It is interesting to see how three instruments often considered as secondary instruments can come together to become a formidable ensemble. Up until this time, flute and harp chamber repertoire was still mainly played and promoted by its own instrumentalists. Apart from Reinecke, no composer who wasn’t themselves a virtuoso had dedicated a major concerto to these instruments. The viola had nevertheless managed to take advantage of its place within the string quartet with Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Schumann, Bruch and even Brahms dedicating a few of their most beautiful scores to the instrument. This precious legacy, however, is not simply a coming together of the flute, viola and harp but rather the manner in which Debussy used the combination; resolutely modern, his treatment of these three instruments is more about orchestration than a simple distribution of parts.
Founded in 2017, the Zerline Trio is comprised of flautist Alice Szymanski, violist Estelle Gourinchas and harpist Joanna Ohlmann. Having met at the Lyon Conservatoire for Music and Dance, from the very beginning of the trio’s formation these three musicians felt the need to play music of their time and encourage the creation of new pieces, while proudly promoting the uniqueness of the repertoire for flute, viola and harp.