AT NJORD BIENNALE 2018 YOU CAn EXPERIENCE SEVERAL HIGH-PROFILE Danish and International MUSICIANS AND ARTISTs
Performers will be announced here and we continuously update the programme
The Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir (born 1977) is one of the strongest artistic voices on the international music stage at the moment, and despite her young age she has already garnered great attention and recognition. She has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2012, the Icelandic Music Awards in 2011, 2012, and 2016. In 2015, she was named the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer - an honour that includes writing an original composition for the renowned orchestra.
Anna Thorvaldsdottir holds a master's degree and a PhD in composition from the University of California, San Diego. She is the composer-in-residence at NJORD Biennale 2018 and a number of her compositions will be performed in new, Nordic cross-artistic collaborations at the festival by some of the best Nordic musicians and ensembles. NJORD Biennale 2018 will be the largest presentation of her work in Denmark to date.
Read more about Anna Thorvaldsdottir
Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen is one of Denmark’s leading contemporary classical ensembles. Since its inception in 1990, the ensemble has premiered and commissioned a string of works, performing brand new works of music as well as 20th century classics.
Athelas is very aware of new musical currents and committed to communicating these currents to music fans and enthusiastic audiences, working to be part of the future of music with their performances and albums.
Athelas Sinfonietta colaborates with soloists, conductors, and ensembles from all over the world, tours internationally, and plays festivals and at opera performances. Furthermore, Athelas Sinfonietta is the ensemble-in-residence every year at KLANG - Copenhagen Avantgarde Music Festival.
At NJORD 2018 Athelas Sinfonietta plays the opening concert with Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir.
AVANTI! CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
The Finnish Avanti! kamariorkesteri is an extraordinary artistic force! The ensemble was formed in 1983 by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Olli Pohjola, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste and since 1998, the clarinettist Kari Kriikku has served as the ensemble’s artistic director.
Today, Avanti! is regarded as one of the world’s best contemporary ensembles. The ensemble does not specialise in one particular genre, rather the members successfully master all styles and are particularly committed to new music.
Avanti! works closesly with some of the most talented international conductors, soloists, and composers and has won a string of awards and wide acclaim from audiences and critics around the world.
When Avanti! performed at NJORD Biennale in 2016, it was the celebrated ensemble’s first ever visit to Denmark. This year, Avanti! returns to once again deliver a stunning performance of new, quality music to a Danish audience.
Caroline Wettergreen is one of Norway’s young, up and coming sopranos with a unique ability to combine brilliant coloraturas with a poignant, emotional delivery.
Wettergreen was born and raised in Bergen. She studied at The Norwegian Academy of Music and The Academy of Opera in Oslo where she received her master’s degree in 2013. In 2015, she made her concert debut in Germany with the Berlin Philharmonic at the Berliner Philharmonie, and in 2016 she received rave reviews for her interpretation of La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon, a performance that marked her international opera debut at the Komische Oper Berlin.
At NJORD 2018, Caroline Wettergreen performs Hans Abrahamsen’s To Inger Christensen sange for the first time in Denmark, a work she also performed for its premiere at Prinzregententheater in Munich.
The Swedish conductor Christian Karlsen (born 1985) started his career working as an assistent to Esa-Pekka Salonen and was quickly recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation.
Based in the Netherlands, Karlsen has worked with the majority of the country's orchestras, including Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Furthermore, he is also a regular guest of the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble.
In 2008 Christian Karlsen co-founded the New European Ensemble, in 2011 he was the artistic director of the large Kaija Saariaho festival in the Hague, and from 2015 to 2017 he has been artistic coordinator and artist-in-residence at the Festival Dag in de Branding.
Christian Karlsen is a strong advocate for and interpretor of contemporary music. He has led numerous world premieres and collaborated with leading composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino, Sofia Gubaidulina, Magnus Lindberg, Steve Reich, Thomas Adès and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He has also worked with new talents, including composers Kate Moore, Benjamin Staern, Francisco Coll, and Tansy Davies.
As part of NJORD 2018, Christian Karlsen will conduct Norrbotten NEO's concert.
Clément Mao - Takacs
The French conductor Clément Mao - Takacs started his career at a young age, and at 15 he made his debut at Salle Gaveau in Paris. After finishing his studies, he worked at the Hungarian State Opera in 2002 and at Roma Opera House as assistant conductor from 2003 to 2008.
In 2011 the young talent created Secession Orchestra - a new elite ensemble, which he directs both musically and artistically. Furthermore, Mao - Takacs is also behind the Paris-based ensemble La Chambre aux échos, a creative company of performers who creates collaborations and dialogues between various art forms. The company performed at the NJORD Biennale in 2016.
Clément Mao - Takacs’s exceptional technical prowess and his broad knowledge of different musical styles enable him to conduct works spanning anything from the symphonic repetoire to more lyrical works, from the classical period to the 21st century. He is celebrated all over the world as a spectacular conductor and has conducted numerous world premieres of new works. He specialises in the works by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, among many others.
At NJORD 2018 Clément Mao - Takacs conducts both the final concert of the biennale, played by the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and the workshop concert, where four young, promising composers of tomorrow will have their works performed.
COPENHAGEN PIANO QUARTET
Copenhagen Piano Quartet is a young quartet based in Copenhagen. The ensemble consists of Benedikte Damgaard, violin, Kristina Fialová, viola, Adam Stadnicki, cello, and Rikke Sandberg (maternity cover for Neel Teilmann), piano.
Copenhagen Piano Quartet was formed in 2010 and has since then won numerous competitions, including the Val Tidone International Chamber Music Competition in Italy in 2013, The Chamber Music Competition at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2012, The P2 Chamber Music Competition, held by the Danish classical radio station DR P2, in 2014 and the international Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria in 2012.
The quartet has a broad repertoire that ranges from the classics of Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms to new, contemporary works. When they visit NJORD Biennale the quartet will work with the festival’s composer-in-residence, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, who curates this year’s concert programme.
A mezzo-soprano, three musicians, a composer, an architect, and a poet – FIGURA Ensemble is a musical collective in a league of its own.
FIGURA Ensemble was formed in 1992 by a group of young, enthusiastic students from the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg, who today are all professionals with a profound love for new art music. Through the years, the ensemble has encouraged a long list of Danish composers, ranging from young students to established professionals, to compose for this one-of-a-kind musical group.
FIGURA Ensemble har performed both nationally and internationally, together and separely, in various constallations, and these artistic endeavours have been rewarded with numerous awards and nominations, including the Danish Reumert in 2009, YEAH! Young EARopean Award in 2011, and in 2017, a nomination for The Nordic Council Music Prize.
Over the past 24 years, FIGURA has challenged both collaborators and audiences with their execptional concerts and vigourous, modern vocal drama, not to mention their children's workshops aimed at young music lovers. The work that the ensemble does with and for children will take centre stage at this year's NJORD biennale, when FIGURA performs a new version of Hugi Gudmundsson's ghost story for children, The Deacon of Dark River - A Ghost Story. FIGURA will also invite audiences to take part in a new, creative children's workshop.
Jacob Kellermann (born 1984) is one of Sweden’s most active young guitarists. He works as a solo artist and as a chamber musician in Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands, and his repertoire is often focused around his own transcriptions.
Kellermann has performed at numerous concert halls and festivals, including Prinzregententheater and Gasteig München, Seoul Art Center, Brucknerhaus Linz, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Musikaliska Stockholm, Gotland Chamber Music Festival, Båstad Kammarmusikfestival, and Mikulov Guitar Festival.
As a founding member of the international New European Ensemble, Kellermann performs a repertoire that spans the 20th and 21st centuries, moving from Schönberg, Boulez and Henze to premiering works from the next generation of composers.
Jacob Kellermann is passionate about new art music, and he has collaborated with several composers; Jose Sanchez-Verdu, Henrik Strindberg, and Benjamin Staern to name a few. The latter is represented at NJORD 2018, where Kellermann will perform as a soloist in Staern’s award-winning piece Air-Spiral-Light.
The cellist Jakob Kullberg is one of the most visible and stylistically wide-ranging talents among young, Danish instrumentalists.
He has won several awards, including Gladsaxe Musikpris and two Danish Grammys, most recently in 2013 for his album Momentum. Momentum was also nominated for the prestigious Gramophone Award in London, and it was chosen as album of the week by Q2 Music, New York.
Jakob Kullberg has performed with high-profile orchestras such as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, and the British BBC Philharmonic. Furthermore, he has appeared at distinguished international festivals such as Aldeburgh Festival, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Huddersfield Festival and Bergen International Festival.
Kullberg has a close working relationship with the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and the Danish composer Per Nørgård, who has written and dedicated several works in his honour.
At NJORD 2018 Jakob Kullberg will perform as a soloist in the closing concert together with Avanti! Chamber Orchestra.
Over the course of the past 20 years, the Danish pianist Katrine Gislinge has established herself as one of Scandinavia’s most significant pianists. Her exceptional ability to completely immerse herself in a performance, coupled with her strong desire to express herself artistically make her one of the most interesting performers in Denmark. She performs as a solo artist and frequently in chamber ensembles as well. Since 2015, she has been part of the successful trio, The Danish Piano Trio, with cellist Toke Møldrup and violinist Lars Bjørnkjær. The Danish Piano Trio has received spectacular reviews for both their concerts and albums.
Katrine Gislinge has premiered many works by composers Bent Sørensen and Per Nørgård, and they are among the many artists who have dedicated their works to Gislinge. Since 2014, she has performed Bent Sørensen’s piano concert Papillons several times.
In 2018 Bent Sørensen turns 60, and NJORD Biennale celebrates the special occasion with a unique solo recital by Katrine Gislinge that will include a number of Sørensen’s piano concerts.
Aged 10, the Danish clarinettist Mathias Kjøller (born 1985) started taking clarinet lessons at Vejle Music School. At 18, he began his studies at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg where his teachers included John Kruse, and in 2007, he was appointed principal clarinettist of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 he continued his education in Los Angeles, studying under the internationally renowed musician and clarinet professor Yehuda Gilad, whose classes he has attended frequently since then.
Kjøller has won soloist competitions at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg and The Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM). He has been a soloist in the RDAM Symphony Orchestra, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Phil and performed several times as a soloist with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 Mathias Kjøller was appointed associate principal clarinettist of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Moreover, he is an active chamber musician who has performed with The Danish String Quartet and Marianna Shirinyan.
In 2013 Mathias Kjøller was awarded second prize, the Orchestra Award, and a prize for the best interpretation of the Carl Nielsen clarinet concerto at the International Carl Nielsen Clarinet Competition. Furthermore, Kjøller has recieved the Sonning Scholarship for Musicians, Gladsaxe Musikpris, the Victor Borge Scholarship for Musicians, and The Danish Art Council's The Young Elite Scholarship.
At NJORD 2018 Mathias Kjøller performs at the opening concert as a soloist in Anna Cederberg-Orreteg's Music to Hear.
The Danish percussionist, performer, and conductor Mathias Reumert lives a life infused with classical and experiemental music. As a soloist he explores new percussion territory, and he is also a dedicated interpretor of well-known masterpieces by Xenakis, Stockhausen, Henze, and Donatoni.
Reumert leads the acclaimed crossover ensemble Ekkozone that masterfully explores the borderlands between classical, world and experimental music. He also performs world premieres of new works every year as percussionist in Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen.
In his first year at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, Reumert joined the PACE Percussion Trio, a creative partnership that he calls 'my most important and most fun education'. Mathias Reumert is also part of the new Copenhagen Marimba Duo. In 2015 he recieved Musikanmelderringens Kunstnerpris, an award given by Danish music critics to young musicians who have made their mark on the Danish music scene in the past year.
At NJORD Biennale 2018 Mathias Reumert performs a solo late night concert.
Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir
Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir is a professional choir ensemble of carefully selected vocalists from the Nordic countries. The choir was founded in 2005 by conductor Mogens Dahl and has since then become one of the most prominent classic ensembles in the region. Artistically, the ensemble is rooted in the Nordic acapella tradition, but because of its mission to continually engage with and affect the contemporary scene and the future of Nordic vocal music, the choir is constantly challenging its members, looking for fresh ideas.
Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir often performs new compositions by established, Nordic composers, written especially for the ensemble. For instance, the choir premiered Sven-David Sandström’s Nordic Mass at Bergen International Festival in 2014 and The Passion of St. John in Konzerthaus Berlin in 2016.
Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir will open this year’s NJORD Biennale with a varied Nordic programme where both solo vocalists and the entire ensemble will treat the audience to spectacular vocal performances of the highest quality.
The Swedish ensemble Norrbotten NEO was established in 2007 and it is still one of its kind, with a national mission to work for contemporary classical music.
To advance the development of Swedish chamber music, Norrbotten NEO regularly commissions new works and colaborates with both new and more established composers. Since 2007 the ensemble has premiered more than 100 works, and they have thus gone on to become a national matter of interest and an important exponent for many new musical ideas.
In 2012, the Swedish Society of Composers recognised Norrbotten NEO's work and their contribution to new music by awarding it the society's interpretationspris. The ensemble's excellent reputation has also meant that Norrbotten NEO has toured and performed for several music organisations and at numerous concert halls. The ensemble has also performed internationally as part of the MADE festival, Faithful Festival Berlin, and Nordic Music Days. Norrbotten NEO is always looking for new ways to expand our perception of music and they are part of children's concerts and pedagogical projects. The ensemble is also ensemble-in-residence at Koncerthuset Stockholm.
The acclaimed visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson (born 1975) studied in Vienna, Reykjavik, and Copenhagen. In 2000, he began his exhibition career as part of the experimental art scene in Reykjavik.
His dark and moody video installations immediately set him apart and attracted attention not only in Iceland but also internationally, for instance in Berlin, New York, London, Beijing and Seoul. Guðjónsson mostly uses video but in many ways his work could as easily be classified as music.
He exploits the potential of time-based media to produce pieces that rhythmically engage the viewer in a synaesthetic experience, linking vision and hearing in ways that seem to extend one’s perceptual field and produce sensations never felt before. Usually slow and often repetitive, his pieces draw you in and gradually start to expand, creating complex loops and rhythmic schemes that can almost overwhelm the senses.
Recently, Sigurður has collaborated with composers to produce works that combine video, electronic sound, and live performance.
For NJORD 2018, Sigurður Guðjónsson will present his work Trajectories (2014), a collaborative work between the artist and NJORD's composer-in-residence, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, consisting of three channel HD video and stereo sound. The piece was commissioned by The Reykjavik Center for Visual Music and premiered at the festival of RCVM in January 2014. Trajectories will have its Danish premiere at NJORD Biennale 2018.