti, Trio No. 2; and Dvořák, Piano Trio No. 4 'Dumky`.
Performers: 
Yuka Oechslin (piano), Erika Achermann (violin), Benjamin Nyffenegger (cello) taking the place of Mirjana Reinhard (cello) who was indisposed.
Running time: 
105mins

I was discussing with His Excellency the importance of music in a young person’s education; he told me that in his case it was six years of the trombone. A few moments later Anton Thalmann, the Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Kingdom, was welcoming everybody and telling us about this year’s Swiss Ambassador’s Award - the fourteenth in the series.

The Medea Trio were this year’s winners, born between 1983 and 1985, and their reward was a debut performance at London’s Wigmore Hall followed by our concert in the grandeur of the Edinburgh City Council Chamber.

Debussy’s Premier Trio was composed when he was eighteen and teaching the piano on a vacation job. In the evenings a young Russian violinist and cellist joined him to play trios. We heard the Medea Trio play the light hearted music he then wrote for these friends.

More dificult to enjoy was the world premiere of David Philip Hefti’s Trio No 2 - difficult for an older audience because it really was full of unexpected twists and screeches, taps and bangs. It all started with a bang on a note on the W. Hoffmann piano, a gap before another bang or two and then they got going.

After the interval we heard the last of Dvořák’s four piano trios, first performed in Prague in 1891 with the composer at the piano. The work alternates between slow music and quicker, and interesting is divided into six dumkas - traditional Ukrainian laments. The talent of the three award winning players became very clear and they deserved the enthusiastic applause at the end of the concert.

With the retirement of the current Ambassador let’s hope his Honorary Consul General in Edinburgh, Peter Müller-McDougall, is allowed to continue this excellent annual treat in the years ahead.

Event: Thursday 18 October 2011 at 7.30pm