Trio Wanderer


Trio Wanderer quite deserves its stage-name. Indeed, “Wanderer” pays homage to Schubert, and more widely to German Romanticism which is often imbued with the leitmotiv of the wandering traveler. These three French musicians are avid, open-minded, wandering travelers who explore the musical world, spanning the centuries from Mozart and Haydn to the present. Acclaimed for their extraordinarily sensitive style, almost telepathic understanding of each other and technical mastery, Trio Wanderer is one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles.

Trio Wanderer’s members all graduated from the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique. In 1989/90, they studied at the Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington and at The Juilliard School in New York.  During this period, they participated in masterclasses with such masters as Jean-Claude Pennetier, Jean Hubeau, Janos Starker, Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Amadeus Quartet. In 1988, the Trio won the ARD Competition in Munich and, in 1990, the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in the USA.

Called a “Wandering Star” by the Strad Magazine, the Trio has performed on the most prestigious music stages: Berlin’s Philharmonic, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Wiener Musikverein in Vienna, London’s Wigmore Hall, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Sydney Opera, Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica, München Herkulessaal of Munich, Sala Sao Paulo, the Beijing Opera, the Seoul Art Center, The Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaïkovsky Conservatory, Washington’s Library of Congress, Rio de Janeiro’s Teatro Municipal, Montreal’s Place des Arts, the Brussels Center for Fine Arts (Bruxelles Palais des Beaux-Arts), Tokyo’s Kioi Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. They have also performed at major festivals such as Edinburgh, Bergen, Bath, Montreux, Feldkirch Schubertiades, Schleswig Holstein, Rheingau Musiksommmer, Colmar, La Roque d’Anthéron, the Folles Journées de Nantes, Granada, Stresa, Osaka, Salzburg, and more.

They have on many occasions collaborated with artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Christopher Hogwood, Louis Langrée, Pascal Verrot, James Loughran, Fayçal Karoui, Marco Guidarini, Arie van Beek, Benoit Fromanger, Wilson Hermanto,  François-Xavier Roth, Michelangelo Veltri, Ion Marin, José Areán, Charles Dutoit, and James Conlon, and have been accompanied in triple or double concertos by such orchestras as Toulouse, Nice, Pau, Montpellier, Picardie, Pays de Loire, Liège, Iparraldeko, Santiago de Chile, La Coruna, Teneriffe, by  Les Siècles orchestra, Radio-France’s Orchestre National and Orchestre Philharmonique, the Malaysian Philharmonia, the National Philharmonic of Russia,  Württembergische Phiharmonie, Budapest’s Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Berlin’s Radio Symphonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Graz’s Philharmonic Orchester, the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, Köln’s Gürzenich Orchester, the Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, and others.

After producing two CDs released by Sony Classical, the Wanderer Trio began a new partnership with Harmonia Mundi in 1999. Since then, more than twenty recordings have been released: trios by Chausson, Ravel, Haydn, Shostakovich, Copland, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Smetana, the complete piano trios of Schubert and Brahms, Schubert’s Trout Quintet, Hummel’s Quintet, the Beethoven Triple Concerto conducted by James Conlon, pieces by Liszt and Messiaen,  trios by Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Fauré, Pierné, Arensky, Tchaïkovsky,  the complete Beethoven piano trios in 2012,  Shostakovich piano quintet and Romances op.127 for piano trio and voice with the celebrated mezzo-soprzano Ekaterina Semenchuk, and the complete Schumann piano trios, piano quintet and piano quartet in 2021. Their last recording dedicated to Franck and Vierne chamber music piano quartet was released in May 2023.

With a particular fondness for contemporary music, the Trio Wanderer has premiered several works by Thierry Escaich (Lettres Mêlées, 2004), Bruno Mantovani (Huits Moments Musicaux, 2008), Frank Michael Beyer (Lichtspuren, 2008) and Matteo Francescini (Triple Concerto ‘Ego’, 2011), Philippe Hersant (Chant de l’Isolé for piano trio, percussion and string orchestra 2014), Christian Rivet (Courant d’Etoile, 2023). Laurent Petitgirard (La Croisée des Arts 2024). This interest has resulted in recordings produced by Universal Accord (works by Thierry Escaich) and by Mirare (Mantovani, released in 2012)

Their recordings have been repeatedly recognized by critics and have been awarded prizes including Choc du Monde de la Musique, Fanfare’s Want List, Critic’s Choice and Editor Choice of Gramophone, CD of the Month by the BBC Music Magazine, CDs of the Month of Fono Forum, Diapason d’Or of the Year, and Midem International Classical Music Award.

The New York Times declared their interpretation of Mendelssohn’s piano trios the new reference and their Schubert Trout Quintet and Hummel Quintet recording has been included in Forbes’s Top 100 Quality Music Library. In 2016, their recording of the Schubert Trio op. 100 was chosen as the best version of 14 by the BBC3 broadcast ‘Building a Library – CD Review’.

Besides numerous radio and television recordings (Radio France, BBC, ARD, Mezzo), the French-German television company ARTE made a film on the Trio Wanderer, broadcast in June 2003.

Heralded by the professional music world, the Trio Wanderer was awarded for the third time in February 2009 (previously in 1997 and 2000) a Victoire de la Musique for Best Instrumental Ensemble of the year. In 2017, for its 30th anniversary, a book written by Olivier Bellamy and tracing the history of the Trio was published by Art3 Edition.

In 2014, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian and Raphaël Pidoux became professors of violin and cello, respectively, at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse. Vincent Coq has been Professor of Chamber Music at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne since 2010. All three give master-classes internationally and are invited as jury member in international music competitions (ARD Munich, Wien, Lyon, Osaka, Graz, Vercelli, and more).

Each of Trio Wanderer’s members were bestowed the honor of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres).

Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian plays  on a violin of Gand Père (Paris – 1840, lent by Mr. Nicolas Dufourcq). Raphaël Pidoux plays on a violoncello of Gioffredo CAPPA (Saluzzo 1680).

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