The Trio Karénine was founded in Paris in 2009 on the initiative of three young musicians and friends. In acknowledgment of the ardour and life force she represents, they chose to take the name of Tolstoy’s famous heroine Anna Karenina.
Continuing its ascent since its debut just over ten years ago, the ensemble now performs in the world’s foremost venues, among them the Frick Collection in New York, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Philharmonie de Paris.
Very soon after meeting up, the three musicians entered the chamber music class of the Quatuor Ysaÿe at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Paris. This training gave them a taste for the homogeneity of the collective sound cultivated by string quartets. Their thirst for high standards and quest to perfect their style subsequently led them to cross paths with other eminent musicians, including Menahem Pressler, Alfred Brendel, Hatto Beyerle, Ferenc Rados, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Johannes Meissl, Avedis Kouyoumdjian and the members of the Trio Wanderer, who guided them and nourished their sensibilities as chamber musicians.
Since the 2019/2020 season they have themselves had the opportunity to teach chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
After winning first prize at the Charles Hennen Competition in the Netherlands and the Prix Pro Musicis, the trio won the prestigious ARD International Competition in Munich in 2013, a prize that revealed the young ensemble to the international public and marked a turning point in its career.
Already a familiar visitor to the French concert platform in such halls as the Salle Pleyel and the Auditorium du Louvre, the Trio Karénine then moved on to concert halls abroad (Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Bourgie in Montreal, the Herkulessaal and Prinzregentententheater in Munich, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing) and made its debut at prestigious festivals, including La Roque d’Anthéron, the Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, La Folle Journée in Nantes, Tokyo and Warsaw, the Flâneries Musicales de Reims and the Festival Chopin à Nohant. The Franco-German television channel Arte invited the three musicians to perform in its ‘Stars von Morgen’ series presented by Rolando Villazón.
The trio enjoys working with other artists, and has performed with Adrien La Marca, Marie Chilemme, Sarah Chenaf, Hélène Clément, Alena Baeva, Raphaël Sévère, among others, notably at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), which awarded it the NORDMETALL-Ensemblepreis 2015 for its interpretation of Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet with Krzysztof Chorzelski (of the Belcea Quartet) and Laurène Durantel.
The Trio Karénine has shown strong commitment to contemporary music and is the dedicatee of Benoît Menut’s Les Allées sombres. In 2020 the trio created a work by Franck Krawczyk at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris in the framework of La Belle Saison, as well as a trio by the clarinettist Raphaël Sévère. For the Mirare label, the group has recorded trios by Schumann (2016), rediscovered Germaine Tailleferre’s Trio alongside those of Ravel and Fauré (2018) and recorded a disc of music from central and eastern Europe (2019). All three releases have received international press acclaim (5 Diapasons, 5 stars in Classica; Gramophone; nomination for the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik etc.).
The Trio Karénine has received generous support from the Académie de Villecroze, the Fondation Culture et Musique (under the auspices of the Fondation de France) and the Fondation Banque Populaire. In addition, it has held the scholarship of the ‘Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot’ Festival and is a beneficiary of the ADAMI 365 scheme. It was also awarded the Prix de la Fondation Oulmont.