The Z.E.N. Trio’s name is an acronym for the three musicians’ initials, but it is also an apt description of their musical philosophy: ‘the forgoing of the self for total togetherness’. As Zen masters will attest, it’s a simple philosophy that is extraordinarily difficult to attain. Right from the opening bars of this concert, the Z.E.N. trio proved more than equal to the task.

Z.E.N. Trio

Z.E.N. Trio. Photo © Darren Leigh Roberts

Intense, passionate, serious, exuberant, virtuosic – all these words describe last night’s performance. But the word I came away with was reverence: for the music, for the composers, and for the art of playing chamber music. As individual artists, each of the three was magnificent. As a trio they were transcendent.

Arno Babajanian’s 1952 Piano Trio in F Sharp Minor opened the program. The opening bars – a profound melody reminiscent of an Armenian liturgical chant – were played with a simplicity and sincerity that is hard to describe in words. It was a whispered invitation: ‘come with us, we’re going to show you the wonders...