Adam Summerhayes


Contrasts brings chamber music masterpieces performed with passion and integrity by chamber musicians of the highest calibre.

There is a wealth of musical colour in the changing kaleidoscope of instruments and a rich repertoire from Haydn and Mozart to Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
Contrasts also serves up unexpected gems by less well-known composers. Vibrant works by Krein, Milhaud and Katachurian sit alongside some of the iconic chamber works that Contrasts revel in performing.

People say that Joseph Spooner and I both play with an unusually rich and singing and the blend is enhanced by our matching Vuillaume instruments. Audiences and critics both say nice things about our combined technical virtuosity too...

Even the least attractive of pianos is brought to life with magical tone colours under Catherine’s fingers and the verve and vibrancy of her playing matches that of clarinettist Elizabeth Drew. Mark Smith is simply on of the finest horn players in Europe and a player of unique musical integrity.

For promoters

Contrasts can be either a 4 or 5 piece ensemble. The founding concept is to provide at least three different instrumental groupings in each concert. Audiences get an interesting variety and promoters get remarkable value for money as well as the opportunity to programme some unusual repertoire alongside popular favourites.
The ensemble has piano trio as its nucleus, joined by horn, clarinet or both. Some programmes can also include works featuring the viola.
Click to view programmes for 4 players: violin/viola, clarinet, cello and piano
Programme 1
Mozart : ‘Kegelstatt’(K498) Trio (viola, piano, clarinet)
Arum Khachaturian: Trio (1981) (violin, clarinet, piano)
Brahms : Trio in A (op. 114) (clarinet, cello, piano)

Programme 2
Beethoven: ‘Archduke’ Trio (violin, cello, piano)
Milhaud: Suite (op. 157b) (violin,clarinet, cello)
Stravinsky: Suite from The Soldier’sTale (violin, clarinet, piano)
Schubert: Trio no. 1 in B flat (D898) (violin, cello, piano)

Programme 3
Beethoven: ‘Ghost’ Trio (op. 70, no.1) (violin, cello, piano)
Bruch: Pieces (clarinet, viola, piano)
Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time (clarinet, violin, cello, piano)

or you could programme in -
Bartok: Contrasts (sz. 111, BB116) (violin, clarinet, piano)
Click to view programmes for 4 players: horn, violin, cello and piano
Your pick of the piano trio repertoire with the horn trios by Brahms or Holbrooke as the centrepiece. For example:

Programme 4
Schubert: Piano Trio in B flat "Sonatensatz"
Beethoven: "Archduke" Piano Trio
Brahms: Trio in E flat (horn, violin, piano) / Holbrooke: Horn Trio in D (horn, violin, piano)

Programme 5
Haydn: Divertimento a tre: violin, cello, horn
Brahms: Trio in E flat (horn, violin, piano) / Holbrooke: Horn Trio in D (horn, violin, piano)
Shostakovitch: Piano Trio no.2 (op.67) / Arensky Piano Trio no.1
Click to view programmes for 5 players: violin, piano, cello, horn and clarinet
Programme 6
Haydn: Divertimento a tre (violin, horn, cello)
Beethoven: Trio no.4 (clarinet, piano, cello)
Brahms: Trio in E flat (horn, violin, piano)
Stravinsky: Suite from The Soldier’s Tale (violin, clarinet, piano)

Programme 7
Haydn: Divertimento a tre (violin, horn, cello)
Mozart : ‘Kegelstatt’(K498) Trio (viola, piano, clarinet)
Karen Khachaturian: Trio (horn, violin piano)

Programme 8
Brahms: Trio No.1 (horn, violin, piano)
Brahms: Trio in A (clarinet, cello, piano)
Brahms: Trio in E flat (horn, violin, piano)

...or try one of the little-known quintets by Dunhill or Fibich with a couple of trios.