Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, violin, Raphaël Pidoux, cello, Vincent Coq, piano
Trio Wanderer’s stage-name is entirely appropriate. “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, openminded wandering travelers who explore the musical world, spanning the centuries from Mozart and Haydn to the present. Acclaimed for its extraordinarily sensitive style, almost telepathic mutual understanding and technical mastery, the Trio Wanderer is one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles.
Called a “Wandering Star” by the Strad Magazine, the Trio performs on the most prestigious music stages: Musikverein Vienna, Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Opéra of Pékin, Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Place des Arts in Montreal, Herkulessaal in Munich, Library of Congress in Washington, Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Tonhalle in Zürich. They have also performed at major festivals including Salzburg, Edinburgh, Montreux, Schleswig Holstein, la Roque d’Anthéron, Stresa, Feldkirch, Granada, Osaka, Folles Journées de Nantes, Rheingau Musiksommer and Schwetzinger Festspiele.
In triple concertos, the Trio Wanderer has collaborated more than a hundred times with international orchestras such as Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, orchestras of Toulouse, Nice, Pays de Loire, Picardie, Pau-Pays de Béarn, Montpellier, Liège, Tenerife, Santiago de Chile, La Coruna, the Radio Symphonie Orchester in Berlin, Malaysian Philharmonia Orchestra, Württembergische Philharmonie, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Sinfonia Varsovia, Grazer Philharmoniker Orchester, Nürnberger Philharmoniker, National Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow, Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin, Christopher Hogwood, James Loughran, François-Xavier Roth, Luis Langrée, Arie van Beek, Marco Guidarini, Ken-David Masur, Ion Marin, José Areán, Charles Dutoit and James Conlon amongst others.
In addition to records for Sony Classical, Universal, Cyprès, Mirare and Capriccio, the Trio Wanderer began a collaboration with Harmonia Mundi in 1999. Twenty recordings have been issued since then: trios by Chausson, Ravel, Haydn, Shostakovich, Fauré, Pierné, Arensky, Tchaïkovsky, Copland, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Smetana; the complete trios by Schubert, Brahms and Beethoven; Schubert and Hummel’s piano quintet; triple concertos by Beethoven and Martinù with the Gürzenich-Kölner Philharmoniker; and pieces by Liszt and Messiaen.
These recordings have received many awards and commendations: Choc of the year by Le Monde de la Musique, Editor’s Choice by Gramophone, CD of the month by Fono Forum, CD of the Month by BBC Music Magazine, Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Midem Classical Award. Their interpretation of trios by Mendelssohn was chosen as a standard reference by the New-York Times on the occasion of the bi-centenary of the composer’s birth, as was their interpretation of Schubert’s trio opus 100 in 2016 by the BBC, from amongst fourteen contenders. Their most recent recordings are devoted to the trios of Rachmaninov (may 2019) the Quintet op. 57 and Romances op. 127 of Shostakovich (August 2020). The next album will be dedicated to Schumann (trios op. 63, 80 & 110, Phantasiestücke op. 88, Quartet with piano op. 47, Quintet with piano op. 44).
With a particular fondness for contemporary music, the Trio Wanderer has premiered works by composers including Thierry Escaich, Bruno Mantovani, Frank Michael Beyer, Christian Rivet, Matteo Francescini and Philippe Hersant.
In addition to their numerous radio and television recordings (Radio France, BBC, ARD, Mezzo), the Trio Wanderer was the subject of a film made by the French-German television company ARTE, broadcast in June 2003. In 2017, for the Trio’s 30th anniversary, a book written by Olivier Bellamy, tracing the history of the Trio, was published by Art3 Edition.
Acclaimed 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 as “Best Instrumental Ensemble of the year”.
In 2015, Trio Wanderer’ members were bestowed with the title of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres).
Trio Wanderer’s members all graduated 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. During this period, they participated in masterclasses 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. Their career quickly rose to major international heights and they have enjoyed many years of music-making at the highest level.