The Florestan Trio has established a reputation as one of the finest piano trios in the world. In its first decade, the group has made 14 recordings on the Hyperion label, all of which received Gramophone nominations. Its concerts at home -- typically at London's major concert halls and festivals -- and abroad (numerous tours of Europe, the United States, Israel, South America, Japan, and Australia) have drawn enthusiastic receptions from critics and public alike. The trio's repertory encompasses works by Mozart, Dvorák, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, the complete trios of Beethoven and Brahms, and numerous modern compositions commissioned from contemporary composers such as Judith Weir, Peteris Vasks, Sally Beamish, and others.
The Florestan Trio was formed in 1995 in London. That year the piano quartet Domus disbanded, and that group's pianist Susan Tomes and its cellist Richard Lester, together with violinist Anthony Marwood, formed the Florestan Trio, instantly arousing the interest of chamber music aficionados in England and abroad. Tomes has also concurrently served as a member of the Gaudier Ensemble since 1989 and has frequently appeared as soloist, recitalist, and accompanist in other concert venues. The ensemble's two string players have also established successful parallel careers as soloists, recitalists, and accompanists.
The Florestan's earliest concerts were critical successes and within a year its first recording was issued on Hyperion, the E minor and F minor trios of Dvorák. The second, the Brahms trios, was issued the following year with similar success, and by the turn of the century the ensemble had become regarded as one of Britain's most respected piano trios, not least because it became the first piano trio to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for chamber music in 2000.
Beethoven has played a key role in the group's success: in 2001 the Florestan Trio launched a cycle of the complete trios of Beethoven for Hyperion Records, which was concluded in 2004 with the D major and E major trios on Vol. 4. In 2002 the group's debut tour of the United States featured highly praised performances of Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra.
The ensemble returned to the United States for a second tour in 2004 and scored similar success. Later recordings include three Mozart trios (K. 502, K. 542, K. 564) on Hyperion.