Germany's Trio Zimmermann is made up of players with their own solo careers, and they meet each year only for one or two short periods of touring. Yet they take the relatively rare string trio format seriously and have expressed a desire to expand into other repertoires. "We have had many offers from great pianists to perform a piano quartet," violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann told The Strad, "but I always say to my colleagues that, for me, the biggest joy and the biggest reward is to have no wind player or pianist disturbing us. Sorry!"
Zimmermann formed the trio in 2007. He had been thinking about the possibility of a string trio, and after he performed the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major for violin, viola, and orchestra, K. 364, with violist Antoine Tamestit, his plans solidified. The pair added French cellist Christian Poltéra and quickly began to find performance and recording opportunities.
Zimmermann, a student of Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff, and Hermann Krebbers, has toured widely as a soloist in Europe, the U.S., Asia, Australia, and South America. He has recorded for BIS, Decca, Sony, EMI, and ECM. Violist Tamestit has appeared widely in both orchestral and chamber settings. The artistic director of Tokyo's Viola Space Festival, he has earned first prizes at the Primrose International Viola Festival and the ARD International Music Competition. Poltéra, a student of Nancy Chumachenko, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Heinrich Schiff, was a member of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists in London and has toured as a soloist and chamber musician. He has recorded for BIS and has appeared at leading music festivals.
Trio Zimmermann was signed to the BIS label, and released its debut album, a recording of Mozart's late Divertimento in E flat major for string trio, K. 563, in 2010. It has released four albums on BIS, covering music by Beethoven and, in 2017, the technically perilous string trios of Paul Hindemith and Arnold Schoenberg.