The Offenburg String Trio
Frank Schilli, Violin
Rolf Schilli, Viola
Martin Merker, Violoncello
The Offenburg String Trio was created in 1981 in Offenburg, Germany, the home town of its three musicians. The current ensemble consisting of the Schilli brothers Frank (violin) and Rolf (viola) and Martin Merker (cello) has played concerts since 1987. After initial instruction by members of the legendary Bartholdy Quartet, the three musicians studied under Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet) in Basel, Switzerland, and Hubert Buchberger (Buchberger Quartet) in Frankfurt, Germany. The members of the string trio attended master courses conducted by the Deutsches Streichtrio and the Trio à cordes français. The Offenburg String Trio has received awards in several international chamber music competitions in Germany, France, Italy, and The Netherlands. Subsequent concert tours have taken the three musicians to many European countries, Brazil, India, Vietnam. Thailand, and Cambodia, where they have given several master courses for chamber music. The ensemble has been invited many times to perform on radio and television, including productions by SWR, Swiss Radio DRS 2, RAI Roma, Radio Catalunya, and the Irish, Brazilian, Russian, and Vietnamese television networks. The members of the Offenburg String Trio have served as the artistic directors of the Offenburg Cloister Concerts since 1995 and in recent years have directed the Trio Chamber Music Weeks for amateur ensembles in Germany and Switzerland. The group has recorded several CDs with ambitus, ANTES, and CENTAUR.
They have all the assets for quality trio performance. Their sheer pleasure in making music, their technical perfection, their clear articulation, their subtle interpretation of the works, the purity of their intonation, and their exquisite sound leave little to be desired. What’s more, they have an utterly instinctive sense for playing as an ensemble! — Leipziger Volkszeitung
An ensemble of this rare instrumentation and brilliance is sure to be welcome in concert halls in the future as well. — Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Perfection resonated in the dynamic breadth of the works. The strings never had to resort to the extremes of a forced fortissimo to render a climax. Gently, almost tenderly, they filled out the different nuances of the dynamics together.
— Stuttgarter Zeitung
The Offenburg String Trio means loving tone production, outstanding technique, intelligent musical interpretation, and consummate inclusion of the audience in the musical thoughts. — El Scherzo (Madrid)