Orion String Trio to visit UK with Swiss Ambassador

An annual music showcase connecting Swiss culture with communities across the UK is coming to Edinburgh.

This year is the 21st anniversary of the Swiss Ambassador’s Award. Since 1997 award recipients tour the UK on a joint cultural/trade mission with the Swiss Ambassador to the UK, presenting both the musicians and Switzerland as an open, outward-looking and innovative country.

The tour kicks off on 15 October in Edinburgh then heads to Dublin, Manchester, Cardiff and London.

Switzerland prides itself on being the most innovative country in the world. This innovation is based on the ability to harness the potential of a people united in diversity and active citizenship.

The winners of this year’s Swiss Ambassadors Award, The Orion String Trio, are a Swiss group of highly talented musicians hailing from South Korea, Germany and the UK, exemplifying this uniquely Swiss strength.

Previous laureates include Christian Poltéra (2003), Sol Gabetta as part of the Vega Trio (2004), Louis Schwizgebel (2008), Francesco Piemontesi (2010), and Christoph Croisé (2017). The Orion String Trio, are South Korean violinist Soyoung Yoon, German violist Veit Hertenstein and British cellist Benjamin Gregor-Smith.

The Orion String Trio was founded in 2012 by the violinist Soyoung Yoon (South Korea), the violist Veit Hertenstein (Germany) and the cellist Benjamin Gregor-Smith (Great Britain) in Basel. Friendship and a deep musical understanding awakened in them the desire to devote themselves to the string trio in addition to their solo activities.

In February 2016, the Orion String Trio won first prize in addition to the Audience Award at the 15th Chamber Music Competition of the Migros Kulturprozent in Zurich. The jury was ‘convinced and fascinated by the audible joy of interaction, ensemble spirit and high professionalism’. The prize also includes a CD production.

The Orion string trio performs regularly in Switzerland – for example in the Tonhalle Zurich – and also gave concerts in Germany, England and on a Korean tour including in the Isang Yun birthplace in Tongyeoung and the Yongsan Concert Hall in Seoul.

Important artistic impulses came from the trio of Harald Schoneweg (Cherubini Quartet), Bernard Smith (Lindsay Quartet) and Thomas Demenga.

They will perform at 7.30pm in Edinburgh at The Balmoral Hotel.