The German newspaper Die Welt described a performance of the Boulanger Trio as irresistible, while Wolfgang Rihm wrote in a letter: To be interpreted in this way is surely the great dream of every composer. Founded in Hamburg in 2006 by Karla Haltenwanger (piano), Birgit Erz (violin) and Ilona Kindt (cello), the ensemble is now one of the few full-time piano trios currently based in Berlin. Already in 2007 they won the 4th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway, followed by the Rauhe Prize for New Chamber Music in 2008. The ensemble has received crucial musical guidance from Hatto Beyerle, Menahem Pressler, and Alfred Brendel.
In the past years, the trio has gained an excellent reputation in the world of chamber music, with regular appearances at the Heidelberger Frühling, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, the Dialogs at Salzburg Mozarteum, and Ultraschall in Berlin. In tandem with chamber music partners such as Nils Mönkemeyer (viola), Sebastian Manz (clarinet) and Andrè Schuen (baritone), the trio has performed at prestigious venues such as the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Wigmore Hall in London and the Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus in Berlin.
In addition to works of the Classical and Romantic periods, the three musicians are much in demand as performers of new music. The Boulanger Trio collaborates with composers such as Wolfgang Rihm, Johannes Maria Staud, Friedrich Cerha, Toshio Hosokawa, and Matthias Pintscher. In 2012, the trio launched its own concert series, the Boulangerie, in Hamburg and Berlin, and starting with this season it is also being exported to the Musikverein in Vienna. At every one of these concerts, a classical composition is performed alongside a piece of contemporary music, the composer of which is always present and talks with the three musicians about his or her oeuvre.
In 2016, the Boulanger Trio added two new recordings on the CAvi-music label to its discography: Solitaires, and a portrait CD celebrating the 90th birthday of Austrian composer Friedrich Cerha, after five previous releases on the Ars and Hänssler Profil labels that featured works by composers such as Shostakovich, Vasks, Liszt, and Schoenberg.