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ARTISTS 2024

Artistic directors Arvid Engegård and Paul Lewis has invited artists at an international high level to the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival 2024. These will be heard daily during the festival.

Paul Lewis | piano

Paul Lewis is one of England's most renowned pianists. He singles out Alfred Brendel - one of the last century's great interpreters of the classics - as his most important teacher. These impulses inspired Paul to record all of Beethoven's piano sonatas and piano concertos. The recordings are often singled out as among the most beautiful. He has also recorded all three major cycles of Schubert with Mark Padmore, our singer in 2024. And Schubert is a lot in Paul's life right now. In the seasons 2022-2024, he plays all of Schubert's sonatas in various parts of the world. And he will also play several Schubert sonatas in Lofoten. Paul has participated in Lofoten twice before, and is together with Arvid Engegård our artistic director in 2024. Read more about Paul Lewis on his own website. Read more about the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival 2024 here.

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Arvid Engegård, artistic director

Arvid Engegård is artistic director of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. He comes from Bodø, but currently lives in Oslo. He is educated in Trondheim, New York and Salzburg. In Salzburg he studied under the legendary Sandor Vegh. Arvid has had a genuine interest in chamber music all his life. Before establishing the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, he was primarius for the Orlando Quartet for 10 years. Own quartet During the festival's first edition in 2004, Arvid met musicians who he immediately established in a quartet, the Engegård Quartet. The ensemble today enjoys international recognition and is in high demand throughout the Nordic region. Visit the Engegård Quartet's website here. Since its establishment, the quartet has been the festival's "house band", and is a central part of the programme. Today, Engegård can also be seen as a conductor. He is used in particular within the Viennese classical repertoire, a repertoire he masters better than anyone else in Norway.

Vilde Frang, fiolin

Vilde Frang was already a sensation at home in Norway as a child, and as a seven-year-old she amazed the whole country with a television performance that showed the technique and sound of an experienced musician. As a 12-year-old, she already played for the first time with the Oslo Philharmonic under the direction of Mariss Jansons himself. After this, things happened at lightning speed. Studies at Barrath-Due and at the Academy of Music in Hamburg eventually led to studies with Mitsuko Uchida and Anne-Sophie Mutter. Over the years, she has gradually played with all the biggest orchestras with the most famous conductors, and she now has an impressive collection of recordings, all of which have garnered rave reviews and won a number of awards. Vilde is also a dedicated chamber musician, and has played at all the biggest festivals around the world. Since 2020, she is part of the program council of the Oslo Chamber Music Festival. Her CV can bring tears to the eyes of a music-loving Norwegian, and many probably remember her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker at their 1 May concert in Røros. In April this year, she was once again a soloist with this perhaps the very best orchestra in the world - for the third time. Vilde plays a famous "red" Guarnerius from 1734.

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Imogen Cooper | Piano

Imogen Cooper announced loud and clear to her parents that she wanted to become a concert pianist. She was then five years old. Her parents took her seriously, and sent her to Paris at the age of eleven - alone. There she was taught by a friend of Ravel himself – Jacques Février. According to the great conductor Sir Simon Rattle – head of the Berlin Philharmonic for many years – Imogen is “one of the greatest musicians ever to come out of England. It's as if Mozart's music was written for her. If we asked orchestral musicians who is the finest Mozart pianist, 3 out of 4 would answer Imogen. Orchestral musicians are the toughest critics". When she returned to London, she met Alfred Brendel and said. "I must study with you or die." Brendel replied: "come to me in Vienna so that you can live". In Vienna, Brendel taught her for hours at a time, and was uncompromising in relation to what he wanted. Imogen says that it was not piano lessons, but a whole education. We are honored to have Imogen Cooper with us for the first time. Read more about Imogen on her website here >>>

Leif Ove Andsnes piano

Leif Ove was the first to be asked and agreed to participate in our first festival in 2004. He was already a big name both in Norway and abroad. It was therefore easy to get approval from other major artists as well. It is particularly nice that he is also participating in our 20th anniversary. Today, Leif Ove is so recognized that he could probably choose to play only with the biggest orchestras and conductors. Nevertheless, he has always devoted himself to more idealistic things such as chamber music, lieder and teaching young talents. He also likes to play in smaller venues in our long country. In Lofoten he has participated in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2017 and 2018. In 2019 he held a solo concert in Buksnes church. Together with violist Lars Anders Tomter, Leif Ove Risør started the Chamber Music Festival - one of the first in Norway. In 2018, he started his very own festival in Rosendal. Andsnes has almost seventy (!) recordings behind him, and most of them have been praised by critics worldwide. Many of the recordings have also won the most prestigious awards. The recognition has been particularly great for the collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. With The Beethoven Journey (all Beethoven's works for piano and orchestra) and Mozart Momentum (four piano concertos, rondos and chamber music from 1785 and 1786), they toured Europe before being recorded "live". He himself conducted the orchestra from his place at the grand piano. The last concert in the Mozart project was given in the composer's hometown of Salzburg in October 2022, and was broadcast live on Austrian television. Read more about Leif Ove on his website.

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Tuulia Ylönen | Clarinet

Tuulia Ylönen has studied clarinet with Osmo Vänskä, Reijo Koskinen, Kari Kriikku and Charles Neidich at the Sibelius-Academy. She also attended masterclasses of Thomas Friedli, György Kurtag and Ralf Gothoni. Tuulia Ylönen was the principal clarinetist at the Lahti Sinfonia, and is currently working as co-principal clarinetist of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra, and teaches at the Sibelius-Academy. She has performed as chamber musician in several festivals throughout Finland and in many European countries. She is also the member of 60°woodwind quintet. In 2018-2020 Tuulia Ylönen was the Artistic Director of the Crusell Music Festival in Uusikaupunki in Finland.Philharmonia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Rheinische Philharmonie, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and orchestras in Finland, South Africa, Australia and Mexico. In chamber music he has played with Sir Andras Schiff, Martha Argerich, Stephen Hough and a big number of others.

Mark Padmore | tenor

The English tenor Mark Padmore enjoys great respect both in opera, church music and lieder. With the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle, he sang the demanding evangelist part in a ground-breaking stage version of Bach's Matthew Passion. The recording of the performance has caused justifiable attention around the world. He has often performed with this year's artistic director Paul Lewis. They have also made recordings of Schubert's three major cycles. This is the first time Padmore has visited Lofoten. Read more about Mark Padmore on his website.

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Roman Rabinovich | piano

Rabinovich participated for the first time in Lofoten in the summer of 2022. A new invitation was sent immediately after the festival. With his extraordinary virtuosity and sure sense of style, he masters the entire repertoire from Bach to the present. Roman has curated concert series for Wigmore Hall in London. Together with his wife Diana Cohen, who is a violinist, he runs the ChamberFest Cleveland and ChamberFest West festivals in his hometown of Calgary. Roman won the Rubinstein Competition in 2008, and soon after made a foray as soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York at 24 hours' notice. After this, the career has only gone one way. Read more about Roman on his own website. Read more about the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival 2024 here.

Fuko Ishii | piano

The young Japanese pianist Fuko Ishii won the 2022 Grieg competition in Bergen. Part of the first prize is participation here in Lofoten, something we are very proud of. She is a prize winner in a number of other competitions, and studied in Cologne and Basel where she graduated in 2020. Read more about Fuko on her website here >>>

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Chaos String Quartet

Susanne Schäffer, fiolin | Eszter Kruchió, fiolin | Sara Marzadori, bratsj | Bas Jongen, cello Den ganske ferske kvartetten med det underfundige navnet Kaos ble startet i 2019, og har som mål å utfordre formen strykekvartett både i forhold til program, bruk av arenaer og strykernes klang.  Med priser i mange ulike konkurranser har kvartetten raskt etablert seg på den internasjonale scene. Den ble tidlig del av italienske Le Dimore del Quartetto som i mange år med støtte fra EU har arbeidet for å styrke karrieren til unge kvartetter. De er i tiden 2023-2025 del av BBC´s Young Generation, og ble i 2022 valgt som én av 38 kvartetter i det enorme prosjektet MERITA, også dette et EU-støttet treårig program initiert av Le Dimore del Quartetto.  Lofoten Internasjonale Kammermusikkfest er som eneste nordiske festival del av MERITA, og er én av 17 institusjoner i 12 land som skal bidra til å styrke karrieren til disse kvartettene.

The Engegård Quartet

Arvid Engegård, violin | Laura Custodio Sabas, violin | Juliet Jopling, viola | Jan Clemens Carlsen, cello Under the midnight sun in Lofoten, the Engegård Quartet saw the light of day in 2005. Today, they are one of Norway's most sought-after ensembles. Their bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep connection to their Scandinavian roots have also gained them international attention. The quartet's first release in 2008 received rave reviews. "The playing is breathtaking" commented The Strad, while International Record View expressed "First rate quartet playing". Their second release won Pizzicato magazine's "Supersonic Award". A later release with works by Grieg, Sibelius and Olav Anton Thommessen was praised by Tully Potter in Music Web International with "here we have probably got the interpretation that all Grieg lovers have been waiting for". Recently, the quartet has published Mozart's "Prussian Quartets" and all of Schumann's string quartets. The Engegård Quartet has performed in several of Europe's finest arenas, including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Prague's Rudolfinum. They have also toured South America with concerts in Bogotá and Sao Paolo. They have participated in festivals such as the Delft Chamber Music Festival, the SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest and Heidelberg's Streichquartettfest. The Engegård Quartet has worked with several of the world's leading performers. Among them we find András Schiff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Ihle Hadland, and Emma Johnson. They also collaborate with performers from various musical traditions, including folk musician Nils Økland, jazz violinist Ola Kvernberg, and actor Bjørn Sundquist. Promotes chamber music Especially in Norway, the Engegård Quartet is known for promoting chamber music. The quartet's leader, Arvid Engegård, is both founder and artistic director of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. Violist Juliet Jopling is heavily involved in the Oslo Quartet Series both as founder and artistic advisor. The quartet has also established its own mini-festival "1-2-3". The festival takes place every autumn in Oslo. Focusing on one composer each year, the festival brings together some of the country's best musicians. The Engegård Quartet is supported by the Norwegian Culture Council. Read more about the Engegård Quartet here.

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Marko Ylönen | Cello

The Finnish cellist Marko Ylönen is a prize winner in a number of competitions. In addition, he is a sought-after soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. Among his recordings we find many of the great composers from the last century: Kokkonen, Rautavaara, Vasks, Shchedrin, Kaipanen and Nordgren. But of course also Sibelius. Marko Ylönen was last an artist in Lofoten at our winter edition in 2010. Read more about Marko on his website here. Read more about the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival 2024 here.

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