The Hamburg Trio was founded in October 2013 by musicians Mitsuru Shiogai (violin), Vytas Sondeckis (cello), and Eberhard Hasenfratz (piano). Pursuing a spontaneous idea, the three musicians learned Johannes Brahms’s Piano Trio in B major and broadcast the performance live on Internet radio. From that moment they began a very active cooperation, going on to perform concerts through-out Germany.
In its concert projects, the Hamburg Trio primarily devotes itself to composers’ complete works, as testified by its CD recordings: Brahmsiade was released in 2015, with Schumannia following in 2016–17 and Live in St. Petersburg – Mendelssohn in 2018. The Trio received considerable acclaim for its performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the c/o chamber orchestra in Berlin and Hamburg in 2018.
In 2015, its interpretation of the complete Brahms Piano Trios was broadcast on NHK FM’S radio show Best of Classic in Japan. This was followed by an engagement with NHK AM Suppin!, which was aired throughout Asia. The Trio has presented performances in renowned concert halls all over Japan, including in expanded ensembles, appearing with members of top Japanese orchestras.
In 2019 Ulrich Horn became the ensemble's new cellist, giving rise to a special sound con¬guration: Mitsuru Shiogai and Ulrich Horn both play instruments by the violin maker Giovanni Gagliano, with
the violin dating from the 1780s and the cello from around 1800. An absolute rarity which now contributes to the Trio’s unique sound.
Mitsuru Shiogai studied violin at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo with Koichiro Harada (founding first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet), Masafumi Hori, and Fuminori Shinozaki (concertmaster of the NHK Symphony Orchestra). She completed her soloist diploma at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. During her studies, she attended master classes with Rainer Kussmaul, Igor Ozim, Rainer Küchl, György Pauk, and Herrmann Krebbers, among others.
Mitsuru Shiogai has been a finalist and semifinalist in several international competitions (among others, Wieniawski, Paganini, Nielsen, Spohr and Prague Spring). From 2004 to 2016 she was assistant to the concertmaster in the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. She has appeared with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony.
As a guest concertmaster, Mitsuru Shiogai performs in orchestras all over Japan. She has appeared several times as a soloist in concerts of the Japanese broadcasting company NHK, as well as in solo recitals in Japan, Poland, the Czech Republic, and France.
She performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto, K. 219 with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein, and also several times as a soloist with a number of orchestras in Tokyo. In 2022 Mitsuru Shiogai was invited to the Tokyo Spring Music Festival, where she presented the complete Brahms sonatas.
Ulrich Horn has been a cellist in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony since 2001. After studying with Peter Vogler at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin, he received lessons with Ludwig Quandt and Georg Faust as part of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. He received additional inspiration in master classes with Boris Pergamenschikow, Bernard Greenhouse, David Geringes, and Gerhard Schulz (Alban Berg Quartet).
Ulrich Horn has regularly performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under all its major conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, and Bernard Haitink. As guest principal cellist, he has appeared at the Bavarian State Opera and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrücken, and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn.
Ulrich Horn has been a member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra since 2013. Performances as a soloist have taken him to the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and to Korea, where he made his debut with the Haydn D-major Cello Concerto at the Seoul Arts Center and regularly teaches master classes. His complete recording of Max Reger’s solo suites was released in 2011.
Eberhard Hasenfratz was a scholarship holder of Südwestfunk from 1985 to 1987. He studied at the music universities in Würzburg and Munich with Arne Torger and Eckart Besch. The versatile pianist has won awards at a number of competitions and participated in several international master classes and chamber music courses with such renowned teachers as Alfons Kontarsky, Serge Collot, Martin Lovett, Henry Meyer (LaSalle Quartet), and Norman Shetler.
After teaching at the music universities in Würzburg, Lübeck, and Rostock, he currently holds a position teaching accompaniment and chamber music at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Eberhard Hasenfratz has made numerous radio recordings, particularly featuring modern piano and chamber music. In addition, he is a sought-after accompanist both at national and international competitions, such as the German Music Competition and the Carl Nielsen Competition Odense, as well as at master classes such as Ticino Musica, the Festival Ljubljana, and the Summer Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
He has collaborated with artists such as François Benda, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Michaela Martin, Eduard Brunner, Jürgen Kussmaul, Walter Forchert, and Rex Martin. In addition to musicians from Germany’s leading orchestras, his chamber music partners have included François Benda, Tomasz Tomaszewski, and Andra Darzins. From 2006 to 2022, Eberhard Hasenfratz served as artistic director of the concert series of the Friends of Chamber Music Quickborn.
Since September 2010, he has also served as second church musician at the Protestant church at Hamburg’s Blankenese market, where he founded a chamber music series in 2011 as part of the Blankenese Concerts. With the Hamburg Trio he has recorded the complete Brahms and Schumann piano trios, also performing these programs in Japan and Russia.
Picture: Jörn Kipping
CDs released by GENUIN
with Hamburg Trio