BIOGRAPHY 2022/2023

"Ragnhild Hemsing's emotional resonance still resonates,
long after the music has ceased to be heard."
- Julian Haylock

Since her childhood, violinist and Hardanger fiddler Ragnhild Hemsing has been deeply connected to the rich folk tradition of her home country Norway. As a result, she is uniquely able to successfully combine the typical elements of Norwegian folk music and classical music in a youthful, fresh and completely new way.

Born in Valdres in 1988, Ragnhild Hemsing began playing the violin at the age of five and the traditional Hardanger fiddle shortly afterwards. Later she studied at the Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo and with Professor Boris Kuschnir in Vienna. At only 14 years old, Ragnhild made her debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Since then, she has built an international career and brought the Hardanger fiddle to prominence outside Norway.

Ragnhild Hemsing's extensive repertoire of classical solo works for violin and lesser-known, complex works for the fiddle make her one of the most versatile musicians of our time.

In the 2022/2023 season, the artist can be experienced in many exciting programmes in recital, with chamber music and as a soloist with orchestra:

In the summer of 2022, she will have her debut at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and the MDR Musiksommer. She will also make her debut at the Kölner Philharmonie as well as with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, where she will open the season. On a tour of Germany with the Trondheim Soloists, she will present Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites and once again captivate audiences with Norwegian flair.

Finally, Ragnhild Hemsing will be heard again in the USA. She accepts the invitation of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and will perform together with her husband, the dancer and choreographer Hallgrim Hansegård, among others.

The renowned Weilburg Castle Concerts present the exceptional musician in two facets: chamber music and as a soloist with orchestra. Further (re)invitations will take her to the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the German baroque orchestra L'arte del Mondo, the Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra Reutlingen, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and back home to the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK), the Trondheim Soloists, the Kristiansand Orchestra and the Barokkanerne (Norwegian Baroque Ensemble).

In recital with pianist Enrico Pace, Ragnhild Hemsing will make her debut in Paris at the Musée d'Orsay, and with her long-time chamber music friends Mario Häring (piano) and Benedict Kloeckner (violoncello), she will be heard in many places.

Her album Røta (= roots) with works by classical Norwegian composers and traditional folk music for violin and Hardanger fiddle received excellent reviews. "Almost too good to be true", is the verdict of journalist Stephan Bartels and Alain Steffen writes in pizzicato: "Ragnhild Hemsing plays all the pieces with much love and care, technically flawless, but always in the spirit of traditional Norwegian music. The purity of the music and the meditative power, the richness of colour and the sparse but warm soul images set in as if by themselves, offering the listener an intense and truly beautiful listening experience [...]."

Spring 2022 saw the release of her latest album, featuring Edvard Grieg's famous Peer Gynt Suite with the Trondheim Soloists. The newly commissioned arrangement for violin and Hardanger fiddle by Tormod Tvete Vik premiered at the Bergen International Festival in May 2021 and was euphorically received by audiences and the press. On the digital platforms Spotify and Apple Music, the album turned out to be a great success with high streaming numbers.

In early 2023, Ragnhild Hemsing's fans can look forward to a special recording: together with Bergen Philharmonic, she has recorded Bruch's Violin Concerto and Tveitt's Concerto for Orchestra and Hardanger Fiddle No. 2.

Her recording of Halvorsen's Fossegrimen op. 21 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Neeme Järvi (Chandos label) received great acclaim from the international press. Since this recording, the two have enjoyed a close working relationship. Among other things, Neeme Järvi invited the young artist to make her debut with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in February 2012. Ragnhild Hemsing's albums Northern Timbre (label: 2L) and YR with Tor Espen Aspaas also met with a very positive response from the press and the public.

The duo's latest CD, Beethoven's Testaments (2L), received rave reviews. "Although Beethoven can be played in many ways, I simply have to say that this is exactly the way Beethoven should be played," wrote Magnus Andersson on musikkritikk.no.

Important debuts in recent years include concerts with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the MRD Symphony Orchestra (under Kristjan Järvi), the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra Freiburg, the Residence Orchestra The Hague, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (under Santtu-Matias Rouvali), the Belgian National Orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, as well as appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Risør Chamber Music Festival and the Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Concert Hall.

After her successful debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn in 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing received the Beethoven Ring, which is awarded annually to a Beethovenfest artist by the association "Citizens for Beethoven". In 2018, she was appointed by the Art Council as a member of the expert group for "touring activities". Since 2021 she has been an advisor to the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Program for Culture.

In 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing founded the "Hemsing Festival" with her sister Eldbjørg Hemsing, which the two have been running together ever since. The chamber music festival takes place every year in February in their hometown Aurdal/Valdres. In 2021 the festival will be made up in October after being cancelled in February. For more information, see: www.hemsingfestival.com.

Ragnhild Hemsing plays on a violin built by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1694) and a Hardanger fiddle previously played by the violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810-1880), dubbed the "Paganini of the North", both generously loaned by the Dextra Musica Foundation.


"A sound magic emanates from the interpretation, which one can hardly escape. A wonder world opens up here, into which one dives and hardly wants to be released again into the cool reality of existence."
Fono Forum, May 2022