Piano and String Chamber Ensembles

Since the latter half of the 18th century, numerous chamber music works have been composed for combinations of piano with solo string instruments of the violin family. Prominent among these one-to-a-part combinations are the following, which make use of the instruments pictured below.

        Piano Trio:  one piano, one violin, one violoncello [clip 1]

        Piano Quartet:  one piano, one violin, one viola, one violoncello [clip 2]

        Piano Quintet:  one piano, two violins, one viola, one violoncello [clip 3]

Piano and string chamber music is heard most often in the context of tertiary educational institutions (conservatories, schools of music, and music departments). Many such institutions will have one or more such ensembles comprised of members of their studio teaching staff, and in turn some of these studio instructors will coach student ensembles. Professional piano and string ensembles exist, either as offshoots of symphony orchestras or as independently organized groups. Many of these groups serve as resident artists at tertiary institutions while carrying on an active concertizing schedule and producing commercial recordings. 


Tilmouth, Michael, and Basil Smallman. “Piano trio,” in Grove Music Online. Accessed December 6 2014: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/21647

Fenton, David. “Piano quartet,” in Grove Music Online. Accessed December 6 2014: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/21643

Fenton, David. “Piano quintet,” in Grove Music Online. Accessed December 6 2014: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/21644

(by Roger Vetter)

grand piano




Title: Trio No. 6 in B-Flat, Op, 97: Ludwig van Beethoven; Mirecourt Trio. Label: Music & Arts. Format: CD. Catalog#: CD-265. Track: 5.

Title: Piano Quartet No. 2 in G-Minor, Op. 45, by Gabriel Faure; Domus. Label: Hyperion. Format: CD. Catalog#: CDA 66166. Track: 4.

Title: Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34, by Johannes Brahms; Tokyo String Quartet with Barry Douglas, piano. Label: RCA. Format: CD. Catalog#: 6673-2-RC. Track: 1.