The Stradivarius Piano Trio return to this year’s Festival of Chichester with a concert at Christ Church, Old Market Avenue on Friday, June 17 at 7.30pm.

Promising a “celebration of chamber music, the local climate, our community and Vaughan Williams in his 150th year”, they will offer a programme to include J S Bach – Sheep May Safely Graze; Roderick Williams – Knepp Piano Trio; John Ireland – Fantasy Trio; Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending; and piano trio works by Robert and Clara Schumann. Tickets £18.


Director and violinist Andrew Bernardi said: “We formed the Stradivarius Piano Trio about nine years ago. We had been supporting our pianist Maria Marchant as a student when she was at the beginning of her international career nd the three of us just started playing together”.

“We immediately realised that we had a unique magic. When the three of us got together we were able to play as one. We sat down to play and the personal and musical trust that we had between us just kicked in instantly, and we have not looked back”.

“Because of that magical friendship and that magical musical partnership we have been around the world together. It has been like a marriage, that wonderful once in a lifetime relationship. And the lovely thing is that the trust between us is very symbiotic of our music group which is all about people really wanting to come together to create something. We really are each other’s musical companions and I do think that spills out into the audience.

“We probably do something like 20 concerts a year and we have just recorded at Abbey Road which was fantastic. We were in the studio that The Beatles used.

“The two most prestigious places for a classical musician are the Royal Albert Hall and Abbey Road studio 2. The studio has got a fantastic acoustic and really nice people and a huge sense of history. It still looks like the 1960s in there. And yes we did take a picture on the zebra crossing. We did quite a few takes and nearly got run over doing it!”

One of the highlights of the concert is certain to be Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending: “It is a piece that embodies the beauty of nature and it captures what it is to be human. The poem itself is the most beautiful poem and its beauty is expressed with all the nature described in music.

“The other reason that it is such an important piece for me is that Vaughan Williams was a passionate bringer together of people in music in the same way that we are and the piece brilliantly reflects what we feel our mission to be.

“But also if you look at all the pieces that we are playing in the programme, they’re all about nature. We are doing Sheep May Safely Graze and we are doing the Knepp Piano Trio, all pieces that reflect the fabulous environment in which we’re so lucky to live and work.”

Tickets are available through the Festival of Chichester website.

Article written and first published in the Sussex World.