Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud is Artistic Director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, with a tenure recently extended to 2020.
Henning’s extraordinary reach as an artist is a result of his versatility and passion for music, as well as the easy virtuosity and beauty of his performances. His teaching and educational writings provide fascinating insights into his approach to music-making, while his composing, arranging and improvising – frequently bringing his own works into the concert hall – recall the spirit of the old masters such as Fritz Kreisler and Eugène Ysaÿe. Alongside these talents is the genuine quality of Henning’s playing, and his ability to draw in listeners with an unusual sweetness of tone and naturally intelligent expression.
Henning is invited time and again to join many of the world’s most significant orchestras, this season including the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Los Angeles Chamber orchestras, as well as the Danish National Symphony and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Also this season he makes debuts with the Brussels Philharmonic and the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna, and performs with the China NCPA and Macao orchestras.
Henning is a prolific composer with more than 200 works to his name; among the ensembles that have commissioned or premiered his works are the Brodsky Quartet and Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, while the Britten Sinfonia gave the first performance of Henning’s The Last Leaf for violin and chamber orchestra in 2014. In the same year, Henning’s reputation as a composer was sealed by the premiere of Equinox: 24 Postludes in All Keys for Violin and String Orchestra.
This work was composed as a musical counterpart to a story specially written by world-famous author Jostein Gaarder, and has been hailed as “a fascinating composition to return to over and over again” (MusicWeb International).
At the 2016 Risør Chamber Music Festival, Henning gave the 21st century premiere of the Johan Halvorsen Violin Concerto with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. The work was originally premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic with Kathleen Parlow in 1909, and subsequently considered lost until its re-discovery over 100 years later. Henning gives further performances of the work this season with the Oslo and Bergen Philharmonic orchestras.
Henning regularly performs both on violin and viola at major festivals and venues; recent collaborations have taken place at Wigmore Hall, Bruges Concertgebouw and Berlin Konzerthaus, with artists such as Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell, Lawrence Power, Leif Ove Andsnes, Natalie Clein, Christian Poltéra and Jeremy Menuhin. This season, Henning performs with Imogen Cooper and Adrian Brendel at London’s Kings Place, and is featured at Budapest’s kamara.hu festival, Trondheim Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Chamber Music Festival. His regular recital partners include Christian Ihle Hadland, Håvard Gimse and Kathryn Stott.
Henning’s eclectic discography includes many recordings on the Naxos label, the most recent being Mozart Concertos Nos. 3, 4 and 5 with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, on a disc which includes Henning’s own cadenzas. The CD was chosen as Classic FM’s Album of the Week and NDR Kultur’s CD of the Week, recommended in The Strad, and featured on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review where it was hailed as “so alive with such engaging articulation”, as well as receiving critical acclaim in all the major written press.
In 2013, also on Naxos, Henning released Grieg’s three sonatas, arranged for violin and chamber orchestra by Henning and Bernt Simen Lund. For Simax, Henning has recorded the complete unaccompanied violin sonatas of Ysaÿe, on a disc which won the prestigious Spellemann CD award, and for the ACT label, he released a disc entitled Last Spring which explored improvisations on Norwegian folk music with jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft. Henning also appeared in a major television and cinema documentary about the Norwegian 19th century violin virtuoso and composer, Ole Bull, and received the Ole Bull Prize in 2007.
Born in Oslo in 1973, Henning studied with Camilla Wicks and Emanuel Hurwitz. He is a recipient of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize and in 2007 was awarded the Sibelius Prize for his interpretations and recording of Sibelius’ music around the world. Henning is a Professor at the Barratt Due music conservatoire in Oslo, where he play/directs the Oslo Camerata. As from September 2015, he is International Chair in Violin at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Henning Kraggerud plays on a 1744 Guarneri del Gesù, provided by Dextra Musica AS. This company is founded by Sparebankstiftelsen DNB.