The Trio

As one of the most versatile ensembles of our time, the Boulanger Trio has been at home on the concert stages of the world for 17 years now. Passion and joy in playing, its blind understanding and an immeasurable richness of sound colours characterise the trio, which is based in Hamburg and Berlin and still plays in its original line-up.

Die Welt described the ensemble as “irresistible”, and the composer Wolfgang Rihm wrote in a letter to the trio: “To be interpreted in this way is probably a dream for every composer”. Based on the rich traditional repertoire of their ensemble, the three musicians are equally happy to explore new territory and also make it their task to make unjustly forgotten composers heard. They like to combine musical discoveries with the great masterpieces of chamber music literature – and their cleverly conceived programmes often tell a story. For almost two decades, the ensemble has been a welcome guest in halls such as the Elbphilharmonie, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Brucknerhaus Linz, the Wigmore Hall London and the Musikverein Vienna, and regularly performs with chamber music partners such as Andrè Schuen, Omar Massa and Sebastian Manz. The musicians are guests at festivals such as the Heidelberger Frühling, the Kissinger Sommer, the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker and the Enescu Festival Bucharest and have performed as a soloist trio with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Lower Rhine Symphony Orchestra, the Cluj Symphony Orchestra and the Bern Symphony Orchestra under the direction of renowned conductors such as Antoni Wit and Lera Auerbach. As sought-after interpreters of new music, they regularly invite composers as guests to their own concert series, the Boulangerie, and maintain artistic friendships with Beat Furrer, Johannes Maria Staud, Lera Auerbach, Olga Neuwirth and Matthias Pintscher. An important companion was Friedrich Cerha, whose recommendation enabled the musicians to start their concert series at the Musikverein Vienna. For them, music is closely related to the other arts in a natural way. In collaboration with the actors Johann von Bülow, Ulrich Matthes and Ulrich Noethen as well as the literary scholar Hans von Trotha, the ensemble has created several enthusiastically received concert readings in recent years, thus creating a dramaturgically through-composed genre all of its own, in which text and music grow together to form a new art form. In its extensive discography, the trio always remains true to its credo of presenting a concept. Its eleven albums have been enthusiastically received by experts: in 2010, the trio received the coveted Excellentia Award in Luxembourg for its Brahms-Schönberg-Liszt CD, and its Beethoven CD and the Shostakovich-Vasks CD were honoured with the Supersonic Award. The Juon and Tchaikovsky trios were chosen as the best chamber music recording of the fourth quarter of 2018 by the German Record Critics´ Prize. Since 2021, the recordings have been released on the Berlin Classics label: first “Teach me! The Students of Nadia Boulanger” and one year later “Wanderlust”.

In 2022, the ensemble was featured with Fanny Hensel´s trio in the documentary film ´Die geniale Schwester´ produced by NDR/ARTE.In the 2023/24 season, the ensemble will release two new albums: one with works by female composers from the Renaissance to the present day on Berlin Classics and one with chamber music by Johannes Maria Staud on NEOS. The latter also features Terra fluida, a work dedicated to the trio. The musicians are also happy to pass on their wealth of experience when teaching. In cooperation with Henle Verlag, they publish their fingerings for various works in the sheet music editions of the Henle App. Already in its founding year, the ensemble, whose most important mentors include Hatto Beyerle, Menahem Pressler, Ferenc Rados and Alfred Brendel, was invited to the 5th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition as one of eight piano trios worldwide. Only one year later, the musicians won the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway. They studied chamber music together in the Master´s programme at the Hamburg University of Music and Drama, and were also part of the ECMA ensemble at the European Chamber Music Academy for several years. The trio is named after the sisters Nadia and Lili Boulanger, whose extraordinary personalities and uncompromising commitment to music continue to be a great source of inspiration to the musicians today. Season 2023/24

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