A champion of Norway's rich musical tradition, Eldbjørg Hemsing has been a household name in her native country since childhood and made her solo debut with the Bergen Philharmonic at the age of 11. After winning various international competitions and prizes at the age of 18, she received a flood of invitations to perform but decided instead to travel to Vienna for further intensive studies with Boris Kuschnir, during which time she fine-tuned her performance-style and absorbed a wide-range of repertoire ranging from Bach, Beethoven, Bartok to Tan Dun. Together with Tan Dun she has collaborated on numerous projects in both Europe and Asia and has most recently premiered and recorded composer’s new violin concerto “Fire Ritual – A Musical Ritual for Victims of Wars”, together with the Oslo Philharmonic.
In March 2018 Eldbjørg Hemsing released her debut CD on the Swedish label, BIS, featuring violin concertos by Hjalmar Borgström and Dmitri Shostakovich, recorded with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Olari Elis.
Introducing the album Eldbjørg wrote: ”A few years ago, I was introduced to the music of Hjalmar Borgström, a name I was not previously familiar with and I was surprised to learn that he had been famous as both a composer and critic in Norway at the beginning of the 20th century. Opening the score of his first violin concerto for the first time I was immediately intrigued. This concerto, written in 1914, is incredibly beautiful, full of Norwegian Nationalist sentiment so typical of its time but also worthy of international attention. It reminds me of where I come from - the rugged landscape of Valdres and Jotunheimen, where the surrounding mountains rise dramatically over the valleys - and the music makes me yearn for my roots. After Borgström’s death in 1925 the concerto was completely forgotten and so today I am on something of a mission to help do my part in bringing this composer’s music back to life.”
Her debut album was followed in the autumn of 2018 by a recording of Dvořák’s Violin Concerto and Suk’s Fantasy and Love Song with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Alan Buribayev. She is also the subject of an upcoming documentary directed by David Donnelly, focusing on women in classical music. This new venture follows the award winning success of the 2010 NRK film in which Eldbjørg and her sister Ranghild explored the life of Norway’s legendary violinist, Olle Bull.
Her upcoming engagements in the 2018 / 19 season include her début with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filharmónica Portuguesa and Orchestra de Valéncia, as well as her re-engagements with amongs others Oslo Philharmonic, Shenzhen Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic. Eldbjørg Hemsing is also making her recital début at the Lincoln Center in New York, Abu Dhabi Classics, recital tour in Europe and Asia with Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski and Julien Quentin. As part of her 2018 Artist in Residency at the Stormen Concert Hall in Bødo (Norway), she is returning for a series recitals and performances with the Arctic Philharmonic.
In addition to a busy performance schedule, Eldbjørg Hemsing is actively involved in societal projects close to her values. In response to the outbreak of the refugee crisis, she became an ambassador for the German music education project CJD Panorama, a music program aimed at assisting children from minority backgrounds in society integration. In January 2018 Eldbjørg Hemsing appeared as a speaker at the launch of W20 – Women in Global Heath in Berlin, emphasizing the role of music in public health. She has also been a keynote speaker at the Abu Dhabi Culture Summit 2018 and Arts & Audience 2017´s “Young Audiences” conference.
Eldbjørg Hemsing plays a 1754 G. B. Guadagnini violin on kind loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation. Her long-term artistic development is generously supported by Göhde Foundation.