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Marianne Thorsen - Violin

'Beautifully sculpted phrasing, but she soon lets rip with broad G-string melodies dripping in luscious vibrato'

The Strad

Marianne Thorsen has established herself as one of Norway's leading violinists, recently performing with ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Royal Danish Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.  In her homeland, she plays regularly with the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony, Stavanger Symphony and the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestras. 

Next season, Marianne will perform the Svendsen Concerto with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) in October (to be broadcast live on NRK, Norway's national radio); and Thorsen makes her debut at Spectrum Concerts Berlin, at Berlin's Philharmonie in May 2015.  This season's highlights included Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 with TrondheimSolistene (at Tonsberg Cathedral, Norway) and the Haffner Orchestra (Lancaster); and Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Bristol Ensemble.  In September 2013, Marianne appeared as soloist with TrondheimSolistene at the opening concert of the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival: Auerbach's Sogno di Stabat Mater (with Thomas Riebl) following on from chamber music performances at the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival.

The 2012/13 season's highlights included Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Trondheim Symphony / Urbanski (with Tor Espen Aspaas and Tim Hugh), Halvorsen's Three Norwegian Dances with the Trondheim Soloists at Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden, Røros, a new CD recording of Svendsen's Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic conducted by Neeme Järvi which was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy / Spellemannsprisen nomination (The Strad wrote: "Thorsen's sweet-toned purity, ringing intonation and beguiling espressivo prove ideal for the composer's essentially gentle inspiration - Svendsen could hardly wish for a more sympathetic and persuasive exponent than Thorsen"); and Marianne headlined the Genius of Mozart Festival in Galway, Ireland, and performed at the Bergen International Festival alongside Truls Mørk and Christian Ihle Hadland.

Marianne has won many international competitions including, most notably, the 2003 Sion International Violin Competition.  She studied with György Pauk at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded the DipRAM, the Academy's highest award for performance.

Marianne Thorsen enjoys a regular collaboration with the Trondheim Soloists, with whom she recently toured and recorded Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos 3, 4 and 5 for 2L Recordings to great critical acclaim: the disc was awarded the Norwegian Spelleman Prize.  Another recording for 2L (Ståle Kleiberg's Violin Concerto with the Trondheim Symphony and dedicated to Thorsen) received a Grammy nomination in 2010.  2011 - 2012 saw the release of four CDs of music by Halvorsen and Svendsen on the Chandos label, with Thorsen as soloist alongside the Bergen Philharmonic conducted by Neeme Järvi. 

In 2004, Thorsen gave the world premiere, with the Trondheim Symphony, of a violin concerto dedicated to her by the Norwegian composer Ketil Hvoslef.  A subsequent performance in 2005, with the Oslo Philharmonic under Vassily Sinaisky, was broadcast on national Norwegian television (NRK).

As a chamber musician, Marianne Thorsen has performed with such eminent artists as Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk, Pascal Rogé and the Norwegian pianist Håvard Gimse, with whom she recorded for Simax Classics.  She was a founder member of the Leopold String Trio, with whom she performed extensively at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and Wigmore Hall, as well as at the Edinburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals (live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3).  The Trio has recorded numerous CDs for Hyperion to great critical acclaim, including the complete Beethoven string trios and Schubert's Trout Quintet, as well as the Mozart piano quartets with Paul Lewis and the complete Brahms piano quartets with Marc-André Hamelin.

In 2000, Marianne was appointed Leader of the internationally renowned Nash Ensemble of London, with whom she appears and broadcasts frequently at the major British and International music festivals, at London's South Bank Centre, the BBC Proms and as part of a regular series at Wigmore Hall. 

In 2009, Marianne Thorsen was invited to become Artistic Director of the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden Music Festival in Røros, Norway.  In March 2013, Marianne completed her fifth and final year in the role of Artistic Director in the highly successful 15th anniversary Vinterfestspill, with performances broadcast on national Norwegian radio.

In 2006, Thorsen was appointed Professor at the Institute of Music at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.


'Dazzlingly violinistic and brilliantly played' 

The Sunday Times 

'Engagingly fleet-fingered, sweet-toned, mellifluous performances, topped off with perfect cadenzas'

Classic FM Five Stars

(Mozart Concertos CD)

'Masterly playing, impeccably phrased and articulated'

International Record Review




Alasdair Strange


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