Rich musical tradition

A champion of Norway’s rich musical tradition, Eldbjørg Hemsing has been a household name in her native country since childhood and made her solo debut with the Bergen Philharmonic at the age of 11.

After winning various international competitions and prizes at the age of 18, she received a flood of invitations to perform but decided instead to travel to Vienna for further intensive studies with Boris Kuschnir, during which time she fine-tuned her performance-style and absorbed a wide-range of repertoire ranging from Bach, Beethoven, Bartok to Tan Dun. Together with Tan Dun she has collaborated on numerous projects in both Europe and Asia and has most recently premiered composer’s new violin concerto “Fire Ritual – A Musical Ritual for Victims of Wars”, together with the Oslo Philharmonic.

In March 2018 Eldbjørg Hemsing released her debut CD on the Swedish label, BIS, featuring violin concertos by Hjalmar Borgström and Dmitri Shostakovich, recorded with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Olari Elts.

Introducing the album Eldbjørg wrote: ”A few years ago, I was introduced to the music of Hjalmar Borgström, a name I was not previously familiar with and I was surprised to learn that he had been famous as both a composer and critic in Norway at the beginning of the 20th century. Opening the score of his first violin concerto for the first time I was immediately intrigued. This concerto, written in 1914, is incredibly beautiful, full of Norwegian Nationalist sentiment so typical of its time but also worthy of international attention. It reminds me of where I come from – the rugged landscape of Valdres and Jotunheimen, where the surrounding mountains rise dramatically over the valleys – and the music makes me yearn for my roots. After Borgström’s death in 1925 the concerto was completely forgotten and so today I am on something of a mission to help do my part in bringing this composer’s music back to life.”

Her upcoming engagements in the 2018 / 19 season include her début with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filharmónica Portuguesa and Orchestra de Valéncia, as well as her re-engagements with amongs others Oslo Philharmonic, Shenzhen Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic to only name a few. Eldbjørg Hemsing is also making her recital début at the Lincoln Center in New York, Abu Dhabi Classics, recital tour in Europe and Asia with Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski and Julien Quentin. As part of her 2018 Artist in Residency at the Stormen Concert Hall in Bødo (Norway), she did a series recitals and performances with the Arctic Philharmonic.

Eldbjørg Hemsing plays a 1754 G. B. Guadagnini violin on kind loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation.

Photo: Nikolaj Lund