About the festival

Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival and Lofoten Piano Festival, is arranged the second week in July,  alternating every second year. It is the same organisation promoting the two editions, but with different artistic directors.

The chamber edition is since the beginning in 2004 led by the Norwegian violinist and quartet primarius Arvid Engegård, a pupil of the great Sandor Vegh.

The piano edition came in 2014. The Norwegian pianist Christian Ihle Hadland is artistic director for the edition in 2020.

It came because of the many fine Steinway Concert grands that arrived the islands from 2006 – 2016, something quite unique for such a small, remote region.

With the lack of big halls, the concerts are held in many of the small and very charming churches on several islands. This creates an intimacy, rear in so many other festivals. The sceneries, the ocean and the 24 hour daylight is an essential part of the experience.

Our audience come from all Norway and many parts of the world, and many are very lojal, coming back year after year. This creates a familiar atmosphere.

Midnight sun at Gimsøy (photo: Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival)
View from Matmora, Laukvik (photo: Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival)

History

Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival.

The initiative for a chamber festival came in 2003. Two long time friends and soul mates, the violinist Arvid Engegård and the concert organiser Knut Kirkesæther decided to move on with this plan that went back to the eighties.

When the first artist accepted our invitation, the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, the rest was easy, and in the summer of 2004 the first festival took place with 8 concerts and 10 musicians. It was a huge success.

An international level was always our aim, and we are visited by names like Andras Schiff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Ingrid Fliter, Pavel Haas Quartet, Gould Piano Trio, Bertrand Chamayou, Arve Tellefsen, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, The Danish Quartet, Yulianna Avdeeva, Thomas Bauer (baryton), just to name a few.

In the years of 2010 – 2014 we also had a winter edition.

Each festival present around 15 – 20 artists and 15 – 20 concerts and lectures, and it normally last from Monday to Saturday.

The audience have grown steadily, and we are now visited by several groups from abroad. People find it a splendid opportunity to celebrate great music with some of the most beautiful sceneries in Europe, at a time of the year when the sun is never under the horizon.

Quatuor Danel string quartet plays in Lofoten Kulturhus 2017 (photo: Tom Helstad/Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival)
Engegård String Quartet plays concert in Lofoten Kulturhus 2017 (photo: Tom Helstad/Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival)

Lofoten Piano Festival

The piano is an essential part of the chamber music repertoire, and the pianists are always urged to play some solo. The two editions does not differ much as both has the aim to present the core repertoire in classical music from Bach to present time. But obviously, the piano edition has a greater focus on piano music, solo, four hands, two or even more pianos. Normally we also have a chamber orchestra during the piano edition, allowing us also to present piano concertos. All in all, the piano edition present an even broader repertoire.

The idea of the festival came already in 2010. A bit flabbergasted, we saw Steinway concert grands in all the four biggest islands, and because there is no other piano festival in Norway, we grabbed the idea eagerly.

With 25.000 inhabitants and with a total of nine Steinway pianos, the region of Lofoten is probably unique in the world.

The first edition came in 2014 with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as artistic director.

The interest for the piano edition is growing strongly, and the edition in 2018 was named the third best in Europe by the English magazine Pianist.

Artistic director Arvid Engegård during concert in Lofoten Kulturhus 2017 (photo: Tom Helstad/Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival)
Knut Erik Sundquist during concert in Lofoten Kulturhus 2017 (photo: Tom Helstad/Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival)

Kunstneriske ledere

Arvid Engegård

Arvid Engegård, Lofoten Internasjonale Kammermusikkfest

Arvid Engegård er kunstnerisk leder for Lofoten Internasjonale Kammermusikkfest. Han kommer fra Bodø, men bor i Oslo idag. Han utdannet seg i Trondheim, New York og Salzburg, der han hadde legendariske Sandor Vegh som lærer.

Han har hele livet hatt en spesiell interesse for kammermusikken, og var i 10 år primarius for Orlandokvartetten i Holland.

Under festivalens første utgave i 2004, møtte han musikere som straks etablerte seg i en ny kvartett, Engegårdkvartetten. Dette ensemblet nyter i dag internasjonal anerkjennelse og er svært etterspurt i hele Norden.

Kvartetten har siden etableringen vært det nærmeste man kan kalle et «husband» for festivalen, og er alltid sentral i programmet. Engegårdkvartetten har gjennom etableringen av Oslo Quartet Series bidratt til at strykekvartetten som ensemble har fått frisk vind i seilene.

I dag er Engegård også en mye brukt dirigent, der han gjerne får oppgaver innen det wienerklassiske repertoaret, et repertoar han behersker bedre enn noen i dette landet.

Christian Ihle Hadland

Christian Ihle Hadland, Lofoten Pianofestival 2020

Den norske pianisten Christian Ihle Hadland slo for alvor gjennom da han i 2011 ble valgt til BBC sin satsning BBC New Generation Artist. I denne rollen spilte han med alle de fem symfoniorkestrene som hører hjemme i BBC. Hans siste oppdrag i denne sammenhengen var å spille Beethovens andre pianokonsert med Oslofilharmonien under The Proms, verdens største musikkfestival i regi av nettopp BBC, der alle konserter overføres direkte på radio.

Hans konsertdebut kom med Kringkastingsorkesteret da han var 15, og han har i løpet av karrieren spilt med alle norske og de fleste nordiske orkestre.

For ulike innspillinger har han fått to Spelemannspriser og vært nominert til en annen.

Han har ved flere anledninger besøkt Lofoten Internasjonale Kammermusikkfest, blant annet under vår første utgave av pianofestivalen i 2016 og allerede året etter i kammerutgaven.

Han har siden 2010 vært kunstnerisk leder for kammerfestivalen i sin hjemby Stavanger.

6. - 12. juli 2020

Kunstnerisk leder: Christian Ihle Hadland