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About

The PEN Trio bridges performance and scholarship to explore and expand the repertoire for the traditional trio d’anches. The ensemble regularly tours throughout North America and abroad and has become known for the quality and energy of their performances. The PEN Trio has visited dozens of universities and has performed at numerous academic conferences, chamber music series, and private functions. Recent highlights include performances in Cuba, China, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Panama, and Trinidad, as well as appearances at the annual conferences of the International Double Reed Society, ClarinetFest, College Music Society, with flutist Francesca Arnone at the 44th Annual National Flute Association Convention, and National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, as well as radio broadcasts on Michigan and Alabama Public Radio, as well as national radio stations in Cuba (CBMF) and Guatemala (TGW).  

The PEN Trio recently recorded their debut album, Found Objects in New York City with Boston-based Soundmirror. The album will include new works, written expressly for the ensemble, by William Bradbury, Jenni Brandon, M. Shawn Hundley and Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn.  

The members of the PEN Trio are passionate about performance, education and scholarship, and the group is dedicated to expanding the scope of the traditional trio d'anches as well as to bring the intimate yet intense sound of this unique instrumentation to a wider audience. The term trio d'anches was coined by bassoonist Fernand Oubradous in 1927 to describe the now legendary Trio d'Anches de Paris. This celebrated group featured the three reed instruments commonly found in the orchestra: oboe, clarinet and bassoon. Popular mythology asserts that the group came together to explore a more perfect blend of timbres known as "une parfaite homogénéité,” that is not available to the standard woodwind quintet instrumentation, which includes the distinct and varied timbres of flute and horn.  

Louise Dyer-Hanson, founder of the publishing company Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre, heard the group in its early days and quickly became enamored with the sound of the ensemble.  Consequently, she helped the group commission several new works from leading composers that were eventually published by Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre. Ultimately, this group of pieces was published together as a collection that remained in print for over fifty years. The Trio d'Anches de Paris had nearly a dozen works written for and dedicated to the ensemble, including compositions by Bozza, Franck, Ibert, Milhaud, and Tomasi, which now forms the core of the standard repertoire.  

The PEN Trio was formed, in many ways, to continue the work that the Trio d'Anches de Paris began nearly one hundred years ago. Since 2010 the PEN Trio has premiered works by William Bradbury, Jenni Brandon, Allen Cohen, Jon Grier, M. Shawn Hundley, Peter James Learn, Wendy Wan-Ki Lee, and Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, and has promoted these works in concert around the world.  In 2013, the PEN Trio partnered with Trevor Cramer and TrevCo-Publishing to create the PEN Trio Collection.  This collection includes new works as well as new editions of existing works to make the trio d'anches more accessible to musicians around the globe.  

With a growing reputation as fine pedagogues as well as performers, the PEN Trio brings a new energy and fresh approach to the reed trio, playing with intelligence and scholarly insight.
— NANCY KING, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

The visit by the PEN Trio represents the very best guest artist residency the Fine Arts Center of Greenville has had: superb performers who are also patient, caring teachers that are able to reach kids on their level. The finest people as well as the finest players. I look forward to the next time the PEN trio visits.
— GARY ROBINSON, FINE ARTS CENTER OF GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA

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Passionate Teachers

All of the members of the PEN Trio are passionate teachers and are often asked to do master classes when performing at schools. These classes are always offered free of charge and are tailored to the needs of the students at that particular institution. The members of the PEN Trio are happy to do traditional instrument specific master classes as well as classes in chamber music, teaching woodwinds in the public schools, and panel discussions about music entrepreneurrship. The trio always makes themselves available to students after performances and often times find themselves giving impromptu mini-lessons to eager students.

The PEN Trio gave a delightful performance that shared the richness and diversity of the woodwind repertoire. It was a wonderful afternoon of beautiful music that our audience greatly enjoyed. All three members engaged our audience and the whole event could not have been better! They are excellent musicians and we hope they come back to West Texas again!
— VALERIE C. BLUTHARDT, SAN ANGELO MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

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It is really refreshing to see the continuing enthusiasm and joy that students bring to their music making
— Eric Van der Veer Varner, bassoon
The PEN trio gave an absolutely stellar performance while in residence at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. The trio presented a program that featured new works in a way that excited and inspired both our students and community. The members of the group also gave superb classes for our students that were thoughtful, engaging, constructive and encouraging. We would be delighted to host them again in the near future.
— YEVGENY DOKSHANSKY, UNIVERSITY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

 

In Threes (2011)  |  M. Shawn Hundley (b. 1971)

Live Performance, March 19, 2012
Edge Recital Hall
University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)

Trio  |  Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
  I.  Animé     

Live Performance, March 16, 2012
Dohnanyi Recital Hall
Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida) 

Pastorale, Op. 147 (1935)  |   Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)

Live Performance, March 1, 2011
Whitmore Recital Hall
University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri)

Rustiques  |  Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957)
  I.   Pastorale  
  II.  Rêverie
  III.  Rondeau à la française     

Live Performance, September 25, 2011
Dalton Performing Arts Center
Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

Listen

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The PEN Trio’s presentation at UW-Madison was remarkably interesting for our students. Their detailed insights about what it takes to form and run a professional chamber music group was extremely informative and useful for these young musicians. And the performances were brilliant and showed the high standards that all our students should aspire to.
— MARC VALLON, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

News

JULY/2018

PEN trio bassoonist, Eric Van der Veer Varner spent the month of July in Bellingham, Washington, for the 35th Season of the Bellingham Music Festival, where he performed with the Bellingham Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Michael Palmer. 

PEN trio clarinetist, Phillip O. Paglialonga, spent the past week at ClarEssentials on the campus of the University of North Texas. ClarEssentials is a summer program for talented high school clarinetists in Denton, Texas. During the course of the week Phillip presented a chamber music recital with UNT colleagues Deborah Fabian, Kimberly Cole Luevano and John Scott, taught private lessons, presented a master class and coached chamber music.

 Phillip with the clarinet quartet he coached at ClarEssentials.

Phillip with the clarinet quartet he coached at ClarEssentials.

 2017 Bellingham Festival Orchestra bassoonists (L-R) Eric, Andrew Cuneo (St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), and Mona Butler (Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera). 

2017 Bellingham Festival Orchestra bassoonists (L-R) Eric, Andrew Cuneo (St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), and Mona Butler (Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera). 

 ClarEssentials faculty members Kimberly Cole Luevano, John Scott, Phillip O. Paglialonga and Deborah Fabian in front of ClarEssentials students.

ClarEssentials faculty members Kimberly Cole Luevano, John Scott, Phillip O. Paglialonga and Deborah Fabian in front of ClarEssentials students.

June/2018

 Glickman Popkin Bassoon Camp friends (L to R)  Rob Schmidtke (Red Wing, MN), Eric, Ann Shoemaker (Baylor University), Jefferson Campbell (University of Minnesota-Duluth), and Sasha Enegren (Montclair State University).

Glickman Popkin Bassoon Camp friends (L to R)  Rob Schmidtke (Red Wing, MN), Eric, Ann Shoemaker (Baylor University), Jefferson Campbell (University of Minnesota-Duluth), and Sasha Enegren (Montclair State University).

After returning from Panama PEN trio bassoonist Eric Van der Veer Varner performed at the Glickman Popkin Bassoon Camp in North Carolina. The camp was established in 1978, and takes place at the Wildacres Retreat Center in Little Switzerland, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is open to bassoonists of all ages and abilities

The PEN trio just finished the week in Panama at the 12º Festival Internacional de Música Alfredo De Saint Malo. The trio performed a recital with Argentinian guitarist, Federico Díaz, at the Biblioteca de Boquete that included arrangements by Dîaz. The trio also appeared as soloists with the Festival Orchestra under the direction of Darwin Aquino in Sergio Delgado's new Triple Concerto. While in Panama the trio also worked extensively teaching at the festival.

The PEN trio with Federico Díaz (guitar, Argentina) and Elsa Castillo (director, Biblioteca de Boquete)

May/2018

The PEN trio performed at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in England before traveling to India. They performed in New Delhi at the India International Centre, sponsored by the Delhi Music Society and the Delhi Music School, in a program that included the premiere of Three American Canvases by composer Daniel Perttu.

PEN trio oboist Nora Lewis visited the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music this week to present a master class for the oboists there. 

 The PEN trio with distinguished clarinetist Anna Hashimoto at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The PEN trio with distinguished clarinetist Anna Hashimoto at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

 During their trip to India, the PEN trio also visited the Taj Mahal.

During their trip to India, the PEN trio also visited the Taj Mahal.

APRIL/2018

Clarinetist Phillip O. Paglialonga performed James Whitbourn's Annaliese in Washington, D.C. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts earlier this month. Click here to watch this performance on the Kennedy Center website.

Click here to read a feature on PEN Trio bassoonist Eric Van der Veer Varner in Voyage MIA magazine. 

Buffet Crampon just announced that PEN trio clarinetist Phillip O. Paglialonga has become an Artist/Clinician for the company. Phillip performs exclusively on a Buffet R-13 Bb clarinet and a Buffet Festival A clarinet.  

 Nora after her master class at Northwestern University with students and Chicago Symphony musician Michael Henoch.

Nora after her master class at Northwestern University with students and Chicago Symphony musician Michael Henoch.

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february/2018

Congratulations to PEN Trio oboist Nora Lewis who just accepted a position at the Lawrence University - Conservatory of Music. This is a particularly special position for Nora since she did her undergraduate studies at Lawrence and will follow her former professor, Howard Niblock. 

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JANUARY/2018

PEN Trio clarinetist Phillip O. Paglialonga will be moving to Texas this summer! Phillip just accepted a position at the University of North Texas where he will teach applied clarinet at both the graduate and undergraduate level. For more information about the clarinet studio at the University of North Texas visit: https://clarinet.music.unt.edu.

October/2017

The PEN trio just returned from San José, Costa Rica where they did a week-long residency at the Universidad de Costa Rica, culminating in a featured performance in the Sala Cullell. While in San José, the trio presented master classes for students at the Universidad de Costa Rica as well as from the Instituto Nacional de la Música. 

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April/2017

Last week the trio was in Havana, Cuba where they were featured guest artists at the Fiesta de los Clarinetes. On Friday night Phillip performed as a soloist in the opening concert, then on Saturday night the PEN Trio performed a full program at the Oratorio San Felipe Neri. During their stay in Cuba, the trio also worked extensively with students at the Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana

NOVEMBER/2016

The PEN trio just returned from Guatemala where they were performing and teaching for several days at the Escuela de Musica Metropolitana in Guatemala City.  The trio was also featured on Guatemala's national radio station, TGW. The show, "Musica en Transito" is a regular hour-long program hosted by Jorge Sierra. The broadcast included performances of works by M. Shawn Hudley, Villa Lobos, Canteloube and Milhaud, as well as interviews with the help of Pedro Rendon (translator). 

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The PEN Trio is an incredible artistic outlet for me. I have the privilege of working with two extraordinary musicians and making music at the absolute highest level, which is nothing short of exhilarating
— Phillip O. Paglialonga, clarinet
 

Continuing the Work of
the Trio d'Anches de Paris

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The PEN Trio is pleased to partner with TrevCo Music Publishing to create the PEN Trio Collection.  This collection includes new works as well as new editions of existing works to make the trio d'anches more accessible to musicians around the globe. Works in the collection:    

5•4•3 (except after C) (2013)  • William Bradbury    
Blue Fountains, Red Flames (2016) • Wendy Wan-Ki Lee [Coming Soon]    
Found Objects: On the Beach (2013) • Jenni Brandon  
In Threes (2011) • Marion Shawn Hundley
Oblique Strategies (2014) • Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn    
Soirées Musicales • Gioacchino Rossini    
Three American Canvases [2018] • Daniel Perttu  
Triple Dances (2014) • Jon Grier    
Walking the Cotswolds (2014) •Allen Cohen

All titles in the PEN Trio Collection are available at TrevCo-Varner Music (www.TrevCoMusic.com).

The development of the PEN Trio Collection has been extremely exciting for me. The other day I was looking for something unrelated to our collection in the WorldCat library database, and our name appeared in the search results. It’s exciting to think that our work has the potential to contribute to the legacy of trio d’anches in a tangible way.
— Nora Lewis, oboe
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