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. Studying with Boris Kuschnir in Vienna, she has since carefully positioned herself on both the national and international stage, fine-tuning her performance-style and absorbing repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Dvořák, Grieg to Tan Dun. Together with Tan Dun she has collaborated on numerous projects in both Europe and Asia and is currently working with the composer on a new work which she will premiere in September 2018.

In March 2018 Eldbjørg Hemsing releases her debut CD on the Swedish label, BIS, featuring violin concertos by Hjalmar Borgström and Dmitri Shostakovich, recorded with the Wiener Symphoniker and Olari Elis. This first album will be followed in the autumn of 2018 by a recording of Dvořák’s Violin Concerto and Suk’s Fantasy and Love Song with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Alan Buribayev. She is also a primary focus in an upcoming documentary on women in the arts, directed by David Donnelly.

Throughout 2018 Eldbjørg is Artist in Residence at Stormen - Bodø’s iconic concert hall situated in the far North of Norway, hailed as one of the country’s leading artistic ventures since opening in 2014. Here she will perform Borgström’s violin concerto together with the Arctic Philharmonic on the occasion of her debut CD release on 9 March. Other immediate performances include a Berlin recital with Julien Quentin (17 January), a chamber music concert with Leif Ove Andsnes and Andreas Brantlid at the Glogerfestpileene (26 Janaury) and the Hemsing Festival which she founded together with her sister in 2013 in the Valdres valley north of Oslo (21- 25 February). Other upcoming highlights include performances with the Oslo Philharmonic, MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the NWD Philharmonie.

Eldbjørg Hemsing plays a 1754 G. B. Guadagnini violin on kind loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation. Her long-term artistic development is generously supported by the Göhde Foundation.

"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.

"In contrast to Borgström’s work, I grew up loving Shostakovich’s first violin concerto and was completely hooked on it from an early age. Studying the work with Professor Boris Kushnir, who himself was the student of the concerto's dedicatee, David Oistrakh, has given me a privileged insight into the music and allowed me to learn something of the Russian spirit with both its unqiue melancholy and humour. The concerto is a massive, emotional masterpiece where there are no limits to how far you are stretched within yourself in expression, pain, sorrow and hope."

 

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