Trio Wanderer quite deserves their 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 nowadays. Acclaimed for its extraordinarily sensitive style, almost telepathic understanding of each other and technical mastery, the Trio Wanderer is one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles.
Trio Wanderer’s members were all gratuated from the Paris’ Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique. In 1989/90 they studied in Bloomington’s School of Music and New York’s Julliard School. At the same time, they participated in master-classes with such masters as Jean-Claude Pennetier, Jean Hubeau, Janos Starker, Menahem Pressler from the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Amadeus Quartet. In 1988, they 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’ Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Wiener Musikverein, London’s Wigmore Hall, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica, Washington’s Library of Congress, Rio de Janeiro’s Teatro Municipal, Tokyo’s Kioi Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. They have also performed at major festivals such as Edinburgh, Montreux, Feldkirch, Schleswig Holstein, Rheingau Musiksommmer, Colmar, La Roque d’Anthéron, the Folles Journées de Nantes, Granada, Stresa, Osaka, Salzburg…
They have on many occasions collaborated with artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Christopher Hogwood, James Loughran, Fayçal Karoui, Marco Guidarini, François-Xavier Roth, José Areán, Charles Dutoit and James Conlon, accompanied, in triple or double concertos, by orchestras as Toulouse, Nice, Pau, Montpellier, Liège, Santiago de Chile, La Coruna, Teneriffe, by Les Siècles orchestra, Radio-France’s Orchestre National and Orchestre Philharmonique, Malaysian Philharmonia Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Berlin’s Radio Symphonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Graz’s Philharmonic Orchester, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, Köln’s Gürzenich Orchester, Stockholm Chamber Orchestra …
After producing two CDs released by Sony Classical, the Wanderer Trio began a new partnership with Harmonia Mundi in 1999. Since then, 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 Schubert, Hummel’s Quintet, Beethoven Triple Concerto conducted by James Conlon, pieces of Liszt and Messiaen, trios by Dvorak, Chostakovich piano quintet and Romances op.127 for piano trio and voice with the celebrated mezzo-soprzano Ekaterina Semenchuk. Their last recording dedicated to Schumann complete piano trios, piano quintet and piano quartet has been released in May 2021.
In 2005, a new CD dedicated to the Martinu’s Triple Concerti was issued by Capriccio.
With a particular fondness for contemporary music, the Wanderer Trio 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, percussions and string orchestra 2014). This interest has resulted in recordings produced by Universal Accord (works by Thierry Escaich) and by Mirare (Mantovani, released in 2012)
An auspicious meeting with the Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair led the Trio to make a recording with him of the folksongs of Beethoven, Haydn and Pleyel, released by Cypres Records in 2009.
In 2012, the complete Beethoven piano trios has been released by Harmonia Mundi followed in 2013 by Tchaïkovsky piano trio op. 50 and Arensky piano trio op. 32, Fauré and Pierné piano trios in 2014, Brahms piano trio op. 8 (1854 version) and piano quartet op. 60 in 2016, Dvorák piano trios op. 90 and op. 65 in 2017 and in 2018 by a recording dedicated to five Haydn’s piano trios.
Their recordings have been awarded several 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, Klassik.com Empfehlung, Cds des Monat Fono Forum, Diapason d’Or of the Year, 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. Recently, in 2016, their recording of Schubert Trio op. 100 has been chosen as best version amongst 14 other ones 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 has been 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 has been published by Art3 Edition.
In 2014, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian and Raphaël Pidoux took the position of Professor of violin and cello at the Paris’ Conservatoire national supérieur de Musique et de Danse . Vincent Coq is Professor of Chamber Music at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne since 2010.
In 2015, Trio Wanderer’ members are bestowed the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres)
Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian plays on a violin of Charles Coquet (Paris – 2014) and a Gand Père (Paris – 1840, lent by Mr Nicolas Dufourcq)
Raphaël Pidoux plays on a violoncello of Gioffredo CAPPA (Saluzzo 1680).