Delta Piano Trio

The Delta Piano Trio was founded in 2013 in Salzburg (Austria) by three Dutch performers: violinist Gerard Sponk, cellist Irene Enzlin and pianist Vera Kooper. They have made a name for themselves with their raw, uncompromising musicianship, energy and a willingness to invest oneself beyond comfort. They approach chamber music as a form of communication, an exchange of ideas, and a shared road of reflection, discovery and evolution. Aiming to shape its own path, the Delta Piano Trio has an eclectic and personal choice of repertoire, encompassing the entire range of the piano trio literature. Currently one of the most exciting and promising Dutch ensembles, they tour extensively throughout Europe and the rest of the world.  
latest News
The Mirror with Three Faces - OUT NOW! 06. Apr 2018


The Delta Piano Trio enjoys a special relationship with composer Lera Auerbach. Whilst searching for contemporary repertoire the group fell in love with Auerbach's piano trios, performing them regularly and, after writing to her about them, enjoying th...

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Short Profile

NameDelta Piano Trio Founded2013
Main languageDutch; Flemish Additional languages English,  French,  German,  Spanish; Castilian 

Lebrecht - Album of the Week "AN HEIR TO SHOSTAKOVICH?"
2017-12-24 slippedisc , London

As the last releases of the year drop through the door, this is an instant ear-grabber. The debate has raged for three decades as to whether Dmitri Shostakovich was a limp Soviet puppet or a secret resistant. One view was advanced by US musicologists, who would not be satisfied until they had a signed document saying 'I hate Stalin', the other by Russian friends and fans of the composer who heard his dissidence expressed in the music.

Thankfully, the dispute is being resolved by a new generation of musicians who come fresh to the music….


(Norman Lebrecht )
REVIEW from 2017-12-24  
✮✮✮✮✮ Delta Piano Trio: virtuosity and elegance at Conway Hall
2016-12-05 Bachtrack , London
"Regarded by fellow musicians as one of the most promising young ensembles, the Delta Piano Trio have made a name for themselves with their raw, uncompromising musicianship, their energy and a willingness to invest oneself beyond comfort...

...It was interesting to hear a less gushy and overblown interpretation of Rachmaninov's G minor trio than one normally encounters. Keeping composure is very important in this work, whose impact is dependent on retention and intensification effects. Yet the Delta Piano Trio managed to keep an iron grip on dynamics and tempo, without tangling up in rubatos. Gerard Spronk and Irene Enzlin were passionate, eluding wanton prettification. As for Vera Kooper, thoroughness and beauty of tone shone in equal measure throughout this 15 minute work. And this was just the opening number.

The Delta Piano Trio then gave a characterful, rhythmically buoyant account of Haydn's E minor Trio (HOB. XV:12). Though the instrument for which Haydn wrote his music differ in many respect from Conway Hall's lustrous Bösendorfer, Kooper managed to find the perfect key dip and lightness of touch, so that she did not overpower her partners. This went hand in hand with a playing style sharply contrasting with what we heard in Rachmaninov – none of the accursed chopping in which even distinguished pianist indulge; a neat and tinkling tone instead, along with insightful phrasing. Lowered dampers allowed her to achieve subtle effects without diminishing the clarity of the right hand, which was always perfectly steady. After a courteous Andante, the Rondo offered us an opportunity to admire both the Trio's technical skill and their flair for choosing a dramatised interpretation that avoided monotony.

(Julien Hanck)
REVIEW from 2016-12-05  
Delta Piano Trio Showcases Lera Auerbach
2018-04-08 the rehearsal studio blog , San Francisco
"About a month ago Odradek Records released a recording of the Delta Piano Trio entitled The mirror with three faces. The trio consists of three Dutch musicians, violinist Gerard Spronk, cellist Irene Enzlin, and pianist Vera Kooper, who only met because they all happened to be in Salzburg (in Austria) in the fall of 2013. Pretty much on-the-spot they "decided to learn some piano trios" (their words in the album's accompanying booklet), receiving coaching from Wolfgang Redik of the Vienna Piano Trio and Rainer Schmidt of the Hagen Quartet."
(Stephen Smoliar )
REVIEW from 2018-04-08  
Im Russland der Gegensätze - Salzburger Kammermusik Festival
2014-06-20 Drehpunkt Kultur , Salzburg
"...Nebulös durchscheinend wie Milchglas und reich an präzisen Konturen wie eine Landschaft nach einem Gewitter schwirren Flageolettklänge durch den Saal. Rasant und beinahe fröhlich schreitet der zweite Satz, man erkennt den Schostakowitsch der Jazz-Suiten, der spielerischen Tänze wieder. Darauf folgen Largo, Allegretto und Adagio und somit die wunderbarste Viertelstunde dieses Abends...

...Mit jugendlicher Frische, mit vielen Ideen, frechem Witz und großem Tiefgang erfreuen sie das Publikum. Nicht enden wollender Applaus ist die Belohnung. Nicht nur, dass ihre große Bühnenpräsenz und ihr wunderbares Spiel eine Wonne sind, ihre Spielhaltung, die Blickkontakte, die sichtbare Kraftanstrengung, mit der beeindruckende Fortissimo-Passagen bewältigt werden – das alles macht den zweiten Teil des Konzerts zu einem absoluten Höhepunkt für alle Sinne. Man hätte gerne mehr gehört...


...harmonic sounds buzz through the hall, nebulous translucent like frosted glass and rich in precise contours like a landscape after a storm. The second movement proceeds fast-paced and almost cheerfully; you can see the Shostakovich Jazz Suites, playful dances again. This is followed by Largo, Allegretto and Adagio and thus the most wonderful quarter of an hour of this evening...

..with youthful vigor, many ideas, cheeky wit and deep thoughtfulness they delight their audience. Non-ending applause is the reward. Not only that, their great stage presence and wonderful playing are a delight, their playing position, the eye contact, the visible effort, the being overcome with the impressive fortissimo passages - all this makes the second part of the concert to an absolute highlight for all the senses. One would have liked to have heard more..
(Stefan Reitbauer)
REVIEW from 2014-06-20  
Delta Piano Trio
Salzburg, 2014 
Rachmaninov with a view
Delta Piano Trio cellist Irene Enzlin escaped her room for a practice session outdoors. When you see the view you can't blame her.... 
Delta Piano Trio
Amsterdam, 2014 
Delta Piano Trio
Amsterdam, 2014 
Zwei wie Eis und Feuer
2018-03-11 Der Spiegel , Hamburg
"Das erst 2013 in Salzburg gegründete Delta Piano Trio hat sich einfühlsam mit Lera Auerbachs Musik beschäftigt, woraus eine Freundschaft mit der Komponistin erwuchs. Eine Vertrautheit, die man hört.

Gerade das namensgebende Kernstück der CD "The Mirror With Three Faces" lag den Trio-Mitgliedern Vera Kooper (Klavier), Gerard Spronk (Violine) und Irene Enzlin (Cello) besonders am Herzen. Beinahe orchestral anschwellende Parts ("First Unfolding") weben in kurzer Zeit ein dichtes Klanggeflecht, dem ein tänzerisch auftrumpfendes Intermezzo folgt. Auerbachs Stil der wechselnden Akzente und Klangfarben macht aus dem "Spiegel mit den drei Gesichtern" ein scharfes Kontrastbild zum vorangestellten Piano Trio No.1, das dafür in seiner konzentrierten Knappheit fasziniert. Die Ouvertüre der CD mit e-moll-Trio Op.67 vom Dmitrij Schostakowitsch, einem verwandten Meister der Kammermusik, darf sicher als Vorbild-Entwurf verstanden werden.
(Werner Theurich)
REVIEW from 2018-03-11  
Cliff-edge intensity - The Mirror with Three Faces
2018-01-22 Klassieke Zaken ,

After recording a succesful Taneyev-Borodin CD for Naxos Records - exceptional repertoire and exceptionally well-played - there are many reasons to look forward to a second CD from Vera Kooper (piano), Gerard Spronk (viool) and Irene Enzlin (cello), who make up the Dutch Delta Piano Trio.

There are already quite a few recordings of Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2, a harrowing and poignant lamentation on the death of a friend, but this new recording certainly adds something: a cliff-edge intensity. It is music that leaves the listener sitting on the edge of his seat. It is, however, the combination with the recording with the two piano trios by Lera Auerbach, the composer who left the Soviet-Union at the age of 17 to spread her wings in the US which makes this CD particularly interesting. Auerbach is 44 years old now and her oeuvre is both original and idiosyncratic.

Because of Auerbach's music's refined variety of tonal and atonal elements, you could call her a kindred-spirit of Alfred Schnittke. This music could be labelled "post-modern" or "eclectic", but her music is more; fresher while more intense, exciting and constantly varied. This music fits the Delta Piano Trio like a glove, as they work their way to the top.

(Gerard Schelten)
REVIEW from 2018-01-22  
Auerbach from: Pianotrio No.2 (live @TivoliVredenburg Utrecht)
Delta Piano Trio performs from Pianotrio nr. 2 - Tell’m What You See, composed by Lera Auerbach. Auerbach's Pianotrio nr 2 is also titled This Mirror Has Three Faces. Delta PIano Trio: Gerard Spronk - violin, Irene Enzlin - cello, Vera Kooper - piano 
Shostakovich from: Pianotrio No.2 (live @TivoliVredenburg Utrecht)
Delta Piano Trio performs from Pianotrio nr. 2 - Largo, composed by Dimitri Shostakovich. 
Review The Mirror with Three Faces - BBC Music Magazine
2018-04-23 BBC Music Magazine , London

The Delta Piano Trio deliver a very powerful and convincing account of Shostakovich's Second Piano Trio, one which takes nothing in the music for granted. Throughout, there is a keen attention to details often overlooked by other interpreters. Good examples are their exaggeratedly snarling surges of sound which bring a particularly subversive element to the already frenzied Scherzo, and the violin's grotesquely rasping open E string in the Jewish dance at the start of the Finale. Apart from these significant interpretive nuances, the Delta Piano Trio also has a fine grasp of longer-term structure, as reflected in the way they control the rise and fall in intensity of the Passacaglia, then trace the slow yet inexorable build-up of bitterness and anger through the Finale to overwhelming effect.

Lera Auerbach's sound world inhabits similar realms of irony and darkness as Shostakovich, even though she employs a more advanced musical language that owes much to Alfred Schnittke. Her first Piano Trio, completed when she was only 21 years of age, has some striking ideas, in particular a sequence of high glissandos on the cello near the end of the first movement that evokes the sound of seagulls.

The Second Trio, composed 20 years later, is more complex in design, but retains the earlier work's capacity to communicate vivid musical images. As in the Shostakovich, the Delta Piano Trio delivers strongly characterized performances and Odradek's recording is both warm and clear.

(Erik Levi)
REVIEW from 2018-04-23  
Review Tanayev/Borodin - Opus Klassiek (Dutch)
2017-05-17 Opus Klassiek,
"Het Delta Piano Trio werd opgericht in 2013 in Salzburg opgericht. Dat doet vermoeden dat er Oostenrijkse musici in het spel zijn, maar niets is minder waar, want het betreft uitsluitend Nederlands musici: de pianiste Vera Kooper, de violist Gerard Sponk en de celliste Irene Enzlin. Het cd-debuut van dit trio mag veelbelovend heten, want er wordt met grote overtuigingskracht en veel verve gemusiceerd, waarbij nog komt dat werd gekozen voor de pianotrio's van Tanejev en Borodin, iets minder bekend repertoire dat zeker voor een debuut-cd van moed getuigt."
(Aart van der Wal)
REVIEW from 2017-05-17  
LEBRECHT LISTENS | The Delta Piano Trio Stays True To Shostakovich And Auerbach
2017-12-22 Ludwig van Toronto , Toronto

"As the last releases of the year drop through the door, this is an instant ear-grabber.... 

....The Delta Piano Trio's account of Shostakovich's second string trio, dated 1944, leaves no doubt to the composer's state of mind in the closing stages of the Second World War. Ostensibly a tribute to a late friend, Ivan Sollertinsky, the work ripples with anger and frustration at pointless deaths and ruined lives - the appalling legacy of the Stalin-Hitler era. The last two movements, with their overt Hebrew melodies, are a protest at Soviet indifference to the Nazi holocaust of the Jews. I don't think I have ever heard the finale played with more explicit regard to the composer's intentions.

...Gerard Spronk, Irene Enzlin and Vera Kooper are the excellent trio players, and Odradek's new Italian studio sounds idyllic."

(Norman Lebrecht )
REVIEW from 2017-12-22  
Delta Piano Trio and Naxos Records present: Taneyev and Borodin
Delta Piano Trio and Naxos present: Piano trios by Taneyev and Borodin.

Sergey Taneyev was a distinguished pianist and influential educator, succeeding Tchaikovsky as professor at the Moscow Conservatory and counting Scriabin and Rachmaninov among his students. The Piano Trio Op. 22 is a demonstration of Taneyev’s technical skill, lled with subtle use of counterpoint, lyrical expressiveness and virtuoso reworks. Alexander Borodin was a leading member of the ‘Mighty Handful’, and his incomplete but brilliant Piano Trio was seen by Glinka as setting a precedent in the genre for its deeply Russian character.

TANEYEV, S.I.: Piano Trio, Op. 22 / BORODIN, A.P.: Piano Trio (Delta Piano Trio)
Naxos 8.573561 
Knisternde Spannung
2018-03-28 Pizzicato , Luxembourg

"Glowing performances of three great piano trios. Be it in the most energetic or in the very quiet and meditative passages, the Delta Piano trio plays with great intensity and crackling tension."
(Remy Franck)
REVIEW from 2018-03-28  
Gramophone Collector - Three's Company
2018-04-01 Gramophone Magazine , London
"... there's still an unmistakeable sense of [Lera Auerbach's] music fitting into the Russian tradition of Shostakovich, whose Second Trio, in a vivid, wide-eyed performance, opens the disc. There's definitely something serious going on beneath the surface here and the Delta Piano Trio manage to find it - even while throwing themselves wholeheartedly into Auerbach's seagull cries, motorbike drones and wobbly imitations of a musical saw. You'll need a sense of humour, but I found it irresistible."
(Richard Bratby )
REVIEW from 2018-04-01  
Delta Piano Trio
Amsterdam, 2014 
Delta Piano Trio gives off impressive business card
2018-03-30 Trouw , The Netherlands

Delta Piano Trio gives off impressive business card

One of the iconic chamber music works of the 20th century is the Piano Trio no. 2 in e minor, op. 67, by Dmitri Shostakovich. The work, written in 1944, is an epitaph for a friend of the composer who passed away, as well as for the millions of Jews who were murdered in concentration camps at that time. The hesitating and chilling beginning with thin harmonics is the ultimate voicing of that suffering. 
The young Delta Piano Trio gives off an impressive business card with a very intense performance of this work. Violinist Gerard Spronk, cellist Irene Enzlin and pianist Vera Kooper guarantee a very inspired performance. They combine Shostakovich with two trios of Russian composer Lera Auerbach (1973).
Her compact Piano Trio no. 1 is grafted on Shostakovich's sound world, but certainly has an own identity, shown for example in the bizarre, quasi-baroque opening with sounds of screaming seagulls.
Her grand Piano Trio no. 2, 'This Mirror Has Three Faces', is a fascinating, three-part music mirror in which the composer makes the listener doubt what is reality and what reflection.
This CD, also gorgeously designed, calls for further acquaintance with Lera Auerbach and the Delta Piano Trio"

Christo Lelie
Trouw, 30.03.18

(Christo Lelie)
REVIEW from 2018-03-30  
The Mirror with Three Faces
The Delta Piano Trio enjoys a special relationship with composer Lera Auerbach. Whilst searching for contemporary repertoire the group fell in love with Auerbach’s piano trios, performing them regularly and, after writing to her about them, enjoying the opportunity to work on this music together with the composer. This experience has given these musicians a unique insight into Auerbach’s piano trios. The title of this CD was inspired by Auerbach’s second piano trio, Tryptych – The Mirror with Three Faces (2012). The work, which is at the heart of this disc, follows the physical construction of a hinged mirror, and Auerbach speaks of it in terms of a theatre piece in which three individuals have their own separate stories but are part of a single entity. Yet there is an ambiguity about the reflection in the mirror –is it three facets of the same person, or three separate images?

Auerbach’s Piano Trio No. 1 is one of her earliest works, with fascinating allusions to19th- and 20th-century musical traditions, yet with the addition of very specific effects which imbue her music with a unique spectrum of colours. The influence of Shostakovich is audible in Auerbach’s Piano Trio No. 1, and this disc opens with Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2. The opening movement is a paradoxical combination of rigorous counterpoint and ethereal harmonics, followed by a more forceful, rustic and ironic second movement. A mournful passacaglia follows, and the work concludes with a haunting ‘Dance of Death’. 
L. van Beethoven: Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1 in E flat major - Delta Piano Trio
L. van Beethoven: Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1 in E flat major

- Allegro
- Adagio Cantabile (11:11)
- Scherzo. Allegro Assai (20:20)
- Finale. Presto (25.34)

Delta Piano Trio
Gerard Spronk, violin
Irene Enzlin, cello
Vera Kooper, piano

Nieuwe Kerk, Den Haag (The Netherlands)