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Ragnhild Hemsing

Ragnhild Hemsing brings her Hardanger fiddle for Die Fledermaus in March here in Bergen.

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.

Hemsing is considered a highly versatile artist with an extensive repertoire on classical violin and lesser-known works for the Hardanger fiddle.

She has released albums such as Vetra (2023), Bruch + Tveitt (2023), Peer Gynt (2022), Røta (2021) and Beethoven's Testaments of 1802 (2020).

Her album Røta (= roots) is with works by classical Norwegian composers and traditional folk music for violin and Hardanger fiddle. The album Peer Gynt is 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.

In early 2023, Hemsing released her album Bruch + Tveitt on the Berlin Classics label, for which she recorded Bruch's Violin Concerto and Tveitt's Concerto for Orchestra and Hardanger Fiddle No. 2 together with Bergen Philharmonic.

On the same label, in November 2023, Hemsing released the newest album, Vetra, which deals with compiled, as yet unknown and rarely played melodies and works from her homeland Valdres collected by Ludvig Mathias Lindeman in the 1800s, and lets this cultural heritage be heard in a modern way.

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.

In October 2021, Ragnhild Hemsing received the prestigious Opus Classic Prize in the category Classical Music without Borders for her album Røta and also performed at the Gala of the Prize Winners on 10.10.2021 at the Konzerthaus Berlin, which was broadcast live on ZDF television.

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.

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.

At Bergen International Festival Mai 2024, Hemsing will be Artist in recidence, and will among several concerts also play Hardanger fiddle at the opening performance "Peer Gynt", with the famous music by Edvard Grieg.

Main sources: and Bergen International Festival

Published December 2023