About Boulanger Trio
The Boulanger Trio, named for sisters Nadia and Lili Boulanger, has sought to reproduce not only the music but also the creative atmosphere fostered by Nadia Boulanger as a teacher who did much to break down gender barriers in classical music. Like Boulanger, the members of the trio have been strong supporters of contemporary music.
The Boulanger Trio was formed in 2006 in Hamburg and has been based there and in Berlin. The membership, consisting of violinist Birgit Erz, cellist Ilona Kindt, and pianist Karla Haltenwanger, has remained consistent. The trio snared an appearance in Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Op. 56, with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in 2009, which led to other orchestral appearances around Germany and Switzerland as well as chamber music concerts in such prestigious venues as the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna, and Wigmore Hall in London. The Boulanger Trio has been visible at festivals around Germany and beyond, including the Max Reger Days in Weiden. The group's concerts mix French music of the Boulanger circle, Classical, and Romantic repertory, and contemporary music by such composers as Friedrich Cerha, Beat Furrer, and Wolfgang Rihm, who remarked in a letter quoted by the trio on its website that "to be interpreted like this is probably a dream come true for every composer." Especially notable has been the trio's Boulangerie concert series, named for a regular Wednesday-evening meeting held by Nadia Boulanger in her Paris apartment, given the Boulangerie ("Bakery") meaning affectionately by her students. As with the original events, the Boulanger Trio Boulangerie concerts might feature music by a contemporary composer who would be in attendance and would discuss the music performed with the attendees.
The Boulanger Trio has made several recordings, beginning with an album of trios by Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Wolfgang Rihm, released in 2009 on the Ars Produktion label. The group moved to Profil in 2012 for a sequence of albums that included trios from Beethoven to contemporary composer Peteris Vasks. The Boulanger Trio moved to the CAvi-Music label for a quartet of albums between 2016 and 2018, and then to Berlin Classics in 2021 for Teach Me!: The Students of Nadia Boulanger, featuring music by Astor Piazzolla, among others. ~ James Manheim