Eldbjørg Hemsing

Photo: Nikolaj Lund

“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 (EL-björg HEM-sing) 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 (HYAL-mar BORG-strum), 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. Eldbjørg 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, RTÉ 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.

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