MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-One of Scandinavia’s brightest young stars, Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud, will light up the concert stage at Middlebury College with an evening of sonatas for violin and piano at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10, in the Concert Hall at the Center for the Arts. The Middlebury program will include all three of Brahms’ sonatas for violin and piano. Kraggerud will be accompanied by pianist Helge Kjekshus, with whom he frequently tours.
Following their Middlebury concert, the two musicians will travel to Washington, D.C., to play a recital in honor of the lighting of a Christmas tree at the Norwegian Embassy.
Fast becoming a leading international soloist, the 31-year-old Kraggerud has received acclaim for performances with the Oslo Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Prague Symphony. His United States debuts have included recitals in Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, New York, and San Francisco.
Following his Kennedy Center debut, a Washington Post critic wrote: “Kraggerud’s tone is warm, precisely focused and capable of an expressive variety of colors. . He shapes his phrases with mastery. Most important of all, he acts not as a nimble young hustler, but as a servant to the music.”
Born in Oslo in 1973, Kraggerud studied with Camilla Wicks and Emanuel Hurwitz and now teaches at the Barratt-Dues music conservatory. This year, he was appointed artist-in-residence at the Bergen International Music Festival where he performed recitals, chamber music, and concertos.
In building his young career, Kraggerud has shunned the competition circuit for a regular pace of recitals, festivals and orchestral appearances. The result has been a satisfying introduction to audiences around the world. In 2000, the Scotsman heralded Kraggerud’s Mozart performance in Glasgow as “Norse vigour with an air of mischief.” The Irish Times called him “free-thinking, imaginative,” and the Daily Telegraph of London declared him “exceptionally gifted.”
Recent debuts included engagements with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In the U.S., he has performed recently with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Winner of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize, Kraggerud is also hailed as a fine composer and is known for his improvisations, sometimes on the viola. He is a committed chamber musician and regularly plays at festivals, where he enjoys collaborating with other artists.
Kraggerud has recorded two critically acclaimed CDs for Naxos-the Grieg Violin Sonatas with pianist Kjekshus and a set of Norwegian pieces for violin and orchestra.
This concert program is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.
The Middlebury College Center for the Arts is located on South Main Street (Route 30). Reserved seating tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. For tickets or information, contact the College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or www.middlebury.edu/arts.
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