ARTISTS 2019

ELDBJØRG HEMSING

Violin

“Such a beautiful sound! Eldbjørg is an excellent player, really excellent musical instincts” - Pinchas Zukerman.

A champion of Norway’s rich musical tradition, Eldbjørg Hemsing has been performing on some of the World’s most prestigous stages since the age of 11, when she made her solo debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Her violin playing represents a unique blend of classic Viennese sound, which she perfected while studying with Boris Kuschnir; a contemporary sensibility absorbed through numerous projects with living composers including Tan Dun; and a deep affinity with her Scandinavian heritage that she proudly showcases in every aspect of her active musical life.

In March 2018, Eldbjørg Hemsing released her debut CD with the Swedish label BIS, with violin concertos by Hjalmar Borgström and Dmitrij Sjostakovitsj, recorded with the Wiener Symphoniker and Olari Elts. In the fall of 2018, Hemsing released her second CD. This is a recording of Drořáks violin concerto and Suk's “Fantasy” and “Love Song”, recorded with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Alan Buribayev. 

Hemsing will also feature in an upcoming documentary made by David Donnelly, in which he will put the spotlight on female artists. This program is following the success made by NRK in 2010, where Eldbjørg Hemsing and her sister Ragnhild searched for information about the life of the legendary Norwegian violinist, Ole Bull. 

Eldbjørg plays a GB Guadagnini violin from 1754, kindly on loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation. Her long-term artistic development is generously supported by Göhde Foundation.

RAGNHILD HEMSING

Violin

Ragnhild Hemsing stands out amongst the rising stars in Norway as a remarkably poised artist.

Her unique upbringing, deeply immersed in the rich folk music traditions of Norway enables her to be one of the first artists to successfully merge the instantly identifiable characteristics of Norwegian folk and classical performance, in a young, fresh and entirely contemporary fashion.

At only 14 years of age, Ragnhild made her debut performing the Mendelssohn Concerto with both the Bergen Philharmonic and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has performed with all major Norwegian orchestras. She supplements her large repertoire of standard solo classical works for violin with more unusual and complex works written for the Hardanger Fiddle.

Ragnhild’s most notable contemporary collaboration is her work with the Norwegian coreographer Hallgrim Hansegård. Both have performed ‘YR’, by Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen throughout Norway, and she has recorded this work for her solo debut-CD on the Simax label. She has performed the world premiere of Lasse Thoresen’s ‘Sprang’, together with her sister Eldbjørg and the Trondheim Soloists, at the Bergen International Festival, with further performances at St. Petersburg’s Marinsky Concert Hall, the Bashmet Festival in Omsk, the Moravian Autumn in Bmo, and in Trondheim, celebrating the Trondheim Soloist’s 25th aniversary.

Ragnhild’s newest recording ‘Northern Timbre’ was released in 2017 on 2L label, together with pianist Tor Espen Aspaas, with works from Grieg, Sibelius and Nielsen.

Ragnhild has given guest appearances at all major festivals of Norway, and she is a well known artist on Norwegian radio and TV. After her most successful debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing was awarded the Beethoven-Ring of the “Citizens for Beethoven”. She is also the founder of this festival.

Ragnhild plays a Francesco Ruggeri Violin (Cremona, 1694), kindly on loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation.

LILLI MAIJALA

Viola

Lilli Maijala gave her first solo performance with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17 and has since appeared regularly as both a soloist and a chamber musician on stages across Europe.

 

In recent years she has appeared with orchestras including the Helsinki Philharmonic, Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen and Tapiola Sinfonietta. In 2013 she premiered the viola concerto of Lauri Kilpiö with Jyväskylä Sinfonia, the 2018-2019 season includes e.g. a CD recording of Pehr Henrik Nordgren’s Concerto for viola, double bass and chamber orchestra with Olivier Thiery, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and conductor Juha Kangas.

 

Lilli Maijala studied the viola at the Sibelius Academy, Hochschule für Musik Detmold and the Edsberg Chamber Music Institute with teachers such as Teemu Kupiainen, Diemut Poppen and Lars Anders Tomter. A first prize winner of the viola competition Klassik Festival Ruhr, held in conjunction with music academies across Europe, Maijala has won numerous awards, including second prize at the Nordic Viola Competition and special prizes at the ARD Competition Munich and Tokyo International Viola Competition.

 

Maijala was a member of the critically acclaimed, fearless quartet-lab with cellist Pieter Wispelwey and violinists Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Pekka Kuusisto. Based in Amsterdam, she’s currently dividing her time between the teaching post at the Sibelius Academy and international music venues as West Cork Chamber Music Festival, IMS Prussia Cove, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Festival Resonances, Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival etc. Alongside the Jean Baptiste Vuillaume viola, on loan by kind permission of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Lilli Maijala also performs on baroque viola.

GEORGY KOVALEV

Viola

Georgy Kovalev, born in 1990 in Tiflis (Georgia), is one of the leading violist of his generation. He performed with leading orchestras such as the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra and New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra among others .

 

He is a prize winner and a finalist of international competitions such us Yuri Bashmet International Competition in Moscow, Tokyo International Viola Competition.

In 2011 he received the Neva Foundation Prize awarded by the Verbier Festival.

After studying with Matthias Buchholz and Nobuko Imai at the Kronberg Academy, currently he completes his Master degree  with Tabea Zimmerman at Hfm Hans Eisler in Berlin.

 

His chamber music partners included Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis, Yuri Bashmet, Fazil Say, Frans Helmerson, Emanuel Ax, Jörg Widmann, Viviane Hagner, Claudio Bohorquez, Lawrence Lesser, at renowned international music festivals  such as Schubertiade, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Rheingau Festival, Kronberg Academy Festival.

 

Georgy Kovalev has performed at concert venues such as the Victoria Hall(Geneva), Theatre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), Cologne Philharmonic Hall, Kioi Hall (Tokyo), Prinz Regent Theater Hall (Munich), Gordon Bennett Hall (Chicago), Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory.

 

His future engagements include solo recitals and concertos in USA, Germany, Ireland, Holland, France, Italy, Austria, Greece.

ANDREAS BRANTELID

Cello

Andreas Brantelid was born in Copenhagen in 1987 to Swedish/Danish parents. After receiving early tuition from his father Ingemar, Andreas made his soloist debut at the age of 14 in a performance of the Elgar concerto with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. Today, Andreas is one of the most sought-after performing artists from Scandinavia, winning worldwide critical acclaim for his thought-provoking interpretations, uniquely colorful sound and engaging personality.

 

Highlights of recent orchestra engagements includes appearances with the London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC Symphony and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Yomiyuri Nippon Symphony and many more.

 

The 2017/2018 season sees his debuts as a soloist with the NDR Elbpihlharmonie Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse, Stuttgart Radio Symphony and Berlin Radio Symphony, amongst others. He will also perform all cello sonatas by Beethoven with Norwegian pianist Christian Ihle Hadland.

 

Andreas Brantelid has appeared in venues such as Dortmund Konzerthaus, where he has been a 'Junge Wilde' artist, New York (Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall), London (Wigmore Hall), Zurich (Tonhalle), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw) etc.

 

His debut disc of the Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Saint-Saëns cello concertos with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra was released by EMI in 2008, followed by a disc of chamber music by Chopin including his cello sonata (2010), and an Encore disc (2012). A recording of the complete works for cello and piano by Grieg was released by BIS in March 2015.

 

Andreas won the first prizes in the 2006 Eurovision Young Musicians Competition, the 2007 International Paulo Cello Competition, and, in subsequent years, received music awards and fellowships including the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2007, the BBC's New Generation Artist 2008-2011, The European Concert Hall Organization "Rising Star" tour in the 2008/09 season. In 2015 he received the Carl Nielsen Prize in Copenhagen.

 

Andreas plays the 1707 'Boni-Hegar' Stradivarius, which has been made available to him by the generous support of Norwegian art collector Christen Sveaas. Andreas Brantelid lives with his wife and two daughters in Nærum near Copenhagen.

ADAM KRZESZOWIEC

Cello

He completed his studies and graduated with the highest Rector distinction at the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. He was studying also with Frans Helmerson in Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne. Recently completed his Artistic Diploma in Chapelle Musicale Reine Elizabeth in Brussels studying with Gary Hoffman.

 

He has been a laureate of numerous international cello competitions, in London, Paris, Hradec, Warsaw, as well as in Katowice, but has also reached the semi-final stage at Peter Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, International Music Competition in Geneva, and at Rostropovich Competition in Paris.

 

He is a very active performing artist, both as a soloist and a chamber musician. He performed in most renowned concert venues in Europe - Wigmore Hall in London, Victoria Hall in Geneva  Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow or Salle Gaveau in Paris. He was invited for music festivals - Verbier Festival, Sommets Musicaux Festival in Gstaad, International Music Academy-Switzerland in Rolle which was founded by Seiji Ozawa, Casals Festival in Prades, PODIUM Festival, Ensemble Festival in Ksiaz.

 

He performed on stage with many great artists such as Maria Joao Pires, Augustin Dumay, Gary Hoffman, Mischa Maisky, Christian Arming, Michael Tabachnik and permormed as a soloist with orchestras like Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonic Royal de Liege, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice, Orchestre de chambre de Walonie.

 

His recording of Saint-Saens Cello Concerto no.1 with Royal Philharmonie of Liege led by Christian Arming and his debut album „Works for cello solo” including Kodaly’s Sonata for cello solo were very well acclaimed by the critics.

 

He has been presented with numerous scholarships, endowed by the Minister of Culture, the President of City of Katowice, Yamaha Foundation. He has also been a laureate of the scholarship program Young Poland endowed by the National Centre of Culture.

Since 2012 he is a principal cellist of National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (Poland) and helds the position of cello teacher in Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.

QUATUOR MODIGLIANI

String Quartet

The Paris based Quatuor Modigliani, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this season, is a regular guest of the world’s top venues and finest String Quartet & Chamber Music series.

In the current and upcoming seasons, the quartet will be touring in the US, South America, Japan, and extensively throughout most of Europe. Highlights include the Wigmore Hall in London, the Paris Auditorium du Musée du Louvre, The Morgan Library & Museum New York, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Brussel Flagey, Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, the Munich Prinzregententheater, Tokyo’s Oji Hall and festivals such as Salzburg Festspiele, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In 2017 the Quatuor Modigliani was first the String Quartet to perform in the main Hall of the Hamburgs Elbphilharmonie.
 

In 2014, the Modigliani Quartet became Artistic Directors of the Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, a festival created in 1976 by Antoine Riboud and made famous through its former legendary artistic director Mstislav Rostropovich, after a pause of thirteen years. The joint efforts of the Evian Resort and the Modigliani Quartet achieved immediate success and the festival has now become again one of Europe’s major and most publicized Summer musical events.
 

The quartet has been recording for the Mirare label since 2008 and has released 8 CDs, all awarded prizes and receiving international critical acclaim. The next release will be „Carnet de voyages”. The Modigliani Quartet has built true artistic friendships and are regularly play with other musicians such as Nicholas Angelich, Daniel Müller-Schott, Yefim Bronfman, Sabine Meyer, Beatrice Rana and Renaud Capuçon.
 

After fifteen years of building up their own sound and profile, the Modigliani Quartet is now happy to pass their experience to the next generation. In 2016 they created the Atelier within the Festival in Evian and will be holding a series of masterclasses at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris beginning in November 2017.

TO DAMER, TO HERRER

Violin, viola, fiddle and hardangerfiddle

This quartet will represent a meeting of classical music with traditional music from Valdres and Trøndelag, with two pairs of siblings, Ragnhild and Eldbjørg Hemsing and Einar Olav and Gjermund Larsen. The quartet played their first concert at the Hilmar festival in Steinkjer in 2011, and have since then played at different festivals and tours around Norway.

They are all deeply engaged in their respective folk music traditions, and Gjermund also writes new compositions for the quartet. The Hemsing sisters are amongst our most highly acclaimed musicians in the classical music traditions.

VALDRESSTRYKERNE

Youth string orchestra

Valdresstrykerne is a children’s and youth orchestra in Valdres, which was established in 2002. The leaders of the orchestra are Eivind Dølerud and Susanne Engelmann. The students are mainly from Nord-Aurdal, Vestre Slidre and Øystre Slidre, and the orchestra rehearses weekly in Fagernes. In the orchestra’s profile, emphasis is placed on promoting collaborations between folk music and classical music, and they have also collaborated with local choirs. For a number of years, Valdresstrykerne have also collaborated with the Spanish orchestra, Cemb, which is based in Barcelona.

MICHAL FRIEDLANDER

Piano

Pianist Michal Friedlander made her Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 15 playing a piano trio by invitation of Isaac Stern.

 

Chamber music and accompaniment have been ever since the focus of her multifaceted carrier. Born in Geneva and raised in Israel Michal Friedlander studied at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem with professor Benjamin Oren and Professor Ilona Vince-Kraus. Later she completed her Graduate degrees with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

 

An active solo player Michal Friedlander appears regularly with Orchestras in Europe and Israel. among those are the Jerusalem Symphony, The Israeli Chamber Orchestra, The Tel Aviv Soloists, Bruno Maderna Orchestra, the Bayerischen Kammerphilharmonie, the Tübinger Kammerorchester, the Staatskapelle Halle, the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, and the Hamburger Symphoniker.

 

Her Chamber music ensembles and collaborations brought Michal Friedlander to such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Berliner Philharmonie, Jordan Hall and Queen Elisabeth Hall. She collaborates regularly with Internationally known soloists and singers. Michal Friedlander appeared in the chamber music festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Beijing, Sapporo, Ravinia, Jerusalem, Zermatt and Rolandseck.

 

She is Co-director of the Friedberger Musiksommer festival and a founding member of Prelude Concerts in Berlin.

 

Together with Karl-Heinz Steffens, Michal Friedlander recorded the entire works for clarinet and piano by Brahms. A review of this CD writes "…The complex piano accompaniment is managed beautifully by Friedlander. with her high culture of sound and touch, she produces miraculous sounds from her piano.."

 

In 2012 Michal Friedlander formed Trio Franz Schubert together with Nikolaus Boewer and Florian Barak.

JULIEN QUENTIN

Piano

French pianist Julien Quentin has established himself as a versatile and sensitive musician, exhibiting great maturity and poise. His remarkable depth of musicianship and distinct clarity of sound coupled with flawless technique, make him an artist in demand as both soloist and chamber musician.

He has made successful recital debuts in Paris (Salle Cortot), Geneva Conservatorie Hall and Bragemusic in New York. He has appeared as soloist with the Wroclaw, Qatar and Córdoba Philharmonic Orchestras, under such conductors as Tommaso Placidi, Paul Biss and Han-Na Chang. Regularly invited to numerous international festivals, Quentin’s appearances in Europe include Verbier, Lucerne, Gstaad, Montreux, Zermatt, Dresden, Braunsxhweig, Beethovenfest Bonn, Radio France Montpellier and Saint Denis. He has broadcast in Canada, the United States, Japan and in countries across Europe.

       

Julien Quentin is a keen chamber musician and has collaborated with artists such as Nicolas Altstaedt, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, David Garret, Angelika Kirchschlager and Lawrence Power among others.

       

Touring internationally in America, Australia, Japan, the Middle East and throughout Europe, he has appeared at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre in Paris, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Berlin Philharmonie, Alice Tully and Carnegie Halls in New York. He has recorded for EMI, Channel Classics and Sony RCA.

       

Born in Paris, Julien Quentin started his studies at the Geneva Conservatory with Alexis Golovine. In 2002, he completed his Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Emile Naoymoff at Indiana University, where he held a one-year teaching position as Assistant Instrctor and was a recipient of the Presser Award. In 2003, he received his Graduate Diploma from the Julliard School, where he studied with György Sándor. He has also worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Nikita Magaloff, György Sebök and Earl Wild.

       

Julien Quentin now lives in Berlin. With ‘Musica Litoralis’ at Piano Salon Christophori, he has managed to create an increasingly successful concert series reminiscent of the salons of the Roaring Twenties. With visual artists, he explores new artistic visions bringing various art forms together. He also pursues his interest in other genres of music through his collaboration with pianists Kelvin Sholar and Francesco Tristano, or producers Guti, dOP and Cesar Merveille in projects raging from improvisation to producing electronic music.

KARL-HEINZ STEFFENS

Clarinet

Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of distinction in both operatic and symphonic worlds and is in great demand as a guest. 

Recent seasons have seen him work with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Lyon National, Munich Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras and frequently with the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart. This season he returns to Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Filhamonica Teatro Regio Torino and continues his appearances in Scandinavia with the Helsinki Philharmonic and a Brahms symphony cycle with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. He also makes his North American debut with the Toronto Symphony. Last season he concluded his cycle of Brahms works with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducting the Requiem and appearing as soloist in the composer's Clarinet Quintet.

Equally at home in the opera house, Steffens gave the Norwegian premiere of Pelléas and Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera where he has also conducted productions of Cosi fan Tutte, Fidelio and Calixto Bieito's Tosca. He has appeared several times at the Teatro alla Scala leading performances of Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Götterdämmerung, and recently made his Zürich Opera debut with Cosi fan Tutte. He is regularly invited to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where this season he conducts performances of Fidelo. 

Prior to his conducting career, Steffens was a highly respected solo clarinettist who also held several orchestral positions culminating in the successive posts of Principal Clarinet with the Bavarian Radio and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. 

SHARON BEZALY

Flute

Described by The Times (UK) as ‘God’s gift to the flute’, Sharon Bezaly is hailed as a flautist ‘virtually without peer in the world today’ classicstoday.com. She has inspired renowned composers as diverse as Sofia Gubaidulina, Kalevi Aho and Jeff Beal to write for her, and has to date twenty dedicated concertos which she performs worldwide.

 

Collaborating with the major orchestras of the word including those of Minnesota, Leipzig, London, Seoul, Taiwan, Cincinnati, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, The Hague, Lahti, São Paulo, Salzburg, and Singapore, she has performed with many esteemed conductors including Osmo Vänskä, Neeme Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Alan Gilbert, Lan Shui, Martyn Brabbins, and John Neschling. In chamber music she collaborates with musicians like Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Ronald Brautigam and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Sydney Opera House and at the BBC Proms.

 

Sharon Bezaly has always had a great interest in contemporary music and is now the world’s living flautist with the greatest amount of concertos and chamber music inspired by and dedicated to her from more than two dozen composers, among which are Kalevi Aho, Christian Lindberg, Haukur Tómasson, Sofia Gubaidulina, Zhou Long, Uljas Pulkkis, Mari Takano, Anders Hillborg, Sally Beamish, Yiu-kwong Chung, Brett Dean, Chen Yi, José Serebrier, Adina Izarra, Jeff Beal and Ge, Gan-ru.

 

Sharon’s collaboration with her record label, BIS, has produced dozens of exciting recordings with repertoire ranging from the flute’s core repertoire, like Mozart, Ibert and Nielsen, to the breaking of new ground with repertoire by the composers that have dedicated their works to her. They have won her the highest accolades, including the Diapason d’Or (Diapason), Choc (Monde de la Musique), Editor’s Choice (Gramophone) and Stern des Monats (Fono Forum). She plays on a 24-carat gold flute, specially made for her by the Muramatsu team, is a top prize winning graduate of the Conservatoire de Paris, a BBC New Generation Artist ( 2006/08 ), the first wind player to be Artist in Residence for the Residentie Orkest ( 2007/08 ), and was elected a full member of the Royal Swedish Academy in May 2018.

MARI ERIKSMOEN

Soprano

Since finishing her studies at the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen in 2010, has Mari Eriksmoen had what many views as a comet career. It reached an important high when she had her debut at Teatro alla Scana in Milan in 2013, as Waldvogel in Wagner’s Siegfried.
 

Eriksmoen had her debut at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet when she was only 23 years old, in the touring performance “the opera is coming!”. Here she has also sung the part as Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann, Adéle in Die Fladermaus and had rave reviews as Pamina in the Magic Flute. Her big international breakthrough came when she, on short notice, stepped in as Zerbinetta in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in Vienna, for the star Diana Damrau.
 

Other important tasks include engagements at Theater an der Wien, Oper Frankfurt, The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Stockholms Operan, Opéra de Lille, Zürich Oper, Bayerische Staatsoper, La Monnaie, Glyndebourne  Festival, Concertgebouw, Festival d’Aix en Provence, Lucerne Festival, Baden-Baden Festspiele, Dutch National Opera and BBC Proms. Recently, she had her debut as a soloist with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philhamonic.

 

At home in Norway, you can hear her as Susanna in the Marriage of Figaro and Sofie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.

VALDRES KAMMERKOR

Chamber choir

Valdres Chamber Choir is a fairly newly established choir. They first got together to join in the performance of the play Inga R. Hegge write for Hege Church’s 800-year anniversary in 2016. From the start of 2017, they have existed as a permanent choir and they had their first concert by themselves at Valdres Folkemuseum in May of 2017. The choir specialises in classical music, made for small ensembles (max 16 voices). 

EINAR OLAV LARSEN

Folk music

Einar Olav Larsen (born 1979) is a freelance folk musician and teacher, based in Verdal in Trøndelag. He has had a growing business wince he graduated from ‘Spelemannskolen’ at the Ole Bull Academy in 2000. For the last few years he has been active with his own trio, as well as with his brother, Gjermund Larsen. Together they received ‘Spellemannsprisen’ (Norwegian Grammy’s), in the category folk music/traditional music, and the two of them regularly collaborates with the Hemsing sisters and the Trondheim Soloists. He has also won the Osa-prize, Hilmar Alexandersen’s music prize and the Ole Vig-prize.

 

He combines tours both domestically and internationally with a strong connection to his local community, and loves to accompany local dances as well as concerts.

 

Along with his regular fiddle, Einar Olav also plays the Hardanger fiddle. He is one of the few class A-fiddle players on both fiddle and harding fiddle. Einar Olav has his musical base from the heritage of Hilmar Alexandersen, one of Norway’s foremost folk musicians from the last century, as well as rhythmical and distinctive Verdals-music!

GJERMUND LARSEN

Folk music

Gjermund Larsen enjoys a position as one of the most respected and active performers and composers on the contemporary Norwegian folk music scene. The Norwegian State Academy educated fiddler and composer has received several prices for his music. In 2002 he became the youngest fiddler ever to win the Norwegian Championship in traditional folk-fiddling, and in 2011 he was nominated for the Grammy Awards in the category “small ensemble performance” together with the Trondheim Soloists.

Larsen’s proper debut as a composer came in the form of the work ‘Brytningstid’ which was commissioned by the Telemark Festival in 2006. The majority of the work is devoted to new, contemporary and original folk music which draws inspiration from the local dance music traditions of the Verdal area in the Trøndelag region. Double bassist Sondre Meisfjord and pianist/organist Andreas Utnem were featured at the premiere of ‘Brytningstid’ and the three have continued the fruitful collaboration to date. The three band members represent a wide range of genres ranging from classical and contemporary to jazz and pop as well as traditional folk music – a diverse background that results in a highly aesthetic and rewarding sonic landscape. 

 

In 2008 they received the Norwegian Grammy for their debut-album “Ankomst”, and their second album “Aurum” (2010), was nominated in two categories. Their third album “Reise”, was released in March 2013.

ANDRIS HEMSING

Hardanger fiddle

Andris Hemsing (born 1995) plays both folk music and classical music. He has studied Hardanger fiddle in Valdres, and has also been a student of classical music at the Talent School at Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo. At the same time Andris was a part of a talent program for jazz and improvisation at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Andris has several top scores and prizes as a Hardanger fiddle player at Landskappleiken and other competitions for Norwegian folk music.

He has been invited to Bergen International Festival, Hilmar Festival in Verdal, Northern Light Festival in Tromsø, Fjelljazzen at Beitostølen and Dølajazz in Lillehammer. He has also been a guest artist at NRK’s Folk Music radio program, and he was awarded Eckbo’s scholarship for young folk musicians at the Telemark Festival in 2011. Andris was invited to Førde International Festival in the “Talent 2014” project, and in 2015, Andris was the musician of FRIKAR dance company on the critically acclaimed dance performance “Gotoguta”. During the autumn of 2017, he was on tour as the musician for FRIKAR X in the dance project “Slepp”.

BENTE HEMSING

Fiolin

Bente Hemsing graduated as an instrumentalist and violin teacher from Østlandets Musikkonservatorium in Oslo, alongside being an active folk musician from an early age. She has worked for many years as a performing artist in Valdres folkemusikkgruppe. With her special abilities for teaching, talent development and communicating the joys of music, is she a very sought-after pedagogue. She now works as the head of the culture school in Etnedal and as a freelance musician and teacher of the harding fiddle, violin and traditional song.

Hemsing has worked for the Norwegian Broadcasting Company NRK, as an orchestra musician in professional symphony orchestra's, and she has toured with folk music programs for Rikskonsertane in both Norway and India. She was for a period a permanent violinist with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Oslo Baroque Orchestra.

She has taught in culture schools, high schools, at Baratt Due music institute and at Valdres Summer Symphony, at different orchestra and folk music seminars, and she has been a lecturer of traditional music at the college level. Hemsing also regularly serves as a judge in competitions on folk music and dance, and as a member of different juries for music scholarships.

Bente Hemsing has won a number of prizes, such as Andris Dahles Minnepris for harding fiddle (1998), and in 2004 she released the critically acclaimed CD Solé sprett, with folk music from Valdres, which she arranged herself. In 2014, she received Eckboes Legaters Kulturpris for her efforts as a cultural communicator at the Literary Festival in Lillehammer. In recent years, she has developed an active collaboration with Stein Villa. They have, amongst other things, toured with Den kulturelle skolesekken, Rikskonsertene in Oppland, and Den kulturelle spaserstokken.

STEIN VILLA

Folk music

HALLGRIM HANSEGÅRD

Dance and choreography

Hallgrim Hansegård (born 1980) is a Norwegian choreographer, dancer and entrepreneur, known for his brave and playful projects across physical, mental and cultural boarders. He has made the relatively unknown local dance tradition halling famous across the world through computer games and TV shows.

 

His works have been performed in more than 30 countries, been censured by the Catholic church in Italy, and has over 100 million views on YouTube. In 2006, he established FRIKAR, a dance company, which created new opportunities and work for dancers performing halling, break dance, capoeira and contemporary circus. In 2012 he established Frikar-Akademiet AS (the Frikar-Academy) to organize the pedagogical activities of FRIKAR. In 1999, Hansegård founded Fjelleik-prosjektet at Valdres high school, a project which still represents an important and engaging measure against the high drug use in the area. In 2016, he founded Toppidrett FRIKAR, at the same school, which is an option for the students to do elite sports during high school. In 2017, he founded the talent development program FRIKAR X in collaboration with Talent Norge, which follows ten professional and semi-professional genre-independent dance artists over three years. 

Hansegård also takes an interest in refugees, and works against racism through art projects and feature articles in the newspaper Aftenposten.

ERLING DAHL JR.

Lecturer and host

Erling Dahl jr. (1946) is from Malm in Nord-Trøndelag, and now lives in Bergen. He is a former Director of Edvard Grieg Museum, Troldhaugen and Bergen International Festival. Dahl is well known as concert facilitator at Troldhaugen and in the Bergen FEstival, and from many positions in Norwegian music life. He has written books (translated into Japanese, Chinese and English) and articles about Edvard Grieg, and has held lectures in many countries.

Dahl is a board member for Vinterfestspill in Bergstaden at Røros, and he was strongly involved in the Berlin Philharmonic’s visits at the same festival in May 2016, as well as being in charge of the cooperation project between Berlin Philharmonic and Vinterfestspill in Bergstaden - “KonstKnekt”. Erling Dahl jr. is a chamber music enthusiast, who plays cello and has participated in chamber music courses at Sund Folkhøjskole/Nansenskolen for more than fifty years.

LASSE THORESEN

Composer, lecturer and host

Lasse Thoresen (b. 1949) is a professor of composition at the Norwegian State Academy of Music where he has taught composition, electro-acoustic music, and sonology since 1975. He received a graduate degree in composition in 1972 from the Oslo Music Conservatory, where he studied under Finn Mortensen, after which he studied electro acoustic music and composition under Werner Kaegi at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, the Netherlands. From 1978 to 1981 he conducted a post graduate research project in sonology with support from the Norwegian ‘Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities’.  From 1988 to 2000 Mr. Thoresen occupied the principal chair of composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo where he is still teaching composition. He was a guest professor at ESMUC, Barcelona in 2007.


A number of his works have achieved wide recognition both in Norway and internationally. The piano trio Bird of the heart was first performed at the Bergen International Festival in 1982 by Oslo Trio, and has subsequently been played on tours by a number of outstanding trios in numerous European and Canadian concert halls. The Symphonic concerto for Violin and Orchestra(1984) had its first performance on direct broadcast to a vast number of European countries and has later been performed several times at concerts in Norway, Sweden and Germany. In 1985 Les trois régénérations was commissioned and premiered by Radio France in Paris. Mr. Thoresen was the festival composer at the Bergen International Music festival in 1986. Emergence (1997) was commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic and its conductor Mariss Jansons for a concert tour to European capitals including the Musik Verein in Vienna. In 1998 Fire and Light.  Cantata and Transformation had its world premiere in Warsaw, the work being commissioned by the contemporary music festival Warszawa Autumn. In April 2000 his hour’s long “As the Waves of One Sea” for 230 performers was performed in Oslo Concert Hall to celebrate the new millennium.  In May 2001, his Oratorio Terraces of Light was performed in Haifa in connection with the inauguration of the Bahá’í Terraces. In 2003 he was guest composer in Kiev Musik Fest. In May 2003 his Triple Concerto Transfigurations was performed by a Norwegian trio of soloists and St. Petersburg Symphonic Academy as a greeting from the Norwegian State on the occasion of the city’s 300 years jubilee.  For three years he was composer in residence at Festival Présences, the major musical festival of Radio France, Paris (2004-2006). The sinfonietta BIT20 has taken his Løp, lokk og linjer on several tours abroad, and Nordic Voices has performed his music regularly during their tours.

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