The Ungdomssymfonikerne from Norway are always a popular guest at Young Euro Classic. The young Norwegians already appeared at the Konzerthaus during the festival’s very first edition in the millennium year of 2000, and after that they returned several times to win the Berlin audience’s hearts with their Scandinavian-inflected programmes – most recently in 2013, when they performed Lutoslawski, Grieg and Shostakovich. The national Norwegian youth orchestra was founded in 1973 in order to give the country’s young, talented musicians an opportunity to gather their first experiences in a professional setting. The annual working phase lasts three to four weeks and takes place in Elverum in Southern Norway. Among the international guest conductors who have led the orchestra are such names as Andrey Boreyko, George Pehlivanian, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Berglund and Emmanuel Krivine. Outstanding Norwegian artists, such as pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Håvard Gimse, cellist Truls Mørk and trumpet player Ole Edvard Antonsen, have been among its prominent soloists.
Eivind Aadland is one of Norway’s most respected conductors. He was Chief Conductor and Artistic Leader of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2011. His extensive work with Scandinavian orchestras includes regular guest engagements with the Oslo and Bergen Philharmonics, the Stavanger Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In addition Aadland has conducted critically acclaimed productions at Den Norske Opera, Oslo. Aadland has also worked extensively in the Far East and Australia. In 2010 he led the Trondheim Symphony on tour in China and conducted the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul. In 2011 he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane. His strong rapport with orchestral musicians flows from his experience as concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequent work with the European Union Chamber Orchestra. Aadland studied violin with Yehudi Menuhin; he also received conducting lessons from Jorma Panula.
The 42-year-old Norwegian Henning Kraggerud is among his country’s artistic multi-talents. Not only does he perform as a violinist and violist, but he is also co-director of the Risør Chamber Music Festival and artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Kraggerud is an active composer: his most recent work, Equinox. 24 Postludes in All Keys for Violin and String Orchestra of 2014 was inspired by the literary work of Jostein Gaarder. As a violin soloist, Henning Kraggerud has performed at Carnegie Hall in New and at London’s Royal Albert Hall, in Hong Kong and in Seoul; his repertoire includes the great violin concerti from Bach to Prokofiev. His comprehensive discography includes works by Edvard Grieg and Christian Sinding as well as the violin virtuosi Louis Spohr, Fritz Kreisler and Eugène Isaÿe. Kraggerud also forms a piano trio with pianist Imogen Cooper and cellist Adrian Brendel.
«Chatter» (2005, German Premiere)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D-Minor Op. 47 (1903)
Symphony No. 1 in D-Major «The Titan» (1888)
Norway’s love for classical music, for which the name Edvard Grieg stands exemplarily, is also reflected in the country’s intense support for young musicians. It is no coincidence that the “Ungdomssymfonikerne”, Norway’s outstanding national youth orchestra, is a popular guest at Young Euro Classic. As always, they present a contemporary Norwegian work: this time, it is Chatter by Knut Vaage (2005), a composer who enjoys experimenting. The Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius nods to the Finnish neighbours – a hugely popular work which originally had its premiere in Berlin. After the intermission, the young Norwegians dedicate themselves to Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, in which folk song quotations, lyrical invocations of nature, cuckoo calls and a grotesque funeral march end in a stunning finale, offering especially youthful musicians every opportunity to throw themselves into its interpretation with all the passion at their command!