Ole Böhn, Violin

Norwegian violinist Ole Böhn has an extensive career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. In 1990, Ole Böhn performed the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s violin concerto with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He has premiered this concerto, which was written and dedicated to him, with major orchestras in Europe and the USA. His recording of the concerto on Virgin Classics was named one of the best recordings in 1992 by Gramophone. Fanfare magazine wrote in July 1993: “This version is Hall of Fame quality. Ole Böhn gives a heroic account of the soloist role. He has comfortably within his grasp all the difficult intervals and expressive resources and makes the music sing.” in 1994 this recording gave the composer the prestigious “Grammy Award” in the category “best contemporary composition”. After his concert with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1993 the Plain Dealer critic wrote: “Böhn gave a tour de force of the solo part, playing with intrepid power, crisp attack and sensuous detail.” describing the performance given by Ole Böhn at Carnegie Hall in 1992, David Schiff of the New York Times wrote: “Ole Böhn projects every nuance as a great dramatic singer.” After a New York recital in 1995, New York Times wrote: “Ole Böhn played throughout the evening with great authority and tireless delivery.” The Boston Phoenix wrote after his performance of the Kurt Weill concert in 2002: “Ole Bohn played the solo part beautifully.” The African Art Smart wrote after his performance of the Dvorak violin concerto with the KZN Philharmonic in Durban in 2005: “Ole Bohn has a dark and full sonority, as this work demands. In addition, he displayed well-balanced phrasing and nuances.” In 2008 David Hurwitz of Classicstoday wrote after Ole Böhn’s live recording of Roger Sessions’ violin concerto on Albany Records: the “Ole Böhn turns what must be a terribly difficult part to play into a remarkable and reliable performance. His sound remains warm and his tuning precise throughout his scale, and the jerky rhythms of the scherzo and Finale show no fear on his part”. Since his debut in 1969, Ole Böhn has played regularly with orchestras in Europe, the USA and South America. In 1983, he played for the People’s Republic of China. he has worked with conductors such as Moshe Atzmon, Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, Lukas Foss, Heinz Fricke, Michael Giehlen, Imre Pallo, Marek Janowski, Franz Welser-Möst, and Oliver Knussen. Ole Böhn’s repertoire is very varied and ranges from the baroque to the present day. His programmes are always innovative and exciting. Besides Elliott Carter, composers such as Niels Viggo Bentzon, Noel Lee, IB Nørholm, Pascal Dusapin, Saed Haddad and Arne Nordheim have written for him. Ole Böhn is a great advocate of 20th and 21st century music and has become one of the leading interpreters of contemporary American music in Scandinavia. As a chamber musician, Ole Böhn was for 12 years a member of the trio du Nord, which in 1975 won the UNESCO competition in Bratislava. From 1997-2001 he was first violinist of the Leonardo Quartet and first violinist and founding member of the Vigeland Quartet from 2004-2008. Mr. Böhn is a frequent guest at numerous chamber music festivals. He also gives a large number of recitals. As a teacher Böhn is widely recognised. His students come from all over the world and he teaches in seven languages. Many of his students have received international awards and won places in various leading orchestras in Europe, South America and the USA. In March 2009, Ole Böhn joined the faculty of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has taught at the Royal Danish Conservatoire and the Conservatoire of Music in Oslo. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the Norwegian State Academy of Music, the Gedai Institute in Tokyo and the University of Northern Illinois. He taught for several years at the Officina da musica in Curitiba, Brazil during their summer courses and has taught every year at the pro musica and CINVES Festival in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Since 2013 he is also on the faculty of FEMUSC in Brazil. In the spring semester 2005 he taught at the Oberlin Conservatory in the USA. Ole Böhn studied with Louise Behrend at the Juilliard School of Music, with Ernst Glaser in Oslo, Henry Holst at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, and with Max Rostal at the Statliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Ole Böhn lives partly in Sydney and in Oslo, Norway and is Concertmaster Emeritus of the Norwegian National Opera after having been First Concertmaster for 30 years. He has held the position of Concertmaster in the Copenhagen Symphony Orchestra and worked for shorter periods as Concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatro del Fenice in Venice, Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro, the Residentie orchestra in Den Haag, Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra, Bonn and the Hamburg State Opera. He is a commander of the order of the Norwegian Artists’ Association. In 2002, he became the first recipient of the “Fartein Valen” award given to a musician who has made an “outstanding contribution to the performance of Fartein Valen music and contemporary music in general “. The City of Oslo awarded Ole Böhn the “Bydelspris 2007” for his contribution to his municipality. In 2007, the Norwegian Opera Foundation awarded Ole Böhn the prestigious “Augusta Jerwell” award for his “outstanding contribution to the art of opera in Norway”. The “Association of the Friends of Norwegian Opera” gave Ole Böhn the “honorary award” in 2008. In 2012, Ole Böhn was made an honorary member of the organisation of Danish soloists and in 2013 he became an honorary member of the National Federation of Norwegian musical artists. Ole Böhn uses a violin made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in 1766 and a Pecatte Domenic bow which were acquired for his use by the Nordea bank of Norway.