The Plaegan Piano Trio takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning ʻjoyful
The Trio has evolved out of the original Plaegan Piano Quartet. The London-based
Quartet was established in 1978 and performed at venues in London and across the South
of England, including the Purcell Room, The Fairfield Halls, St Georgeʼs Bristol, Chichester
Cathedral and the Brighton Festival.
Now based in London and Sussex, the Plaegan Piano Trio was formed in 2011 on the
retirement of violist Amber Bonham Carter, and in 2015, on the retirement of Peter Croser,
we welcomed Alan Brown to the Trio as pianist. The Trio continues to play an increasingly
busy schedule of concerts in London, Brighton and the South of England with music from
the Classical, Romantic and Modern repertoires.
Helen Sills (violin) read music at Nottingham University, followed by an MA in Baroque Music, and then gained a Ph.D from Birmingham University on the work of lgor Stravinsky. She studied the violin with Kenneth Piper at the Royal College of Music, and later with Peter Thomas. Her career has been as a lecturer and teacher, and she has also played with many freelance orchestras and chamber ensembles with some of the country’s finest musicians. She continues to research and publish her work on the effects of music upon the brain.
Michael Nebe (cello) was born in Germany and studied at the Dortmund Konservatorium. He came to London on a scholarship to study under Thurston Dart and Anthony Milner at King’s College London, where he completed the MMus Degree. Continued studies with Florence Hooton and Colin Hampton at the Royal Academy of Music were followed by recital and concerto engagements. He has toured the UK, Germany, Holland, USA, Canada and Australia, where he held guest professorships and recorded for radio and television. He is musical director and conductor of the Whitehall Orchestra and the Fine Arts Sinfonia.
Alan Brown (piano) went on from early festival successes and membership of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain to study piano and cello with Ruth Harte and Lilly Phillips at the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst there he won many prizes, was awarded the prestigious Recital Diploma, and was proclaimed National Most Promising Pianist of the Year. He was also a finalist in the Royal Overseas League and National Federation of Music Societies awards and winner of the Hastings National Concerto Competition. Since his acclaimed Wigmore Hall debut, Alan has appeared many times in London, at the Purcell Room and the Fairfield Hall, and at other venues throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as the Channel Islands, Australia, South Korea and Japan.
Alan has a repertoire of over forty five concertos, including several twentieth century British works, and he has premiered five concertos by John Rand. He has played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Virtuosi of England and other orchestras. He is in great demand as duo partner to wind and string players, performing for many recitals, concerts and competitions in this country and in Germany. He has also performed the complete cycle of Beethoven piano and violin sonatas with lgor Ozim in Slovenia. Alan works as accompanist and coach at both the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. ln addition he has a regular summer commitment to international violin courses, working with lgor Ozirn in Weimar, Salzburg and Slovenia.