Poulenc Trio
Poulenc Trio
Bryan Young | Irina Kaplan | Liang Wang

The Poulenc Trio

The Poulenc Trio’s latest collaboration is Trains of Thought: Animated, a mixed-media project featuring a beautifully hand-animated film by artists Elizabeth and Alden Phelps, paired with a commissioned work by Viet Cuong to premiere in Washington DC at the National Gallery in 2017.

The Trio’s latest CD, Creation, debuted at #4 on Apple Music’s iTunes Classical Music playlist and garnered high praise from the American Record Guide for the group’s technique and expressive range. The CD also features a pairing with poet and Guggenheim Fellow Lia Purpura, with a reading of her poems set against Schnittke’s Suite in the Old Style.

Coming collaborations include a new Music at the Museum residency with Chamber Music Raleigh and the North Carolina Museum of Art, featuring a new commissioned work by composer William Henry Curry, and a commission for Trio and Clarinet by GRAMMY-award winning composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel.

The Poulenc Trio presented an intriguing and beautifully played program with convincing elegance, near effortless lightness and grace.
— Washington Post

Since its founding in 2003, the Poulenc Trio has performed in 45 U.S. states and at music festivals around the world, including the Ravello Festival in Italy, the San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico, and the White Nights Festival in Russia, where the group toured with and premiered two new works with violinist Hilary Hahn.

In a recent review, the New York Times praised the Trio for its “elegant rendition” of Piazzolla’s Tangos. The Washington Post said the trio “does its namesake proud” in “an intriguing and beautifully played program” with “convincing elegance, near effortless lightness and grace.” A recent performance in Florida – for which the Palm Beach Post praised the group’s “polished loveliness” and the Palm Beach Daily News said the “potent combination” of oboe bassoon and piano had “captured the magic of chamber music”-is regularly rebroadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today nationally syndicated radio program. The Trio has garnered positive attention in recent full-length profiles by Chamber Music magazine, and by the Double Reed Journal. The group has been called “virtuosos of classical and contemporary chamber music” in one profile for Russian television.

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The Trio has a strong commitment to commissioning, performing and recording new works from living composers. Since its founding, the Trio has greatly expanded the repertoire available for the oboe, bassoon and piano, with 22 new works written for and premiered by the group, including three triple concertos for Trio and full orchestra.


The Trio has also made a commitment to explore and promote musics that reflect its members’ African, Asian, Eastern European and Jewish roots. Recent concerts have featured works by Afro-Cuban jazz great Paquito D’Rivera, Mexican-American composer Carlos Medina, Russian-American composer Nataliya Medvedovskaya and Yiddish Lexicon, an exploration of Jewish culture by composer Jakov Jakoulov.

The Trio launched a pioneering concert series called Music at the Museum, in which musical performances are paired with museum exhibitions, with special appearances from guest artists and curators. As part of the series, the Trio has collaborated with the National Gallery in Washington DC, the Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art and the Hermitage State Museum in Russia. Guest artist collaborators have included violinist Hilary Hahn, the Thibaud Trio of Berlin, soprano Hyunah Yu, and clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Anthony McGill.

The Trio is deeply engaged in musical and educational outreach programs, including Pizza and Poulenc, an informal performance and residency series for younger audiences around the United States. The Trio regularly conducts masterclasses, with recent engagements at the University of Ohio, San Francisco State University, Florida State University and the University of Colima in Mexico.

Educational & Outreach Programs

Most of the Poulenc Trio’s concert engagements also feature one or more outreach components. We offer learning and cultural enrichment opportunities for audiences of all ages.

Poulenc & Snacks

For K-12 Kids & Teens

Poulenc & Snacks is a light yet informative interactive program designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. No prior musical knowledge is required. The program is designed to last for the duration of a typical class period, between 30-45 minutes. The program typically includes short performances of the Trio’s music, an introduction to the oboe, bassoon and piano and musical topics including teamwork, follow-the-leader, rhythm, dance and musical styles. Topics are adjusted based on the age of the audience, and we recommend separate shows for the younger and older kids. As an option the program can be performed in a lunchtime configuration (the ‘Snacks’ Option). Ample time will be provided for kids’ questions and answers. A tuned piano is required for this program.

 

The Poulenc Trio Masterclass

For College and Professional Musicians

Each member of the Poulenc Trio is a seasoned teaching professional with over 20 years experience. The Poulenc Trio masterclass is designed to share our knowledge and expertise with young professional and serious college musicians. A high level of musical proficiency is expected. The masterclass lasts one to two hours, with each musician or chamber group given 15-30 minutes to perform and receive coaching. A wide range of topics may be covered, including general chamber music skills, instrumental techniques, reed adjustments, style and phrasing, and repertoire. The class can be aimed at full chamber groups, or separated into individual double reed and piano sessions.

Music at the Museum

For Adults & Kids 10+

Music at the Museum is a fun interactive concert series that explores the connections between music and the visual arts, designed for adults and students in 5th-grade and above. No prior musical knowledge is required. The program lasts about an hour. The program is designed to be performed in a museum gallery or art class; the music and discussion is tailored to the surrounding artwork or exhibition space. Topics for discussion can include historical connections, contrasts between listening and seeing, and the role of visualization in music. Local guest speakers, curators or artists can add variety and interest to the audience discussion and we encourage participation from all. A tuned piano is required for this program.

 

Cappuccino Concerts

For Professionals on the Go

Poulenc Trio Cappuccino Concerts are an informal lunchtime concert and discussion series aimed at young professionals. No prior musical knowledge is required. The walk-in/walk-out concert format is designed to be performed in an office-space, accessible concert hall or cafe, and lasts about an hour. Cappuccino Concerts feature the Trio’s newer music, including world-premiere and commissioned works. Throughout the concert we will discuss the music, talk about life on the road, and answer questions. A tuned piano is required for this program.

Secrets of Success

For College and Professional Musicians

Secrets of Success is an informative discussion-only workshop designed to teach serious music students and aspiring professionals about the extra-musical skills needed to build and run a successful chamber music ensemble. The workshop lasts about 90 minutes. No prior musical knowledge is required, but the content will be most interesting to aspiring musicians. During the session, the Poulenc Trio will share answers to critical issues that few musicians are taught in school, but that every chamber ensemble must solve: How do we get artist management? Do we need to be a non-profit? How do we engage new audiences? How do we raise funds for commissioning and outreach? Should we sign with a record label or self-produce? How do we solve interpersonal conflicts? A piano is not required for this program.

 

Conquering Stage Fright

For All Ages

Performance anxiety affects almost everyone at some point. We have developed a unique and fun approach to beating stage fright and building the skills and techniques needed to perform confidently and successfully under pressure. The program lasts about 30 minutes. This program is interactive and physical, so expect to move. No prior musical knowledge is required, but musicians will be encouraged to perform for the group. A piano is not required for this program.