Trondheim chamber music festival 24.-30. September 2018

Program Competition

Festival Composer 2018: Michel van der Aa

The Scandinavian premiere of the world's first 3D Opera!

The Festival Composer of this year´s Trondheim Chamber Music Festival is Michel van der Aa from Holland. As well as composing, he has studied sound engineering and film directing.Van der Aa is an artist who works on the cutting edge of sound, between acoustic and electronic, live and recorded. He creates multimedia works in which music and video join in a creative synthesis the likes of which has never been seen before!

The Trondheim Chamber Music Festival will feature nine works by van der Aa spread over six concerts, one of which will be a concert devoted only to van der Aa´s work. Here we will hear the Finnish clarinet virtuoso Kari Kriikku playing Hysteris (2013), for clarinet and Sinfonietta. Another highlight of the program is Up-close (2010) for cello, strings and film, which will be performed by Fredrik Schøyen Sjølin, the cellist from the Danish String Quartet together with the Trondheim Soloists.

The Chamber Opera Blank Out, from 2016, is festival composer Michel van der Aa´s most ambitious and exciting work, written for soprano (live), baritone (film), chamber choir (recorded) and electronic music. The opera´s scenic landscape is created using hi-tech surround soundtrack and 3D film projection.

The opera's libretto is built on texts from the South African poet Ingrid Jonker. this deeply moving story is about a grown man who must confront his childhood trauma. Van der Aa uses music, newly developed techniques and interactive 3D film to explore the way in which we humans can reconstruct memories and deal with traumatic events from the past. Blank Out has received rave reviews, including in the New York Times with the title «High Tech meets High Art in a 3D Opera». After sold out performances in New York last autumn, the opera will now have its Scandinavian premiere at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival.

Works by van der Aa to be played at the festival

For the Time Being (2012-17)
Christianne Stotijn, mezzo soprano
Malin William-Olsson, violin
R Stotijn, double bass
Trygve Brøske, piano

Up-close, for cello, strings and film (2010)
Fredrik Schøyen Sjølin, cello
Trondheim Soloists, leader Geir Inge Lotsberg

Spaces of Blank (2007)
Christianne Stotijn, mezzo soprano
Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, cond. Anna-Maria Helsing

Transit, for piano and film (2009)
Trygve Brøske, piano

Mask (2006)
Trondheim Sinfonietta, cond. Anna-Maria Helsing

Hysteresis (2013)
Kari Kriikku, clarinet
Trondheim Sinfonietta, cond. Anna-Maria Helsing

Quadrivial (1997)
Students from NTNU (Norwegian University of Technology and Science)

Blank Out (2016)
Miah Persson, soprano + 3D video

Memo, for violin and portable cassette recorder (2003)
Colin Scobie, violin (violinist from Maxwell String Quartet)

Festival memories Maxwell Quartet winner of 9th Trondheim Competition Talent Michael Grolid Interview with Sally Beamish Donald tweeting from inside the wolf Kaleidoscope Trondheim is getting ready for performance What is the sound of Trondheim Chamber Music Festival The 2017 program has been released!

Festival memories

The festival video is finally here - with lovely memories from the last 7 years. Join us for a stroll down memory lane!


Maxwell Quartet winner of 9th Trondheim Competition

The Final rounds of the 9th TICC competition was held Saturday 30 September in the Freemasons Hall in Trondheim, Norway. The Scottish Maxwell Quartet won the competiton with festival engagements and 15 000 €. As well as convincing the jury, the quartet also won the audience prize, and are invited back to next year’s festival as festival artists.

Omer Quartet came second and won the Knut Lund prize of 10 000€, and joint third prize went to Esmé Quartet and Simply Quartet who will share the Kaare Opdal prize of 5 000€. Part of the prize is also a print by Norwegian artist Magne Furuholmen.

Jury chairman Levon Chilingirian was impressed by all the seven quartets level of playing.

 Chilingirian was thrilled with the musicianship of the first prize winner.

- This is like a dream come true, says the Maxwell Quartet, who are thrilled to come back to Trondheim next year.


Talent Michael Grolid

Michael Grolid is a great talent both on viola and as a composer, and this week, he has been an important part of Trondheim Chamber Music Festival. Meet Michael in this video!


Interview with Sally Beamish

We interviewed this year's festival composer, Sally Beamish, to hear her thoughts on the festival.


Donald tweeting from inside the wolf

Thursday, Wolfgang Plagge's new version of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf - Peter and the Wolf(gang) - was well received by the audience at Dokkhuset. After the concert, our panel discussed music and politics.


Kaleidoscope Trondheim is getting ready for performance

This year, Kaleidoscope Trondheim is playing in the great hall in Olavshallen, and are performing with no less than Trondheim Symphony Orchestra!


What is the sound of Trondheim Chamber Music Festival

We challenged folk singer Unni Boksasp to find the sound of Trondheim Chamber Music Festival. She teamed up with Trygve Brøske, and here you can hear the result!


The 2017 program has been released!

With a night time concert in Nidaros Cathedral and Tyrolean music at the new Heidi’s Bier Bar at the Solsiden concert venue, a breadth of musical experiences is assured at this year’s Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, running from 26 September to 1 October. Folk music is also at centre-stage in the festival programme, inspired by the British festival composer Sally Beamish.

The Nordic Brass Ensemble is a mainstay both in the Cathedral and at the beer bar. The ensemble brings together outstanding brass musicians from symphony orchestras and wind ensembles across Scandinavia. It tours Europe regularly. Its repertoire ranges from early to contemporary music – including Tyrolean music! In Nidaros Cathedral the ensemble’s brass will ring together with organ pipes – with Erling Aasgård in the organ seat.

“Ever since it started in 1993, the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival has aspired to expand the genre’s space, tear down walls and dismantle prejudices. The concert at our new neighbour Heidi’s Bier Bar at Solsiden is a case in point”, says festival director Vegar Snøfugl. First-class brass ensembles are generally a key feature of the Oktoberfest in Germany. This autumn you need go no further than Heidi’s Bier Bar to experience one of the best.

Music discussion also features on the festival programme. Wolfgang Plagge has devised a new version of Prokofiev’s well-known fairy tale Peter and the Wolf, “Peter and the Wolf(gang)”. Plagge offers an insight into Prokofiev’s implicit social criticism and draws links to contemporary social discourse. After the concert Anne Grosvold leads a discussion at the Dokkhuset concert venue on music’s place in today’s society. Should music provoke and incite debate, or merely please and entertain?

The premiere of a brand new work, Chrysillis, by Henning Sommerro is on the programme. Chrysillis was written for the Scottish folk musicians Chris Stout and Catriona McKay and the Trondheim Soloists, and contains elements of both folk music and improvisation. A musical voyage of discovery in the footsteps of the forebears of the well-known hymn composer Thomas Kingo, from Scotland via Denmark to Sunndal (a rural community neighbouring Surnadal, from which Sommerro hails).

“Our decision to place folk music in such a prominent position on this year’s programme was also inspired by our British festival composer, Sally Beamish”, say Snøfugl and Tvete Vik. Beamish has lived for a long time in Scotland and often turns to Scottish folk music as a source of inspiration for her works. The Stout/McKay duo are central performers, but Norwegian folk musicians also feature. Among them is the singer Unni Boksasp from Nordmøre with her ensemble who offer an intriguing concert performance entitled Opus 72017.

Four years ago the Festival launched a successful series of “Home with”-concerts. This year there are more than ever: a total of eight concerts in private homes and in the homes of some of the Festival’s mainstays. This year, as previously, people can apply to have a concert arranged in their own home, and the “prize” is nothing less than violinist Marianne Thorsen who – together with harpist Ruth Potter, Sigmund Tvete Vik (violin), Ole Wuttudal (viola) and Marianne Baudouin Lie (cello) – will play pieces ranging from enchanting romantic works to a Scottish-inspired string quartet by festival composer Beamish.

In 2012 the Festival took the initiative to bring the multicultural project “Kaleidoscope” to Trondheim. The performances have enthused and moved audiences. This year Kaleidoscope gets a solid “boost” by relocating from the 356-seated Lille Sal venue to the 1212-seated Olavshallen concert hall – backed by the full Trondheim Symphony Orchestra!

As many as 19 works by this year’s festival composer will be performed over the course of the festival week. Among this year’s festival musicians are the Chilingirian Quartet, Trio Isimsiz, mezzo soprano Christianne Stotijn, cellist Øystein Sonstad, fiddler Susanne Lundeng, the Trondheim Soloists, the Royal Air Force Band and actress Marianne Meløy.

The Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition (TICC) will be held in parallel with the Festival. Ten young string quartets from across the world have been selected, after auditioning, to participate in September; all the more delightful that the Atem String Quartet from Norway is one of them!

Take a peak in our festival program magazine by clicking here.

You can buy tickets through our program page or you can use this page.