The London Bridge Trio is one of Britain’s leading chamber ensembles
David Adams violin, Kate Gould cello, Daniel Tong piano
‘The London Bridge Trio aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Playing that is as compelling as it is rapt.’ Gramophone
The London Bridge Trio is one of Britain’s leading chamber ensembles, known for deeply nuanced and searching interpretations. The trio, originally formed in 2002 as the London Bridge Ensemble, continues to prioritise strong, composer-led programmes and collaborate with regular guest artists. Their name reflects an admiration for English music of the early twentieth century, which forms part of the group’s varied repertoire and is represented by their hugely successful Frank Bridge recordings.
Over recent years the trio has appeared frequently in London with Wigmore Hall and Kings Place concerts as well as a residency at St John’s Smith Square, entitled ‘Brahms and his World’, which represented four aspects of his composing life with mixed combinations and song. Their concert of Czech music at Champs Hill in Sussex was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, and their concerts at St George’s Bristol were broadcast as a series of BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts. The group has also appeared at venues including Queen’s Hall, St George’s and the Ponte de Lima Festival (Portugal).
Thought-provoking pre-concert talks and lecture-recitals are something the trio is increasingly known for, and their collaboration with Richard Wigmore continues, exploring together the influences, connections and history of masterworks for the genre. The trio also has a long association with baritone Ivan Ludlow, enabling the inclusion of Lieder alongside connected chamber works.
In 2008 the ensemble founded its own festival, the Winchester Chamber Music Festival, in the hometown of their cellist Kate Gould. They now welcome capacity audiences each spring and have secured their reputation for stylish programmes involving exceptional international artists. In 2018 the festival celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of a new work written for the trio by Colin Matthews, Hidden Agenda, and the trio were joined by the Heath Quartet for a series of sold-out concerts. Guest artists have included the Gould Trio and the Navarra Quartet as well as members of the Elias Quartet and Kungsbacka Trio.
Since David Adams joined the trio in 2016, they have been recording the complete piano trios by Schumann and Mendelssohn, particularly featuring works by Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn, soon to be released on the SOMM label. They have recently visited the Sacconi Festival in Folkstone, the Penarth Chamber Music Festival and the inaugural Birmingham International Piano Chamber Music Festival, as well as performances across the UK.
The London Bridge Trio has a strong reputation in the recording field. In Autumn 2015 they released a disc of Dvořák Piano Quartets on the Champs Hill label, with guest violist Gary Pomeroy of the Heath Quartet. The album received rave reviews in Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine (double five stars) and the Observer.
The ensemble’s recordings of works by Frank Bridge were released by Dutton and met with plaudits from the critics, including unreserved commendations from Gramophone Magazine, International Record Review, American Record Guide and BBC Radio 3 (CD Review). Their second Bridge disc was shortlisted for the Gramophone Chamber Music Award 2011. Their Schumann recording for Sonimage Classics drew observations such as ‘rendered with a bubbling brilliance’, and ‘heart touchingly eloquent’ from the Sunday Times. A collection of works by Fauré followed on Sonimage Classics, and received excellent reviews from both The Strad and Gramophone magazines.
‘These stylish newcomers deserve a place at the top table next to such exalted predecessors as … Benjamin Britten with members of the Amadeus Quartet.’ Gramophone
David is leader of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and also the violinist of the London Bridge Trio. Alongside these commitments he teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is co-Artistic Director of the Penarth Chamber Music Festival with his wife, cellist Alice Neary.
In his role at WNO David has performed several concertos with the orchestra and enjoys directing concerts from the violin. David has appeared as guest leader with most of the orchestras in the UK. As a chamber musician David is equally at home on violin and viola and makes regular guest appearances, recordings and broadcasts with the Nash Ensemble, Endellion String Quartet, Gould Piano Trio and Hebrides Ensemble.
He has recorded the complete Brahms Piano Quartets with the Gould Piano Trio and the Beethoven String Quintets with the Endellion String Quartet. He regularly attends the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove.
David belongs to a musical family, his father, John Adams, was Principal Viola of the Hallé Orchestra. After being encouraged and guided by his father his principal teachers include Daniel Phillips, Zvi Zeitlin, Malcolm Layfield and Misha Amory (viola).
Kate Gould gained an entrance scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in 1990 and went on to study in Berlin at the Hochschule der Künste. During this time she was selected for the BBC Young Artists Forum and Tillett Trust schemes and became a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra.
In 1991 she formed the Leopold String Trio which went on to sustain a distinguished international career until their swan song in 2012 at London’s Barbican Centre – Tippett’s Triple Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. They were Hyperion recording artists throughout and became BBC New Generations Artists and ECHO Rising Stars, as well as gaining a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Kate curated a prestigious 3-year series of twelve concerts at Wigmore Hall, inviting regular collaborative artists including pianists, Paul Lewis and Marc-André Hamelin, and the trio went on to win the 2005 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Chamber Music.
Meanwhile, Kate also became a member of the London Bridge Trio with pianist, Daniel Tong, and violinist, David Adams. They continue to maintain a particularly strong reputation in the recording field with the success of their latest project, ‘The Leipzig Circle’ – the complete trios of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn and Robert and Clara Schumann (SOMM Recordings). The discs have so far garnered high praise from BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone and The Telegraph – the latter writing of Volume 1: ‘a total delight … The performers do the works proud’.
In 2008 the ensemble founded its own festival in Kate’s hometown, the Winchester Chamber Music Festival. Its tenth anniversary was celebrated by the commissioning of Hidden Agenda, by Colin Matthews for the LBT. They were due to give the London Premiere at Wigmore Hall in March 2020 before it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Kate is also an artistic director of the Ironstone Chamber Music Festival in north Oxfordshire alongside her sister, violinist Lucy Gould.
Kate recently performed at the Aldeburgh and Sacconi Folkstone festivals and regularly appears at chamber music festivals in Peasmarsh, Penarth, Corbridge, Wye Valley and the Festival de los Siete Lagos, Argentina. In 2019 she performed with Jack Liebeck at the Laeszhalle, Hamburg, and took part in an Offenbach theatre project on gut strings at the Außenspielstätte des Kölner Schauspielhauses, Cologne. Her recent performance of two Beethoven Cello Sonatas at the Castle Hotel, Taunton, for Martin Randall will be repeated in 2021 at Queens College, Dublin.
Kate became a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 2000 and is often invited as guest principal cellist of ECO, SCO, RNS, RPO, BBCSSO and BBCNOW, as well as ‘Les Siecles’, Paris, on gut strings. Kate has been a professor of cello at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and coached on the ‘Cadenza’ summer course. Last summer she would have taught on a chamber music course in Bergamo, Italy, and coached the cello section of the Welsh National Youth Orchestra.
Daniel Tong was born in Cornwall and studied in London. His musical life is spent performing as soloist and chamber musician, directing the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival, writing, and as Head of Piano in Chamber Music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Outside the UK he has recently performed in Sweden, France, Belgium and Portugal. In 2012 he recorded his first solo CD of works by Schubert for the Quartz label, Gramophone magazine describing him as ‘an extraordinarily sympathetic Schubertian’. He also recorded short solo works by Frank Bridge for Dutton and broadcast Janáček’s piano sonata live on BBC Radio 3. In 2021 he records a solo disc of works by Brahms for Resonus Classics.
Daniel has appeared at many of the foremost British venues and festivals – Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, St George’s Bristol, Birmingham Town Hall as well as the Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals. He is frequently heard on BBC Radio and has broadcast throughout Europe and beyond. His project, ‘Music Discovery Live’ in collaboration with writer and presenter Richard Wigmore, has seen a series of lecture-recital weekends on Beethoven and Schubert piano sonatas as well as many diverse chamber works. It continues throughout 2021 and 2022. In autumn 2012 Daniel was invited to curate an Elgar festival at Kings Place in London and he devised a Dvořák programme there in 2014. In 2014 he presented lecture-recitals on Beethoven piano sonatas at St George’s Bristol. 2015 saw the launch of ‘Beethoven Plus’ with Krysia Osostowicz; the ten Beethoven violin sonatas alongside ten newly commissioned partner pieces. They gave the full cycle at Kings Place, The Sound Festival in Aberdeen, St George’s Bristol, Sheffield University and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, as well as further cycles and individual concerts which still continue into 2021. In 2019, they recorded the full cycle for SOMM Recordings.
Aside from his work with the London Bridge Trio, Daniel has collaborated with the Elias, Navarra, Heath, Callino, Barbirolli, Dante and Allegri quartets. He has a regular duo with baritone Ivan Ludlow, and has recorded the cello and piano works by Beethoven and Brahms for Resonus Classics with Robin Michael on period instruments (The Guardian praising his ‘masterly pianism’). Founded by him in 1999 the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival attracts many exciting chamber musicians to spend ten days making music in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Festival has become a well-established and treasured event in the region’s cultural life, also gaining national attention for its creative spirit and artistic vibrancy.