RAGNHILD HEMSING

VIOLIN / HARDANGER FIDDLE

Ragnhild Hemsing stands out amongst the rising stars in Norway as a remarkably poised artist. Her unique upbringing, deeply immersed in the rich folk music traditions of Norway enables her to be one of the first artists to successfully merge the instantly identifiable characteristics of Norwegian folk and classical performance in a young, fresh and entirely contemporary fashion.

 

At only 14 years of age Ragnhild made her debut performing the Mendelssohn Concerto with both, the Bergen Philharmonic and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has performed with all major Norwegian orchestras. She supplements her large repertoire of standard solo classical works for violin with more unusual and complex works written for the Hardanger Fiddle. Ragnhild’s most notable contemporary collaboration is her work with the Norwegian choreographer, Hallgrim Hansegård. Both have performed ‘YR’, by Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen, throughout Norway and she has recorded this work for her solo debut-CD on the Simax label. This CD as well as her recording of Halvorsen’s “Fossegrimen”- Suite for Chandos with the Bergen Philharmonic and Neeme Järvi received outstanding critical acclaim. Neeme Järvi subsequently invited Ragnhild to debut with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra Debuts over the past years include a.o. the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Gothenburg Symphony, the NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover, the Beethovenfest Bonn, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest The Hague, the Tampere Philharmonic (Santtu-Matias Rouvali), the MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (Kristjan Järvi), the Risør Chamber Music Festival, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Düsseldorf Symphony at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the Tonhalle Zürich.
She has performed the world premiere of Lasse Thoresen’s “Sprang”, together with her sister Eldbjørg and the Trondheim Soloists at the Bergen International Festival with further performances at St Petersburg’s Marinsky Concert Hall, the Bashmet Festival in Omsk, the Moravian Autumn in Brno, and at Trondheim celebrating the Trondheim Soloists’ 25th anniversary. 

 

Ragnhild´s new recording "Northern Timbre" was released in 2017 on 2L label together with pianist Tor Espen Aspaas with works from Grieg, Sibelius and Nielsen. 

 

Ragnhild has given guest appearances at all major festivals of of Norway, and she is a well known artist on Norwegian radio and TV. Together with her sister, Eldbjørg Hemsing she recorded a one hour documentary on the life of the famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull which received an EBU award.

 

After her most successful debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing was awarded the Beethoven-Ring of the “Citizens for Beethoven”.
Together with her sister Eldbjørg, she has founded the Hemsing Festival in her hometown Aurdal in the Valdres valley. This is a classical music festival, and the two sisters are its musical directors. The Hemsing Festival has been arranged in February each year since 2013. For more, see www.hemsingfestival.com.

 

Ragnhild was born into the heart of the Norwegian folk region, Valdres. She began to play the violin at 5 years of age and continued her studies at the prestigious Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, followed by studies with Boris Kuschnir in Vienna. She plays on a Francesco Ruggeri Violin (Cremona, 1694) kindly on loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation.

“Norwegian artist Ragnhild Hemsing is equally talented as a violinist and an exponent of the Hardanger fiddle…YR is played engagingly, with Hemsing managing once again to draw you into an uniquely mesmeric soundworld”.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE / Erik Levi