The Vienna Piano Trio was one of the most noted ensembles of its type to emerge in the last decade of the 20th century. Two of its members are Viennese, both born in 1966: Stefan Mendl, piano, and Marcus Trefny, cello. Violinist Wolfgang Redik was born in Graz in 1968 and helped found the Vienna Piano Trio in the autumn of 1988. Matthias Gredler replaced Marcus Trefny in the summer of 2001, and Bogdan Bozovic joined in 2012 to take over from Redik.
The group first obtained coaching from two of the world's great trio ensembles, the Beaux Arts Trio and the Haydn Trio Wien. Individually and as a group, they intensively studied chamber music interpretation with such great chamber performers as Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo, Ralph Kirschbaum, and the members of the Guarnieri and LaSalle quartets.
The group made debut appearances in 1989. Since then, it has won numerous international competition prizes. Its London debut was in 1994 at Wigmore Hall, followed by further appearances in the United States in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. It was invited to appear in late 1996 in performances of all of Franz Schubert's works for piano trio, part of a festival in observation of the great composer's 200th anniversary. These performances took place in Wigmore Hall and in the Brahms-saal of the Musikverein in Vienna.
In 1993 the group made its recording debut in the complete Brahms piano trios on the Naxos label. Since 1995 it has recorded for Nimbus, with its first release on that imprint Dvorák's Op. 21 and Op. 90 trios, which was chosen as a BBC Radio 3 Record Review Critics' Choice for 1996, and for MDG.
The trio is particularly successful in repertory by composers closely associated with Austria, such as Brahms, Schubert, and Haydn, and with Dvorák, who had close links with these composers. Its playing exhibits the traditional Viennese sentimentality and is alert to the nuances of the folk music traditions that appear in the works of all these composers. It has toured extensively in northern Europe, Britain, Italy, South Africa, and the United States. During the 2006-2007 season, the trio began a residency at the Wiener Konzerthaus and in 2011, it appeared again at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Later recordings included Haydn's piano trios and a live effort on MDG in 2011.