Lofoten Piano Festival

As a subsidiary festival of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, the Lofoten Piano Festival aims to bring a varied program with the piano in focus – performed by international artists at a high level – to the whole of Lofoten.

Lofoten Piano Festival saw its light in 2014 as Norway’s only piano festival. With the same artistic level as the mother festival, the festival has in a short time become a recognized piano festival among other major European piano festivals.

Lofoten Piano Festival and Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival are held every other year.

High density of grand pianos in Lofoten

When Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival arranged its first festival in 2004, there was not a single grand piano to be found in Lofoten. Already in 2007, the first Steinway & Sons came to Buksnes Church in Gravdal. The festival has been an important driving force for the total of 10 Steinway & Sonsin Lofoten today. Steinway & Sons has a long historyand makes instruments professional pianists are used to playing. The quality is the same as in the largest and most famous concert venues in the world.

Norway’s first piano festival

With all the grand pianos in Lofoten, it was very natural to start a piano festival. Not least since Norway at the time did not have a festival with this profile. As a subsidiary festival of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, the Lofoten Piano Festival has in a short time received great recognition, also internationally. Just before the opening in 2018, the magazine Pianist ranked the festival as the third best in Europe, over several large prestigious festivals.

The Lofoten Piano Festival is largely conducted in the same way as the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. The biggest difference is the focus on the piano in the program. Here, there are concerts for up to four concert grand pianos at the same time.

Lofoten Piano Festival collaborates with Steinway Prize Winner Concerts.

New artistic directors

Lofoten Piano Festival has no permanent artistic director, unlike Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. For the first two years, it was Jean-Efflam Bavouzet who had the artistic responsibility. In 2018, the festival was under the artistic direction of Bertrand Chamayou. Artistic director for Lofoten Piano Festival 2020 was the Norwegian pianist Christian Ihle Hadland.

Due to covid-19, the festival was canceled in 2020.

Christian Ihle Hadland | Artistic director 2020

The Norwegian pianist Christian Ihle Hadland really broke through when he was selected for the BBC’s initiative BBC New Generation Artist in 2011. During this period he played with all five symphony orchestras belonging to the BBC. His last assignment in this context was to play Beethoven’s second piano concerto with the Oslo Philharmonic during The Proms, the world’s largest music festival under the auspices of the BBC, where all concerts are broadcast live on radio.

His concert debut in Norway was with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation when he was 15 years old, and during his career he has played with all Norwegian and most Nordic orchestras. For various recordings he has received two Spelemannspris and been nominated for another.

He has on several occasions visited the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, including our first edition of the piano festival in 2016 and already the following year in the chamber edition.

Since 2010, he has been the artistic director of the chamber festival in his hometown of Stavanger.