About the Streeton Trio...
Described by Musica Viva as “Australia’s most internationally successful piano trio,” the Streeton Trio was formed in 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland; named after the Australian Impressionist painter, Sir Arthur Streeton. In 2010, the trio was selected to be a part of the prestigious European Chamber Music Academy, where it was in residence for three years. Now based in Sydney, the trio brings together three of Australia's most respected chamber musicians; Streeton Trio founder and violinist Emma Jardine, international competition winning cellist Rachel Siu, and renowned concert pianist Bernadette Harvey.
Winner of the 2011 Music Viva Chamber Music Competition, the Streeton Trio has been laureate of several prestigious international competitions, and has won scholarships from Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria and Ian Potter Cultural Trust. The trio has toured nationally for Musica Viva and has performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall (London), Het Loo Royal Palace (Holland) and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre (China).
With four well-received CDs, the trio’s recordings feature frequently on ABC FM and Classic FM, and have received great praise: “there’s a lot to love about their interpretation - it’s crisp, gutsy and holds its own against the likes of the Beaux Arts Trio” (The Age). The strings of the Streeton Trio perform exclusively on Larsen Strings.
The trio has established its place as one of Australia’s leading chamber ensembles and has given highly acclaimed performances across the United Kingdom, China, Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Holland, Lithuania, Norway, Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland.
Streeton Trio is a well-established classical piano trio that has been delivering top-notch performances for years. We have received glowing reviews from well-respected critics who have praised our versatile and dynamic musicianship. We believe that music has the power to transcend and create a truly transformative experience. We strive to captivate our audiences with mesmerizing performances that will leave a lasting impression.
Blackheath Chamber Music Festival
"Among many fine piano trio ensembles currently playing in this country I think the Streeton are pre-eminent. Last year I wrote that their performance of Brahms’ trio in B major was the best I had ever heard, and here I am in danger of repeating myself about their playing of the Ravel trio. Emma Jardine, the violinist, leads with immediacy, strength and daring, and cellist Rachel Siu is an utterly reliable partner. The pianist, Bernadette Harvey, was simply astounding. She launched herself into Ravel’s phenomenal difficulties with an infectious sense of fun and play that responded to Emma Jardine’s lead, in spades, and drew the audience into the sphere of electric energy that the Streeton trio’s whole performance exuded." - Nicholas Routley (April 2023)
Blackheath Chamber Music Festival
"The Streeton Trio! What gems violinist Emma Jardine, pianist Bernadette Harvey and cellist Rachel Siu are! They treat the music as a conversation between passionate aficionados, expert music-lovers always eager to show each other the felicities of passages they play. Beethoven's "Ghost" trio was a showcase for their vast repertoire of expressive variety, Harvey in particular not allowing a single detail of the score to escape her notice. And then the Brahms B major trio! I have played this myself, and heard the Beaux Arts trio play it, but I can say I have never understood it before hearing the Streeton’s performance. The work, composed in the shadow of his friend and mentor Schumann’s syphillis and attempted suicide, is about the corruption of beauty. The radiance of the B major themes is continually questioned by the constant shifts to B minor which, movement by movement, shadow, undermine, and finally dominate the music. The Streeton's performance was the best I have ever heard, and to listen to it was a truly transformative experience." - Nicholas Routley (April 2022)
Canberra Llewellyn Hall
Appearing for Musica Viva, these Australians, oboist, Diana Doherty, and the Streeton Trio (named after the artist, Sir Arthur Streeton) delivered a performance that would attract the highest acclaim from the planet’s most discerning and critical audiences.
Opening the program was the “Quartet for oboe, violin, cello and piano, H315” by the Czech composer, Bohuslav Martin?, written in 1947. He had moved to Paris after World War I and then escaped to the US just days before the Nazis occupied the city in 1940. Perhaps by 1947 Martin? was over the whole war thing, for this quartet is full of lyricism and hopeful anticipation, albeit with the piano’s foreboding start to the 2nd movement, but with a positive overtone from the violin and cello.
A hallmark of the performance of this work, indeed the whole concert, was the cohesion between the musicians. They were in close communication with each other all along the way, watching and listening intently to each other and achieving perfection in tonal balance. Smoother than silkcrescendi (gradually getting louder) and diminuendi (gradually getting softer), exquisite echo passages, and the most thoughtful expression added colour to this fascinating work that perhaps even its composer might not have imagined.
Then it was Felix Mendelssohn’s “Piano Trio in D minor, op 49”, dripping with the style of its musical era – the Romantic period. The Streetons again had their audience swooning with their expressive, lyrical playing, seamless lead passing and interactions, and a truly empathetic reading of Mendelssohn’s creative mind. This was especially so in the 2nd movement which achieved an inspiring “cantabile” (in a singing voice) tone, while, in the 3rd – the rather humorous Scherzo – it skipped along playfully.
This concert was also part of the world premiere tour of a new work by Perth-based composer, Lachlan Skipworth. Canberran, Andrew Blanckensee, commissioned his “Oboe Quartet” for Musica Viva last year in memory of his parents Anne and Alan.
Had Beethoven heard the three-movement work, he might have said it had a quite pastoral feel about it, with rippling brooks, spring flowers and fluttering birds, and perhaps even a brewing storm(in the reflective, melancholy 2nd movement), followed by a village fair with dancing, laughter and children playing.
It calls for virtuosic playing from all four members of the ensemble – not just for the many rapid note sequences, but also for the lyrical melodies, and changing tempi and expression markings. Doherty and the Streetons met that call brilliantly.
Skipworth’s “Oboe Quartet” is a very fine piece. It is approachable and entertaining, with vibrant imagery. It surely will find its way into the standard chamber music repertoire.
After several curtain calls, the ensemble delighted its audience with a sparkling encore – an exciting performance of the final movement of Brahms’ first piano concerto. Doherty’s husband, Alexandre Oguey, who is principal cor anglais with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, had written a stunning arrangement for the quartet.
What a brilliant start to Musica Viva’s 2021 season!