In connection with the Lofoten Piano Festival 2022, a separate quartet seminar for young string quartets will be introduced. The seminar is held in Henningsvær, but the quartets also get their own concerts during the festival.
The first quartet seminar is led by the Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis. She is well known as part of the string quartet Vertavo. In addition to teaching at the Norwegian Academy of Music, she is also a mentor and engine for the Norwegian quartet community. She therefore also has a good overview of young string quartets both inside and outside Norway.
The string quartets that come to the seminar in Lofoten are all at a young age, but already at full speed into robust careers. The seminar aims to develop the musicians, but also help the quartets further. The environment in Henningsvær is seen as a perfect platform for both competence and network.
– Bjørg will have daily classes with the quartets where they receive professional follow-up. In addition, the quartets will be part of the environment during the festival. We eat, travel, and play together for a whole week. For the quartets, this is also a genuine opportunity to present themselves, make contacts, and not least develop, says general manager Knut Kirkesæther.
The Lamborghini of classical music
Although the festival has always had string quartets at the center of the program, the quartet form is increasingly heard. It challenges the audience, performers and composers in a completely different way than much other music.
– The string quartet represents the best way to produce music in collaboration. In a good quartet, all the musicians are at the soloist level, at the same time as they can never appear as soloists. They produce the muscles of an orchestra while having the ease of a soloist. A bit like a lively Lamborghini, Kirkesæther smiles.
This is perhaps also the reason why quartet music is often the greatest written by our leading composers.
An investment for the younger ones
Already in 2019, the festival audience became acquainted with the young string quartet Sonoro. This was in many ways the start of what will now be a new integrated venture during the festival.
It is also no coincidence that it is precisely quartets that are in the spotlight. More and more young people are applying for, or starting their own quartets. Only in Norway has the Oslo Quartet Series proved that the string quartet is on the rise – and the quality comes next.
– Although we will always need good soloists and good orchestra musicians, the quartet form is increasingly emerging as an attractive alternative in between. Here, each performer is a soloist, at the same time as high demands are placed on interaction, Kirkesæther explains.
Seminar starts at the same time as the festival where the first seminar day is already Monday 11. July. In addition to seminar programs during the day, shorter concerts are arranged where the audience can also get to know them well.