Altenberg Trio Vienna
It was not by coincidence that the three musicians came together under the name of the “gentle revolutionary”, Peter Altenberg. The poet symbolizes the love of beauty and the adventure of life. His devotion to stylistic precision is legendary, as is his keen sense of subtle humor and quiet irony.
“Music is: as if the soul suddenly spoke its own tongue in a foreign language.” Peter Altenberg (1859-1919)
The tradition of the Altenberg Trio Wien began in 1984, when pianist Claus-Christian Schuster founded the Vienna Schubert Trio together with violinist Boris Kuschnir and cellist Martin Hornstein. A re-founding followed in 1994, under the name “Altenberg Trio”, first with violinist Amiram Ganz and later with cellist Alexander Gebert. As “Trio in Residence” of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, it has been an essential fixture of Viennese cultural life for almost 40 years. There are few chamber music ensembles worldwide that pass on tradition through generations. The Altenberg Trio stands for maintaining this continuity in flux. The three musicians of the current ensemble are also very active soloists. Ziyu He was one of the youngest soloists with the Vienna Philharmonic. Christopher Hinterhuber is a professor at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts and Christoph Stradner is principal cellist of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to the cycle at the Vienna Musikverein, a busy international touring schedule is an integral part of the Altenberg Trio’s schedule, with concerts at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, the Bregenz Festival, the Georges Enescu Festival in Bucharest, appearances at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice and at the Library of Congress in Washington, to mention a few.
For years, the Altenberg Trio has been responsible for the artistic direction of the Schloss Weinzierl Music Festival in Lower Austria, a place with high significance in music history, where the young Haydn composed his first string quartets. Over their many years of concert activity, the Altenberg Trio has recorded numerous CDs, many of which have won honours. For example, the complete recording of Schumann’s piano trios was awarded the Robert Schumann Prize of the city of Zwickau (alongside prize winners such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Alfred Brendel). The Altenberg Trio’s current repertoire includes more than 200 piano trios, including several works that the Altenberg Trio itself inspired and premiered.
Ziyu He plays on a violin by Andrea Guarneri from 1699, kindly provided by a generous private sponsor. Christoph Stradner’s violoncello was made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona in 1680.