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 centre-stage in the festival programme, inspired by the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival’s composer for 2017, 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 and 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 General Manager 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 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 Sally Beamish, our festival composer for 2017”, say Snøfugl and Tvete Vik (Artistic Director). 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 “At Home” 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 before, 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 Olavshall concert hall – backed by the full Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
As many as 19 works by this year’s festival composer, Sally Beamish, will be performed over the course of the festival week. Beamish will also be performing on viola and piano at the festival. She has recently returned to playing her viola, after a long break which followed the theft of her viola, on an instrument made by her daughter, Stephanie Irvine.
Beamish said: “I am thrilled to return to Trondheim. It is fantastic to have so many of my works programmed, and I feel very fortunate to work with these outstanding musicians.”
Among this year’s festival musicians are the Chilingirian Quartet, Trio Isimsiz, mezzo soprano Christianne Stotijn, cellist Øystein Sonstad, 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.
The 2017 Festival programme is on the Festival’s website: http://www.kamfest.no/en-gb