The Eroica Trio are a classical piano trio composed of Erika Nickrenz (piano), Adela Peña (violin), and Sara Sant'Ambrogio (cello).

All three are graduates of the Juilliard School in Manhattan, and have been playing together since they were children (Nickrenz and Peña since they were nine, Nickrenz and Sant'Ambrogio since they were twelve). Nickrenz and Sant'Ambrogio come from musical families who played a role in their training. Peña trained under John Sant'Ambrogio (Sara's father), and Nickrenz and Sant'Ambrogio under Isabelle Sant'Ambrogio (Sara's grandmother). They formed the Trio itself in 1986 while at Julliard, taking their name from Beethoven's Third Symphony (the Eroica). They continued their training as a trio with Scott Nickrenz (Erika's father), and Joanna Nickrenz (Erika's mother) currently serves as their record producer.

I bought their first recording after hearing them perform George Gershwin's Preludes for piano arranged for trio on NPR's Performance Today, and it was an excellent performance. They play the Gershwin pieces on the CD, as well as a beautiful interpretation of Maurice Ravel's (already quite beautiful) Piano Trio in A minor. They end the CD with two more pieces by Benjamin Godard and Paul Schoenfield (the latter of which is more a jazz composition than classical, and to be honest, I think it is a little overblown).

The Eroica Trio's two most recent releases, Baroque and Pasión have showcased non-traditional or infrequently performed pieces. Baroque showcases music composed in the baroque era, including pieces by lesser known composers of the time. However, the trio plays it in a much more romantic style. Their latest, Pasión, showcases modern composers of South America (Astor Piazzolla, Raimundo Penaforte, and Heitor Villa-Lobos) and Spain (Joaquin Turina), including Penaforte's An Eroica Trio composed specifically for the Trio. On this CD, they explore a fusion of modernist classical music, Spanish and Latin folk music (particularly the tango), and hints of jazz. Of all of their recordings, this music is probably the best-suited to their performance style, and is both beautifully crafted and exciting.

They have a strong tendency toward the dramatic in their performance and I think this serves to make the music more vibrant -- I listen to music as much for the performance as for the composition itself. Their musicianship is superb, and their joy of playing together comes across in their music.

The Eroica Trio tours extensively, gives master classes for musicians-in-training, and is involved in music education for children in the United States.

Sources: various, including, and the liner notes from Pasión (Angel/EMI Classics 7243 5 57033 2 3)