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ENGEGÅRD QUARTET

Arvid Engegård - violin   Alex Robson - violin
Juliet Jopling - viola        Jan Clemens Carlsen - cello

Formed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, the Engegård Quartet has rapidly become one of Norway’s most sought after ensembles. Their bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep attachment to their Scandinavian roots has attracted international acclaim, and inspired some innovative partnerships and programming. The quartet’s debut CD was praised as ‘breath-taking’ in The Strad, while their second release won Pizzicato magazine’s ‘Supersonic Award’. More recently, a CD of works by Grieg, Sibelius and Olav Anton Thommessen was praised by Tully Potter in Music Web International as ‘what Grieg lovers have been waiting for’.

The Engegård Quartet has a busy concert schedule throughout Scandinavia and further afield. They have performed in some of Europe’s finest venues including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Prague’s Rudolfinum, and last year travelled to South America for concerts in Bogotá and Sao Paolo. Festival performances include the Delft Chamber Music Festival, SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest, and Heidelberg’s Streichquartettfest. Members of the quartet are also deeply involved in bringing superb chamber music to Norway – Arvid Engegård as founder of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, and Juliet Jopling as artistic director of the Oslo Quartet Series.

The Engegård Quartet has had the honour to work with (among others) András Schiff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Ihle Hadland, and Emma Johnson. They also love to collaborate with colleagues from different musical traditions, including a folk/classical fusion with Hardanger fiddler Nils Økland, a collaboration with jazz-violinist Ola Kvernberg, and a programme of Ibsen and late Beethoven with actor Bjørn Sundquist. The Engegård Quartet’s own ‘1-2-3 mini-festival’ has proven immensely popular and is now a regular event each year.  ‘Mozart 1-2-3’ was the focus in autumn 2017 and provided a feast of chamber music, song, piano works and lectures.

The Engegård Quartet is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council.

 

Contact:

Sarah C Aker

producer/Engegård Quartet

+ 47 922 61 724

sarah@engegardquartet.com

www.engegardquartet.com

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TRIO LUDO

Guro Kleven Hagen - fiolin
Hanne Skjelbred - bratsj
Ernst Simon Glaser - cello

Ernst Simon Glaser hadde vært cellist i en fast og ambisiøs strykekvartett under hele studietiden i England. Men da et av kvartettmedlemene var ute av spilleform i seks måneder, ble stryketrio løsningen. Det var i denne perioden Ernst Simons interesse for dette formatet, med sin gjennomsiktige og solistiske instrumentasjon, ble vekket. Hans ønske om å etablere en fast stryketrio ble enda sterkere i 1996, da han for første gang var på konsert med Leopold Stryketrio.

Det skulle likevel gå flere år før planen skulle settes ut i livet. Etter studiene i England, dro Ernst Simon til Trondheim og jobbet som alternerende solocellist i symfoniorkesteret, etterfulgt av en lengre periode som solocellist i operaen i Oslo. Han ble etterhvert en velkjent og ettertraktet cellist i landet. Etter å blant annet ha vunnet årets unge solistpris i 2002, debutantprisen i 2004 og gjort sin debutinnspilling samme år, begynte han å jobbe som solocellist i Sveriges Nasjonalorkester, Göteborgs Symfoniker. Her har han nå jobbet i 8 år, og synes tiden var inne for å lete etter musikere å starte en stryketrio med.

Det tok en stund før han ble kjent med Guro Kleven Hagen. Ernst Simon husket godt å ha hørt henne flere ganger som en ung og lovende musiker; deres første møte var da han hadde underviste en kammermusikkgruppe hun spilte i under Valdres sommersymfoni. Tenk at Guro nå er kunstnerisk leder for den samme festivalen! Ernst Simon så henne på TV da hun mottok 2. pris i “Eurovision Young Musician” i Wien som 16-åring. Guro begynte etterhvert å etablere seg som musiker, blant annet med debutinnspillingen med 2 fiolinkonserter sammen med Oslo-filharmonien, og diverse konsertopptredener.

I 2016 tok Ernst Simon til seg motet å spørre Guro om hun var interessert i å prøve en stryketrio sammen. Svaret var ja, og samtidig kom det et sterkt ønske om å spørre Hanne Skjelbred om å bli bratsjist.

Hanne jobbet på det tidspunktet som solobratsjist i Svenska Kammarorkestern og senere Göteborgsoperan sitt orkester. Hun var, som Guro, tidligere elev fra Barratt-Dues musikkinstitutt. Begge studerte på “Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler” i Berlin, riktignok ikke samtidig, men de bodde begge i den tyske hovedstaden på samme tidspunkt. Da Guro møtte Hanne i 2015 på en festival i Kiel, bet hun seg merke i den musikalsk bevisste og interessante bratsjisten som var en ettertraktet orkester- og kammermusiker i Europa. Det var ikke uten grunn at Guro ønsket å ha henne med.

Endelig, høsten 2016, fant vi alle tre tid til å spille sammen. Det var morsomt og givende, og vi ble enige om at vi måtte ha flere slike prosjekter i fremtiden. Men, som enhver kammermusikkgruppe, ville vi gjerne ha et navn. Hva skulle vi hete? Etter flere forsøk på å skape det ultimate og treffende ordet tenkte Hanne på det fine ordet “Ludo” som på Latin betyr ”vi spiller”!

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ERNST SIMON GLASER

'Ernst Simon Glaser proves to be a magnificent player wholly immersed in the work' 

Ernst Simon Glaser studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Ralph Kirshbaum, and on graduation became co-principal cellist of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (aged 22). From 2011 to 2011 he was principal cellist of the Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo, and is currently principal cellist of Sweden's national orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his orchestral work, Glaser regularly performs in chamber music concerts and as a soloist, appearing with most of the Norwegian Orchestras and further afield in Scandinavia, Europe, Canada, Israel and China. He is a member of the newly-formed string trio Trio Ludo with Guro Kleven Hagen (violin) and Hanne Skjelbred (viola), and has been privileged to work with many other outstanding musicians and conductors – including Shlomo Mintz, Leif Ove Andsnes, David Afkham, Iskandar Widjaja, Nikolaj Znaider, Christian Zacharias, Håvard Gimse and Omer Wellber.

An enthusiastic champion of contemporary music, Glaser has had a number of works written specially for him by Norwegian composers. He is currently working on completing a project ‘Bach Inspiration’, exploring the potential to connect classic repertoire with present-day approaches, for which he is commissioning new companion pieces to be played alongside each of the Bach cello suites. 

Glaser has won several awards including ‘Young Soloist of the Year’ from The Norwegian Concert Society in 2002, and the ‘Friends of Music’ Debut Prize in 2004. He is also a well-established recording artist. Following his success in the Young Soloist of the Year competition, he made his debut CD with works by Schubert and Schumann for the SIMAX label. His latest recording (Zvezdochka in Orbit) with Bergen’s Royal Navy Band features four highly diverse cello concertos by Ibert, Gulda, Jon Øivind Ness and Olav Anton Thommessen – receiving excellent reviews in Norway and abroad, praising how Glaser  “with groove and elegance explores new avenues within contemporary music”. 

Ernst Simon Glaser plays a cello by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, c. 1680), generously on loan from Dextra Musica AS.

 

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GINA MCCORMACK

 ' positively outstanding ... a performance that was assured and assertive'

Gina McCormack is well established as one of Britain’s leading  artists, with regular solo appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre and at venues across the country. She has performed at many British Festivals, including the City of London, Henley, Edinburgh, Buxton, Aldeburgh and Salisbury Festivals, and has appeared as soloist in the UK with the Hallé and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras and the former Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Tours abroad have taken her to France, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, South Africa and South America, and most recently to Austria and Switzerland.

ina studied with György Pauk at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and attended masterclasses with Sandor Vegh (at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at Prussia Cove in Cornwall), Dorothy DeLay, Andras Mihaly and Siegmund Nissel (from the Amadeus Quartet). While still a student, she was a prizewinner at the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London and at the International Young Concert Artists’ Competition in Tunbridge Wells, where she has since returned to serve on the jury.

For thirteen years Gina was the leader of the Sorrel Quartet, with whom she was frequently heard on BBC Radio Three. The quartet made twelve CDs for Chandos Records, of works by Britten, Mendelssohn, Schubert and the complete cycle of Shostakovich quartets. Their Elgar CD was chosen as one of Classic FM’s records of the year and was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. The group also recorded John Pickard’s Quartets on the Dutton label.

he then led the Maggini Quartet for two years, and decided to leave the group in March 2010 to focus on her solo work, continuing a long association with her duo partner, pianist Nigel Clayton. Since then the duo has had engagements in Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, and all around the UK.

Gina McCormack is also well-known as a teacher, having spent 11 years as professor of Violin at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (formerly Trinity College of Music) in London. She is currently teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. She also gives regular masterclasses both in the UK and at summer festivals abroad.

www.ginaviolin.com 

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Tor Espen Aspaas

Tor Espen Aspaas is one of the most outstanding pianists and music communicators of his generation in Norway. In 2016 he was created Knight 1st Class within the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for his merits and contributions to music and culture.

In 2006 he was appointed university professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music where, in addition to his teaching duties, he is currently doing a research project looking into the role of improvisation in the creative processes and works of Beethoven.

Aspaas gained his postgraduate soloist’s diploma at the Norwegian Academy of Music in 1996 and gave a critically acclaimed debut recital in Oslo the following year. He has received numerous grants and awards (among the more recent are the Lindeman-prize, the Levin-prize, and the Nils Larsen Grant) and he has appeared as a soloist with several international orchestras, as well as with all of Norway's professional orchestras. Among the many conductors Aspaas has collaborated with in his solo career are Brüggen, Sinaysky, Plasson, Karpe, Eggen, Engeset, Gupta and Engegård. In 2011 Aspaas gave the premier performance of O.A. Thommessen's third piano concerto, commissioned by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to recitals and worldwide concert tours he is regularly invited to Norwegian and international festivals and concert series. In the autumn of 2010 Aspaas gave an acclaimed series of recitals on Debussy's 24 preludes, which included a performance at the Norwegian National Opera. In March 2013 he made his US debut with a solo recital at Carnegie Hall, NY.

His discography is comprehensive, including internationally acclaimed solo CDs of works by Beethoven, Schönberg, Berg and Webern, as well as the complete piano works by Paul Dukas.  Aspaas was one of the initiators behind the chamber music festival Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Røros, Norway, and its first artistic director from 1999-2008,

www.pianisten.no

 
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RAGNHILD HEMSING

"Ragnhild Hemsing has exquisite clarity in her playing".

"That Hemsing and Aspaas are a very well-established duo is apparent from the complementary fluency of their enormously impressive playing." 

Ragnhild Hemsing stands out among the new talent in Norway as an unusually poised and versatile artist. Her background is deeply rooted in the rich folk music tradition in Norway, and she is one of the first artists to unite typical features of Norwegian folk music and classical music in a youthful, fresh and contemporary fashion.

Ragnhild was born in 1988 in the heart of the Norwegian folk region, Valdres, and began playing the violin at the age of five.  She continued her studies at the Barratt- Due Institute of Music in Oslo, followed by studies with Boris Kuschnir in Vienna.

At the age of 14, Hemsing made her debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Mendelssohn's violin concerto. The same year she played with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, and the following year was invited to play with the Oslo Philharmonic. Since then she has been soloist with all the major Norwegian orchestras, and played at all the major Norwegian festivals and concert halls.  Overseas she has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., with 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.

Hemsing frequently supplements her wide repertoire of standard solo classical works for violin with unique works written for the Hardanger Fiddle. Equally at home with contemporary music, one of Ragnhild’s most notable collaborations is her work with the Norwegian choreographer, Hallgrim Hansegård.  Together they have performed ‘YR’, by Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen, throughout Norway, This work also featured on her solo debut-CD with Simax.  This CD, and her recording of Halvorsen’s “Fossegrimen”- Suite for Chandos with the Bergen Philharmonic and Neeme Järvi, have received outstanding critical acclaim. Neeme Järvi subsequently invited Ragnhild to perform with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. 

Ragnhild 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 Hemsing has performed at major festivals and concert halls in Norway, Solo recitals include performances at Cheltenham, Verbier, Bellerive and AlpenKlassik festivals and at Wigmore Hall, London, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, in Mariinsky Concert Hall, Beethoven Festival Bonn, Moravian Autumn in Brno, WDR Cologne and Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele.

Hemsing has received many prizes and awards. After her successful debut at the Beethoven Festival Bonn 2013, she received the Beethoven-Ring of  the "Citizens of Beethoven" award. 

Ragnhild Hemsing's recording "Northern Timbre" with pianist Tor Espen Aspaas was released in 2017 on the record label 2L.  The recording presents a broad range of Nordic repertoire and has received much favourable criticism, a recording "lit up within by sheer beauty", wrote Marc Philips in the Vinyl Anachronist

In addition, Ragnhild Hemsing is a well-known artist on Norwegian radio and television. Together with her sister Eldbjørg Hemsing, she has recorded a documentary about the life of Ole Bull - a program that received an EBU award.

Ragnhild and Eldbjørg Hemsing are co-artistic directors of the Hemsing Festival, a  chamber music festival they established in 2013, and which is hosted annually in Aural, Valdres.  For more information about the festival, see www.hemsingfestival.com.

Ragnhild plays on a violin built by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1694), generously on loan from Dextra Musica

www.ragnhildhemsing.com

 
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NORTH CAPE TRIO

Biography coming soon

 

                    ARVID ENGEGÅRD                                    Violin

                   ARVID ENGEGÅRD

                                 Violin

              NILS ANDERS MORTENSEN                                    Piano

             NILS ANDERS MORTENSEN

                                 Piano

                 KNUT ERIK SUNDQUIST                              Double bass

                KNUT ERIK SUNDQUIST

                           Double bass

 
 Foto: Per Heimly

Foto: Per Heimly

 

ARVE TELLEFSEN

'Tellefsen was outstanding. He is somebody you don't easily forget.'' New York Post

Arve Tellefsen has worked with conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Arvid Jansons, Herbert Blomstedt, Gary Bertini, Evgeny Svetlanov, Bryden Thomson, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Walter Weller and Zubin Mehta. In the UK, he has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the Hallé, BBC Scottish, BBC Welsh, the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National orchestras.

His discography includes concertos by Carl Nielsen, Shostakovich, Bach, Beethoven, Bruch and Sibelius, as well as concertos by Scandinavian composers: Tor Aulin, Franz Berwald, Lars-Erik Larsson, Johan Svendsen, Christian Sinding, Fartein Valen, Arne Nordheim and Alfred Janson. In 1997 he gave the world premiere of the Violin Concerto dedicated to him by Arne Nordheim, Norway’s foremost contemporary composer, with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on Sony Classical.

As a chamber musician, Tellefsen has taken part in festivals all over the world, including the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Bath Festival, Gidon Kremer’s Festival in Lockenhaus, Barbara Hendricks’ Festival in Montreux and the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades.

Arve Tellefsen founded the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, which takes place annually and attracts the cream of international artists, including Anne Sofie von Otter, Randi Stene, Solveig Kringlebotn, Elizabeth Nordberg-Schulz, Barbara Hendricks, Liv Ullmann, Jan Garbarek, Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk, Yuri Bashmet, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Angela Hewitt, Hagen Quartet, Hilliard Ensemble, Jordi Savall, Rolf Lislevand and Maria João Pires.

Tellefsen broadcasts regularly for the BBC; in Norway he featured in a series of television programmes with the Oslo Philharmonic focusing on classical music. He was music consultant and soloist on the soundtrack of the feature film Sofie, Liv Ullmann’s directorial debut.

Born in Norway, Tellefsen continued his studies at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music with Professor Henry Holst, before moving to New York to study with Professor Ivan Galamian.

He has recently recorded Edvard Grieg: Complete Violin Sonatas with pianist Håvard Gimse at Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen, for Sony Classical. His latest recording is music by the famous Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810-1880) on Simax label.

www.arvetellefsen.no