Seventeen years old (and counting), the Lawson Trio has achieved widespread recognition for its intelligent interpretations, imaginative programming and innovative approach to commissioning. In recent years the Trio has appeared at major venues in London including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and the Southbank Centre, as well as at music festivals such as Bath, Buxton and Winchester and for music societies across the UK. Their performances have been broadcast for ‘Live in Concert’ and ‘In Tune’ on BBC Radio 3, as well as on national Australian radio in the final rounds of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. The Lawson Trio has curated several large-scale performance and educational projects, most recently at Kings Place with a series exploring chamber and vocal repertoire written during World War One.
“Between Haydn’s Gypsy Rondo Trio and Ravel’s A minor Piano Trio, the Lawson Trio’s polished and refined recital sandwiched three works specially composed for them”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Known for providing listeners with valuable and insightful introductions to the music they perform, the Trio has given pre-concert talks on tour for Music in the Round and recently chaired and illustrated a discussion event at Kings Place. Passionate about making music accessible to younger audiences, the ensemble has given family and schools’ concerts for CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust, Wigmore Learning and Music in the Round and is also Associate Ensemble to Chamber Music 2000.
Annabelle is Artistic Director of the in:spire with… chamber music series; a bi-monthly, informal concert series held in the intimate setting of St. Andrew’s URC, Sheffield and featuring professional musicians based in the Sheffield area, as well as emerging Sheffield talent.
The inaugural 2017-8 season includes performances by Ensemble 360’s Ruth Gibson (viola), Louise Thomson (harpist) and Tim Smedley (cellist) and will be launched by Annabelle herself, giving the world premiere of Gordon Crosse’s first piano sonata, as well as duetting with her father and erstwhile teacher, Peter Lawson.
Two further concerts will include postgraduate instrumentalists from the University of Sheffield’s MA Music Performance Studies course and school-age children from Sheffield Music Academy – one of 15 centres for Advanced Music Training in the UK.
Teaching, Education & Outreach
Annabelle has experience across a vast range of outreach and education work. As a teacher she worked at Forest School, London for twelve years and at the Perse School, Cambridge for two years. She currently teaches first and second study piano, as well as chamber music, at the Junior department of the Royal Academy of Music. Annabelle qualified as a Main Panel Examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) in 2012 and travels across the UK in this capacity.
As a performer Annabelle has given solo recitals for Yehudi Menuhin’s ‘Live Music Now’ scheme in a range of community and outreach settings. The Lawson Trio has also given concerts for Wigmore Learning, Music in the Round, CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust and the Florestan Festival, as well as holding a year-long mini residency at Queen’s University, Belfast, during which they worked with both undergraduate and postgraduate composers and performers.
Annabelle is Artistic Director of Chamber Music 2000 – an educational, contemporary chamber music initiative established by the Schubert Ensemble in 2000. Over the past five years Annabelle has organised and led inter-school chamber music projects to celebrate the scheme’s tenth anniversary and the 2012 London Olympics, as well as to mark the centenary of World War One. She has commissioned fifteen new works for the scheme, as well as running workshops in schools including the Yehudi Menuhin School, Purcell School, Well’s Cathedral School, Chetham’s School of Music, Yorkshire Young Musicians and a large number of private and state sector schools. She has organised showcase concerts in venues including the Purcell Room, Steinway Halls, Kings Place, Menuhin Hall and the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.
Annabelle organised and performed in Bach to Baby concerts across West Essex and East Hertfordshire during the 2015/16 season. Bach to Baby is a hugely successful organisation, which has been established in London since 2011 and now operates over 45 concerts a month across the south-east. The series is aimed at babies, tots and their families and events are held in inspiring local venues at the baby-friendly time of 10.30am. Weary parents can sit back with a (superlative!) cup of coffee and enjoy first-class performances, given by the highest calibre of artists, while their children are allowed to roam around, dance, feed etc.
From hunting for venues, through booking artists, advertising, accompanying in the concerts and taste-testing cookies for the refreshments stall(!), Annabelle relishes the challenge of running her own business. She has formed exciting, musical collaborations with a diverse range of musicians and finds it hugely fulfilling to be making music accessible to new audiences, in settings which are festive, spontaneous and informal, while maintaining the highest of musical standards.
Counselling & Psychotherapy
In 2016 Annabelle completed a Foundation Year in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Minster Centre, London, having completed their Introduction course the previous academic year. This reflects an ever-growing interest in the nature of psychological wellbeing and a desire to investigate it in a more structured way and with a view to helping other people. Annabelle hopes to pursue study to Masters level and to gain professional accreditation, with an aim of practising as a psychotherapist alongside all her current, musical activities. It is a long road ahead – so watch this space…
I think my favourite things were ‘the extremes’ – [the Lawson Trio] on the one hand, and on the other hand the tiny girls who looked so thrilled to be on the stage, and didn’t want to leave at the end of their piece. ….. Congratulations on a truly wonderful event!
Susan Tomes, pianist