Artists 2018

Violin

Henning Kraggerud

Eldbjørg Hemsing

Ragnhild Hemsing

 

Viola

Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad

Dana Zemtsov

 

Cello

Alexey Stadler

Stephan Koncz

 

Piano

Yulianna Avdeeva

Ingrid Andsnes

Tor Espen Aspaas

 

Chamber music

Goldmund Quartett (FLORIAN SCHÖTZ, violin, PINCHAS ADT, violin, CHRISTOPH VANDORY, bratsj, RAPHAEL PARATORE, cello)

NorthWestBrass ensemble

Valdresstrykerne

 

Vocal

Adrian Angelico

Svein Erik Sagbråten

Valdres Kammerkor

 

Dance / coreograph

Hallgrim Hansegård

 

Folk music / world music

Frode Fjellheim

Andris Hemsing

Ole Aastad Bråten

Mattis Kleppen

Snorre Bjerck

Hildegunn Øiseth

 

Concert host

Erling Dahl jr.

Knut Aastad Bråten og Ole Aastad Bråten (The Virtuoso)

Bente Hemsing (Consertquiz)

Henning Kraggerud, violin

Henning Kraggerud is both a violinist and a composer. His extraordinary reach as an artist is a result of his versatility and passion for music, as well as the genuine quality to his playing and the beauty of his performances. Kraggerud is invited time and again to join many of the world’s most significant orchestras, like the BBV Proms. He already has a eclectic discography, which includes many recordings on the Naxos label, Simax and ACT. He is a prolific composer with more than 200 works. 

Kraggerud is a recipient of Norway’s prestigous Grieg Prize and in 2007 was awarded both the Ole Bull Prize and the Sibelius Prize.

Henning Kraggerud is a Professor at Baratt Due music conservatorie in Oslo, where he leads Oslo Camerata. In 2015, Kraggerud became International Chair in Violin at the Royal College of Music in Manchester.

 

Henning Kraggerud plays on a 1744 Guarneri del Gesù, provided by Dextra Musica AS. Thiscompany is founded by Sparebankstiftelsen DNB.

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 prestigious 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.

Eldbjørg's desire to discover and bring to the stage rare masterpieces by Norwegian composers inspired a fascinating journey, which has become the subject of a documentary slated for global release in 2018. A chance conversation with an older family friend and Eldbjørg's descendant, who even inspired Grieg's Ballade op. 24, has led her to unearth a beautiful romantic violin concerto by Hjalmar Borgström, which has been all but forgotten for over a century. Eldbjørg's recording of this work with Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Olari Elts will be released worldwide by BIS in 2018. Live performances of the concerto are planned at Paavo Järvi's Pärnu Festival in Estonia, as well as with the Arctic Philharmonic and the Norwegian Youth Symphony Orchestra as part of flagship Scandinavian and international tours. Her native country discovered and fell in love with Eldbjørg when she played for the Norwegian Royal Family at age six; her star rose when she gave a globally televised performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo. The multi-album collaboration with BIS also features Dvorak violin concerto and Suk Fantasy and Love Song , recorded with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Alan Buribayev, as well as works written in the late XX and XXI centuries. New music has been a particular source of inspiration and recognition for Eldbjørg, who has developed a close collaboration with the Oscar-winning composer and conductor Tan Dun, when he asked her to perform his Hero Concerto with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra as well as with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. The success of these performances led to an invitation to premiere Tan Dun's Triple Resurrection Concerto in Leipzig and Shanghai with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. Eldbjörg has also premiered Tan Dun's violin concerto The Love with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and most recently Tan Dun's violin concerto The Fire Rituals. Composition that was premiered with the Chinese National Orchestra at the Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts represents a forefront contemporary piece for a traditional orchestra and violin. A regular guest soloist with some of the world's top ensembles, Eldbjørg is honoured to count the MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, NDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Hannover, RTE National Symphony Orchestra Ireland, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra among her most active orchestral partners. She has appeared at the Bad Kissingen and AlpenKlassik festivals in Germany, International Chamber Music Festivals in Oslo, Stavanger and Bergen, Bellerive Festival, as well as the Nordic Cool Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Praised for her ability to establish an authentic connection with music fans, Eldbjørg has received the Audience Prize at the Verbier Festival, First Prize and Audience Prize in the Virtuosi Competition in Norway and the Audience Prize at the Eurovision Young Musicians 2008 with top votes from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. When Eldbjørg and her sister Ragnhild created a documentary about the life of the famous violinist Ole Bull for Norwegian National Broadcasting company NRK, it was distinguished with the Golden Rose award at the Rose d'Or Festival in Luzern and received prizes at the Circom Festival.

Eldbjørg Hemsing 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 choreographer, 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. This CD as well as her recording of Halvorsen’s “Fossegrimen”- Suite for Chandos with the Bergen Philharmonic and Neeme Järvi received outstanding critical acclaim. Neeme Järvi subsequently invited Ragnhild to debut with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra Debuts over the past years include a.o. the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Gothenburg Symphony, the NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover, the Beethovenfest Bonn, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest The Hague, the Tampere Philharmonic (Santtu-Matias Rouvali), the MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (Kristjan Järvi), the Risør Chamber Music Festival, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Düsseldorf Symphony at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the Tonhalle Zürich. 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 Brno, and at Trondheim celebrating the Trondheim Soloists’ 25th anniversary.

Ragnhild´s new 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 of Norway, and she is a well known artist on Norwegian radio and TV. Together with her sister, Eldbjørg Hemsing she recorded a one hour documentary on the life of the famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull which received an EBU award. After her most successful debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing was awarded the Beethoven-Ring of the “Citizens for Beethoven”. Together with her sister Eldbjørg, she has founded the Hemsing Festival in her hometown Aurdal in the Valdres valley. This is a classical music festival, and the two sisters are its musical directors. The Hemsing Festival has been arranged in February each year since 2013. For more, see www.hemsingfestival.com.

Ragnhild was born into the heart of the Norwegian folk region, Valdres. She began to play the violin at 5 years of age and continued her studies at the prestigious Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, followed by studies with Boris Kuschnir in Vienna. She plays on a Francesco Ruggeri Violin (Cremona, 1694) kindly on loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation.

Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad, viola

Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad is the latest talent to emerge from a new, golden generation of Scandinavian musicians. In 2016 he was chosen to join the world's most prestigious training programme for experienced classical musicians: the BBC's New Generation Artists Scheme.

Previously, Eivind has been selected as a Borletti-Buitoni fellow and a member of the Crescendo mentorship programme initiated by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Barratt Due Institute, under the guidance of Leif Ove Andsnes. He has also received the Arve Tellefsen Prize, the Øyvind Berghs Memorial Prize, the Karoline Prize and the Statoil Award. In 2012 he was named Eurovision Young Musician in Vienna. 

In the Nordic region, Eivind's career is on the ascendant. In the 2015-16 season he made his debut with the Copenhagen and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras, performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola with Guro Kleven Hagen. Later that season he appeared with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and with the Oslo Philharmonic, performing William Walton's testing Viola Concerto with the latter at the Oslo Konserthus. This season includes debut in Wigmore Hall as well as performances with BBC Philharmonic and BBC Wales. 

Eivind is a prolific chamber musician and has been a regular fixture on Norway's thriving chamber music scene for some years. He regularly appears at the Bergen International Festival and at the chamber music festivals in Elverum, Oslo, Stavanger and Risør. He has collaborated with some of the most distinguished chamber musicians around, among them Leif Ove Andsnes, Tanja Tetzlaff, Akiko Suwanai, Henning Kaggerud, Christian Ihle Hadland, Lars Anders Tomter, Itamar Golan and Håvard Gimse. 

Eivind was born in 1994 and he started to play the violin at the age 5, moving to the viola as his main instrument nine years later. He plays a Guadagnini instrument dating from 1768, kindly on loan from Dextra Musica. 

Dana Zemtsov, viola

Winner of numerous competitions and developing an outstanding career, Dana Zemtsov is one of the most promising international viola soloists of her generation. Highlights in the past seasons include Dana´s performance of the Bartok Viola Concerto in the Main Hall of the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), playing chamber music with Janine Jansen and Martin Frost during the Utrecht Chamber Music Festival, and a recital in Carnegie Hall (New York). In 2012 she signed an exclusive record deal with Channel Classics Records for three recordings, of which two "Enigma" and "Romantic Metamorphoses" have been received with great success . Dana is 1st Prize laureate of several competitions in Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.

In 2010 she won the Dutch competition ''Evening of the Young Musician", became the "Young Musician of the Year" and represented The Netherlands at the “Eurovision Young Musicians Competition” in Vienna. Dana is regularly appearing on the most important international stages, amongst others the Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), De Doelen (Rotterdam), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, The Opera Hall in Tel Aviv, Carnegie Hall (New York). Dana played chamber music with Janine Jansen, Giovanni Sollima, Martin Frost, Ilya Gringolts and pianist Boris Berezovsky. As a soloist, Dana performed with the Ukrainian National Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine) Holland Symfonia, Sweelink Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam (the Netherlands), F. Busoni Chamber Orchestra (Italy).

International tours brought her to Denmark, Peru and the USA. She participated in the “Stars of Tomorrow” tour in Germany, together with the most promising young talents of Europe. Performed at the biggest festivals in the Netherlands as the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Storioni Festival, Grachten Festival, the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Three Day Music Festival The Hague. She also performed in festivals in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Dana was born in 1992 in Mexico City. At the age of 5 she received her first music lessons from her grandmother and from her parents, both viola players (Mikhail Zemtsov and Julia Dinerstein). She has followed master classes with renowned professors such as Bruno Giuranna, Atar Arad and Sven Arne Tepl, and is currently studying with the famous viola virtuoso Michael Kugel.

Dana Zemtsov plays a beautiful Sartory bow kindly granted to her by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.

Alexey Stadler, cello

One of the finest young cellists of his generation and winner of the 2012 TONALi Grand Prix in Hamburg, Alexey Stadler opens his 2017/18 season with appearances in a number of high level engagements across Europe.Amongst them are Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Haydn Orchestra Bolzano and Trento, Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.

He caused a sensation in his BBC Proms debut with Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1 with Vasily Petrenko in August 2016. Other highly successful debuts include Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, San Francisco Symphony and Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, both with Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra as well as the Young Philharmonic Orchestra Jerusalem Weimar, both under the baton of Michael Sanderling. Festival appearances included the International Chamber Music Festival Stavanger, St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

Alexey Stadler performs with orchestras such as The Mariinsky Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Rīga and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra under renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Marek Janowski, Tugan Sokhiev and Dmitri Kitajenko.

A keen chamber musician, Alexey Stadler has appeared in recitals and chamber music programmes at Den Norske Opera Oslo, Heidelberger Frühling and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and has performed with partners such as Janine Jansen, Akiko Suwanai, Vadim Repin, Igor Levit, Lukáš Vondráček, Itamar Golan and the Ebène Quartet. In 2012 he took part in the Kronberg Academy’s “Chamber Music Connects the World” festival, where he performed with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Christian Tetzlaff.

Born into a family of musicians, Alexey Stadler began to play the cello at the age of four. He began his studies with Alexey Lazko and continued his education at the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in St. Petersburg. He has participated in masterclasses with David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Michael Sanderling, Lynn Harrell, Steven Isserlis and Sir András Schiff.

Alexey Stadler studied with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar and has a scholarship from the “Oscar und Vera Ritter-Stiftung” and “Alfred Töpfer Stiftung” in Hamburg.

Alexey performs on a violoncello by David Tecchler dating from 1715.

Stephan Koncz, cello

Stephan Koncz is recognized as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation and enjoys a multi-faceted career as soloist, chamber musician, composer/arranger, conductor and member of the Berlin Philharmonic. 

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Koncz has collaborated with Leonidas Kavakos, Lisa Batiashvili, Janine Jansen, Antoine Tamestit, Nils Mönkemeyer, Gautier Capuçon, Gerald Finley, Thomas Hampson, Anna Prohaska, Rudolf Buchbinder, Emmanuel Pahud, Andreas Ottensamer among others.

He is a member of "The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic", „Philharmonix" (a unique ensemble founded by members of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, looking for all kinds of musical adventures, such as Traditional Hungarian/Romanian Gypsy Music, Viennese Music, Klezmer and Latin Jazz) and also part of an exciting new string quartet project with Ray Chen, Noah Bendix-Balgley and Amihai Grosz: "Made In Berlin". 

In 2015 Mr. Koncz made his conducting debut at the Easter Festival of the Berlin Philharmonic in Baden-Baden conducting a chamber opera version of „Der Rosenkavalier“ with members of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Following his enthusiasm for arranging and composing, numerous of his arrangements have been recorded by labels such as Deutsche Grammophon and Sony Classical Music and been performed by Berliner Philharmoniker, Mariss Jansons, Andreas Ottensamer, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Leonidas Kavakos, Janine Jansen, Renaud Capuçon, Thomas Hampson, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Nils Mönkemeyer, and Emmanuel Pahud.

Born in Vienna in 1984 into an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians, Stephan Koncz started studying cello at the University for Music in Vienna with Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartett) at the age of 8. In 2000 he continued his studies with the principal cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic, Róbert Nagy, and additionally pursued a double-major in conducting and composition.

Furthermore he has had master classes with Steven Isserlis, Daniel Barenboim, and Heinrich Schiff.

From 2006 until 2008 Stephan Koncz was granted a scholarship of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, studying with its principal cellist Ludwig Quandt.

After being a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra / Vienna Philharmonic (since September 2008) he won a position in the Berlin Philharmonic where he is a member since 2010.

Stephan Koncz plays on a violoncello made by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (Paris) in 1840.

Yulianna Avdeeva, piano

Yulianna Avdeeva rose to fame when she won First Prize in the Chopin Competition in 2010. She has since embarked on a world-class career and her artistic integrity is rapidly ensuring her a place amongst the most distinctive artists of her generation. Described by the Financial Times as an artist who is "able to let the music breathe", Yulianna Avdeeva is always uncompromisingly and profoundly devoted purely to the music itself. Conjuring an impeccable combination of clarity, energy and elegance, Avdeeva wins audiences with her compelling honesty, modesty, wit and unfailing musical judgement.

After making her debut at the Salzburg Festival this summer, Yulianna Avdeeva ventures on a dynamic 2017/18 season which includes reinvitations from the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival. Further highlights include new orchestra collaborations with the Bamberger Symphoniker,Stavanger Symphony and the Moscow State Academic Symphony orchestras. A regular performer throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Avdeeva will make her Australian debut in a recital at Sydney Opera House followed by her debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic later in the season.

Last season, Avdeeva performed in the Macao Orchestra season opening concert and most recently worked with New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra and with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin on a tour of Japan. Recent orchestral highlights elsewhere have included a tour of Germany with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, engagements with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony and London Philharmonic orchestras, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio and Orchestre national de Lyon.

An avid and committed chamber musician, she has worked with Kremerata Baltica and members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2018, Yulianna Avdeeva tours throughout Europe with violinist Julia Fischer appearing at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Smetana Hall in Prague, Teatro Principal de Alicante and Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao amongst others. In recital, she has performed at London’s International Piano Series and the Wigmore Hall, Moscow’s International House of Music, Rheingau Musik Festival, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Liederhalle Stuttgart and Philharmonie Essen.

Yulianna Avdeeva's Chopin performances have drawn particular praise, marking her out as one of the composer's foremost interpreters who is able to bring out the strength, as well as the refinement, of his music. Her long association with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute has won her a huge following in Poland. In 2017/18, she appears in concerts with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra with whom she has forged strong relationships. Avdeeva’s third solo recording on Mirare, featuring works by Bach, has just been released. She also released a recording of the Chopin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Brüggen.In 2015, Deutsche Grammophon featured Yulianna Avdeeva in a solo recording as part of a milestone collection dedicated to the brightest winners of the Chopin Competition between 1927 and 2010.

Avdeeva began her piano studies at the age of five with Elena Ivanova at Moscow’s Gnessin Special School of Music and later studied with Konstantin Scherbakov and with Vladimir Tropp. At the International Piano Academy, Lake Como, she was taught amongst others by William Grant Naboré, Dmitri Bashkirov and Fou Ts’ong. In addition to her Chopin prize, she has won several other prizes including the Bremen Piano Contest in 2003, the Concours de Genève 2006 and the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Poland.

Ingrid Andsnes, piano

Ingrid Andsnes (born 1978 in Karmøy, Norway) is a highly accomplished pianist and one of Norwayʼs most endearingly passionate musicians.  Her love for music is just as inspiring as her joy in performing is striking.

In 2015 she released her debut solo CD, the monumental «Diabelli variations» by Beethoven and «Diabellicadenza», written by the Norwegian composer Lars Petter Hagen.  She received huge acclaim from international critics and audiences, including the New York Times.  With this masterpiece as a springboard she performed in her Carnegie Hall debut the same year, receiving a standing ovation.
she tightens her grip from the first bar and, with her alertness, keeps both the composer and listener involved the whole work through.
– Ståle Wikshåland, Dagbladet, 5/6
Ingrid Andsnes classical performer

Ingrid has performed as a soloist with several Norwegian Orchestras, among them the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and in 2010 she recorded Mozart’s piano concerto no. 12 with the Telemark Chamber Orchestra.

In collaboration with a number of Norwayʼs finest musicians, such as Solveig Kringelborn, Arve Tellefsen, Håvard Gimse and the Norwegian Soloist Choir, Ingrid Andsnes has made a remarkable contribution to concert life, both nationally and internationally.  Being a popular festival musician, Andsnes has contributed at the largest classical music festivals in Norway, including Festspillene i Bergen, Ultima in Oslo, Oslo Chamber Music festival, Olavsfestdagene, Nordland Musikkfestuke and the Hardanger Music Festival.

In recent years Ingrid Andsnes has also enjoyed exploring the pianist’s role outside the traditional boundaries of classical music.  She has performed Ørjan Matreʼs “Duet for solo piano” – a work for piano and contemporary dancer –  written especially for her.  In 2013 she contributed to the play “33 Variations” by Moisés Kaufman, staged at Det Norske Teateret in Oslo, where she had a major role performing music from the «Diabelli variations».  She often collaborates in contemporary music projects, working with composers such as Marcus Paus, Julian Skar and Lars Petter Hagen.

Ingrid has studied with Professor Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and with Professor Jiri Hlinka at Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.  She has won both national and international prizes, among them the Janáček Prize at the Firkušný Competition in the Czech Republic in 2003. Norway has awarded her several prestigious scholarships, among them a three year endowment from the Norwegian Stateʼs Artist Fund.

Tor Espen Aspaas, piano

Tor Espen Aspaas is a brilliant communicator, both musically as well as verbally. 

In 2006 he became a professor - one of the youngest in the country - at the Norwegian Academy of Music. 

Aspaas had his debut in Oslo, Norway in 1997 and received excellent reviews. He has been awarded several prizes including the Levin prize, and he has frequented many international symphony orchestras as a soloist, as well as the Norwegian ones. 

In addition to his concerts and world tours, Aspaas is engaged in both national and international festivals. 

In March 2013 he held a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in New York. 

Aspaas has released several CDs, amongst them internationally renowned solo albums including a recording of the complete piano works of Paul Dukas. 

Tor Espen Aspaas (1971) comes from Røros, Norway. 

Goldmund Quartet

The Goldmund Quartet, formed by violinists Florian Schötz and Pinchas Adt, violist Christoph Vandory and cellist Raphael Paratore, is now counted as one of the most exciting young string quartets in Europe. Educated by Gerhard in Stuttgart and Günter Pichler at the Instituto Internacional de Musica de Camera de Madrid, the quartet has received important artistic impuls in master classes with the Vogler, Ysaye and Cherubini quartets, André J. Roy, Eberhard Feltz and Alfred Brendel.

Since their debut at Munich’s Prinzregententheater, the quartet appeared at international festivals such as the Festival Aix-en-Provence, Festival de Música y Danza Granada or Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. Recitals have taken them to prestigious chamber music venues and series in Denmark, France, Norway, Spain, Canada, China and the US. Regular chamber music partners include artists such as Peter Buck (Melos Quartet), Christopher Park, Christoph Poppen and Arabella Steinbacher.

The 2015/16 season sees the Goldmund Quartet give its debuts at the Heidelberg Spring International Music Festival and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern amongst others. 

Many of the quartet’s concerts have been recorded by leading broadcasting companies in Germany such as Bavarian Radio, ARD, Deutschlandradio and einsfestival

The Goldmund Quartet has been awarded several prizes and scholarships, amongst them the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now scholarship. Just recently they received a scholarship from Deutscher Musikwettbewerb and the 2015 Bavarian Young Artist Award.

NordWestBlech, brass ensemble

Evolved from Collegium Monasterium, brass quintet of the collegium musicum instrumentale of the Westphalian Wilhelm University of Münster, NordWestBlech (NorthWestBrass) with its extensive, very broad repertoire spectrum in Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, Romantic, Blues, Jazz, Rock&Pop to contemporary music has positioned itself as one of the leading brass quintets in the northwestern part of Germany. This is underlined by concerts and performances on a national and international level spanning from sea level (island concerts) up to almost 3,00m (e.g. at Zugspitze, Alps), and seconded by the extremely versatile, energetic, entertaining and often humorous and unpredictable style. An additional focus is being set on concerts dedicated for audiences of younger children. 

Georg Potthoff, trumpet
Georg Potthoff studied trumpet at Alfred Bertram in Münster, Wilhelm Kammerer in Hannover and Hans-Joachim Knoke in Bielefeld, added by further musical and technical impulses from Pierre Thibaud in Paris. Since many years, he has established well in the music scene in Northwest Germany by performing regularly with different professional symphony orchestras and chamber orchestras. Concert tours brought him to Italy, France, Jordan and Norway. Since 1988, Georg is a trumpet teacher at the music school Beckum-Warendorf. His activities are rounded up by various radio performances and CD releases. 

Norbert Fabritius, trumpet
Norbert Fabritius studied trumpet at Jürgen Schuster (WDR-Rundfunkorchester) and Fred Spliesger (Bonner Oper), later at Albrecht Eichberger at the Music Conservatory Detmold, Division Münster, and at Professor Klaus Schuwerk at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. He is active in various orchestras and ensembles. As soloist, he is focusing on braoque, as well as, contemporary trumpet literature. In his pedagogic activities, Norbert is working as a trumpet teacher and conductor of youth orchestras. Furthermore, he is a member of the "Consord" Ensemble, leading the Dombläser Münster and, since 2015, the Mozart Orchestra Münster.

Roland Göhde, french horn
At the age of 14, Roland Göhde became student of Hans Mysliwiec, horn at the Richard-Wagner-Festspiele and principal horn of the Münster Symphony Orchestra. In a horn quartet ensemble, Roland was "Jugend musiziert" awardee. He had performances e.g. with Junge Kammerphilhamonie Baden-Württemberg and Neue Philharmonie Westfalen. Since 1991, he is playing horn at the collegium musicum instrumentale münster, since 2006 also at "das junge orchester NRW" (djoNRW). He had concert tours to Norway, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Hungary, etc. Besides being active as honorary Chariman of djoNRW, Roland organizes charity concerts and concert tours, and is co-founder of the charitable Göhde Foundation focusing on projects both, in classical music and in Africa. 

Thomas Brand, trombone
Thomas Brand studied trombone at Georg Hollerbach from Münster Symphony Orchestra, served as military musician in Bundeswehr and studied at the Music Conservatory Detmold, Division Münster. Today, he is active as instrumental pedagogue and as freelance musician in Münster, where he enjoys to perform in very diverse formations and various styles from classical music to big band, e.g. in Kourionorchester, Salonorchester Reverie Musicale, Dombläser Münster, BigBand Dortsen and NordWestBlech.

Stephan Schulze, tuba
Stephan Schulze plays everything made from brass, from flugelhorn to tuba. He studied trombone and tuba at the Music Conservatory Detmold, Division Münster, and at renowned teachers as Eric van Lier, Jiggs Whigham and Bobby Burgess. Stephan was member of BundesJazzOrchester under Peter Herbolzheimer and had engagements from WDR Big Band, NDR Big Band, Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, Münster Opera and Münster Symphony Orchestra, Götz Alsmann Band and many more. With his big band "Bi-Bop", he was awarded with the prestigious WDR Jazz Prize. Stephan furthermore is member of the Talking Horns and the Walking Blues Prophets. He has been successfully releasing numerous CDs with the various formations. 

Adrian Angelico, mezzosopran

Adrian Angelico debuted at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2014, singing the Marquise de Merteuil in John Fulijame's new production of Quartett in the Linbury Studio Theatre, a role he repeated in 2017 in France, Italy and the United States. 

In 2010 he debuted at the Bergenzer Festspiele, appearing in two new productions of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's operas Die Passagierin and Das Portrait. Other important debuts include his British operatic stage debut in English Touring Opera's production of Flavio. 

Adrian Angelico received two prizes at the 2009 Queen Sonja International Music Competition. He studied at the Royal College of Music and at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School in England, and he has been a part of International Opera Studio in Zürich. 

His repertory includes, but not limited to: Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos), Le Prince Charmant (Cendrillon), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus), The Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Flora (La Traviata) and Vitige in Händel's Flavio. 

His concert appearances include Peer Gynt with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 with NDR and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozarts Requiem, The Messiah, Rossini's Petite Messe solennelle and St John Passion. 

In the spring of 2018 Angelico will debut as Octavian in Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavaler, with The Royal Opera in Stockholm. 

Svein Erik Sagbråten, tenor

Svein Erik Sagbråten is born and raised in Aurdal, and educated as a singer from Østlandets Music Conservatory, and the Norwegian National Academy of Opera. He has worked as a professional singer for 30 years, including a position as tenor soloist with the Norwegian National Opera from 1994-2015. He has sung more than 80 different roles in opera, operette and musicals, including Laca in Jenufa, David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Mime in Siegfried and several parts in Salome. He has also been deeply engaged in church music, and has sung a multiple oratories and masses. 

Sagbråten became the conductor of Aurdal Sanglag at the age of 17. He also conducted several different choirs in the Oslo area until 1993, when he decided to become a professional singer. The last few years he has focused his work on being a choir conductor, as well as being a seinger. He has been the conductor of Øystre Slidre Sanglag since 2013, and in 2017 he founded the Valdres Chamber Choir. 

Erling Dahl jr., lecturer and host

Erling Dahl Jr. (1946) is from Malm in Nord-Trøndelag and now living 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 he is in charge of the cooperation project between BerlPhil and Vinterfestspill in Bergstaden - "KonstKnekt". Erling Dahl is a chamber music enthusiast, plays cello and has participated in chamber music courses at Sund Folkhøjskole / Nansenskolen for more than fifty years.

Valdresstrykerne - Valdres 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.

Hildegunn Øiseth, goat horn and trumpet

Hildegunn Øiseth plays on the horn that never runs dry, distinct and with a personal gusto that makes both untested and classic refrains quiver like new creations. After many years of traveling with her horn as companion in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, she returns home and allows the trumpet to sound playfully liberated. Surely a new wellspring in the cosmopolitan landscape of music.

After graduating from the Swedish Academy of Music, Ingesund, in 1990, she was employed in Bohuslän Big Band. After nearly a decennium she relocated to South Africa, where she explored African music and started the group Uhambo. This quartet released two CD’s and she developed her own musical techniques featuring electronic effects.

Hildegunn maintains in a large number of musical projects in the Middle East and, Asia. She has been touring and recording with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, and plays around 100 school-concerts every year.

Øiseth plays a central role in Nordic Beat, a Scandinavian band with focus on the Nordic soundscapes. They released the album “Notice” in 2008. Hildegunn is also touring with her world-jazz ensemble Rabalder with musicians from different parts of the world. One of Hildegunn’s interests the recent years has been collaborations with Sami artists like Ulla Pirttijärvi, Inga Juuso and Frode Fjellheim.

You can see Hildegunn perform during the Hemsing festival at the "Late Night Concert" with FUNN, Friday 23.02.2018 in Aurdal Church, at 8.30 pm.

Frode Fjellheim, synth and vocals

Frode Fjellheim is a musician, composer, producer and pedagogue. He is educated at the Trøndelag Music Conservatory in Trondheim. 

Fjellheim has contributed to many productions with both the Trøndelag Theatre and Rikskonsertene Concerts Norway. He has composed works for amongst others Festspillene i Nord-Norge / North Norway International Festival, the Telemark Festival, Vinterfestuka in Narvik and the Osafestivalenin Voss. Fjellheim has composed music for documentaries and shows on NRK (Norwegian Television Broadcasting) and a series of short films. In the 1990s he started the Jazz Joik Ensemble - which later changed its name to Transjoik. The band has released five albums, in addition Fjellheim has released three solo albums. Fjellheim has an own record label called Vuelie.no.

Since autumn 2010 he has been appointed Professor of Music at HiNT at Nord University. Fjellheim has composed the opening song for the Disney movie Frost (Frozen) in 2013. During the Hemsing Festival you will see Frode perform during FUNN's performance with the concert "In Kveldsetun", Friday 23.02.2018 in Aurdal church at 20.30 and also during the Opening Concert at the same church on Thursday 22.02.2018 at 19.00.

Ole Aastad Bråten, droned zither (N: langeleik)

Ole Aastad Bråten is from Valdres and has played langeleik since he was 16 years old. As a folk musician, Aastad Bråten has connections to a number of tradition lines, including the archaic and old-fashioned playing style in tradition after Ola Brenno (1865–1957) as well as the virtuosic and enticing playing style of Olav Snortheim (1911–1988). His most important teachers have been Oddrun and Gunvor Hegge. Together with his brother, Knut, he has contributed to an upswing for langeleik music in Norway during the past ten years. He has won Landskappleiken (Norway’s annual national folk music competition) six times, most recently in 2014, when he also won the prestigious royal trophy. Aastad Bråten has been an active kappleik and concert performer for 20 years, and has contributed on a number of recordings. In 2015 he released the critically acclaimed album, Til Ragna, a collaboration with his brother, Knut, who won the royal trophy in 2006. Ole Aastad Bråten is director of the Valdres Museums. He has a Master’s degree in Ethnology from the University of Oslo, with additional studies in history and art history. During his studies he was employed at the Norwegian Royal Palace. Ole Aastad Bråten is chair of the Norwegian Council for Folk Music and Folk Dance. He contributes regularly to the public debate on topics such as cultural monument preservation, cultural heritage, and museums. In 2013 Aastad Bråten led the exhibition project “Folk Music and Nationalism”, and in the same year the Valdres Museums were nominated Museum of the Year. In recent years he has developed the exhibition “The Langeleik – Norway’s Instrument” which focuses on the oldest string instrument traditions in Norway.

You can see Ole perform during the Hemsing festival at the "Late Night Concert" with FUNN, Friday 23.02.2018 in Aurdal Church, at 8.30 pm.

Snorre Bjerck, percussion

Snorre Bjerck is a Norwegian musician with a broad background within many music genres. He has played at over 950 concerts with Rikskonsertene Concerts Norway, and worked as a performer at over 500 festivals across Europe, South America, the US, Canada and Asia. 

Bjerck is educated as a percussionist at the Trøndelag Music Conservatory, in the jazz programme. If you're interested in World Music, you might have experienced this amazing percussionist on stage - either with the group Transjoik or with one of his own projects. He has developed a distinctive style of handling different instruments from across the globe, as well as a distinctive vocal sound.

You can see Snorre perform during the Hemsing festival at the "Late Night Concert" with FUNN, Friday 23.02.2018 in Aurdal Church, at 8.30 pm.