is now firmly established as one of Norway’s leading musicians with a bold and expansive repertoire, including an impressive list of 30 performed piano concertos, he is heavily in demand as both soloist and chamber musician and his vast experience means he is also the accompanist of choice to many of Scandinavia’s finest artists.
After gaining his Diploma at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin in 1995 with Hans Leygraf, he continued his studies with the revered piano Professor Jiri Hlinka in Norway. He is the recipient of 1st Prize in the Jugend Musiziert Competition from 1987, and since then has been awarded many of Norway and Scandinavia’s most prestigious awards including the Steinway Prize in 1995, the Grieg Prize in 1996, the Sibelius Prize in 2004 and most recently the Norwegian Critics Prize for his performances of all of Beethoven´s Cello Sonatas with Truls Mørk at the Bergen International Festival in 2011.
Håvard’s great affinity with Scandinavian, and particularly Norwegian music, means he has become one of the arenas most influential and significant recording artists. His sympathetic approach and intelligent partnering of lesser known Scandinavian and Norwegian works, arrangements and composers always receive unanimously superb reviews and prizes including Diapson d’Or and Gramophone’s Critics Choice, encouraging and creating new and enthusiastic audiences. His most recent recordings include discs of Schubert and Schumann with Henning Kraggerud for NAIM, which was nominated for the Spellemanpris (the Norwegian Grammy) in 2011 and his recording of Grieg pieces with Truls Mørk. Recent solo discs include repertoire by Chopin and Grieg for NAIM, Sibelius, Grieg and Tveitt for Naxos and Grieg Violin Sonatas for Sony, and his concerto discs include all five of the 5 Tveitt Piano Concertos for Naxos, Grieg with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and he will record Poulenc’s Double Concerto with Christian Ihle Hadland with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in January 2011. In December 2012 he released "Arvesylv" on Fabra Records, containing works by Tveitt, Sæverud and Mørk Karlsen.
As a concerto artist, Håvard Gimse has performed extensively throughout Scandinavia, with recent and future invitations from the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Norrkoping Symphony. Further afield he has performed with the Baltimore and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Frankfurt Radio the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Belgian National Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2013 Håvard will, among other things, be the solo pianist of the ballet performance "Spring Fever" at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, and he will also perform with orchestras in Bonn, Kristiansand, Oslo and Trondheim, as well as attending chamber music festivals in Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo.
Håvard Gimse has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages including the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brüssels, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Recent solo appearances include the Recital Hall in St Petersburg, Suk Hall in Prague, and the Konzerthaus in Berlin. Recent partnerships include appearances with Truls Mørk across Spain, Italy and Germany, Berlin Konzerthaus and Carnegie Hall with Tine Thing Helseth, recitals in Germany with Alina Pogotskina and the Wigmore Hall with Marianne Thoresen.
In Norway he is in continual demand for his themed recital programmes with musicians, actors and other artists. He has just completed a highly successful tour throughout the whole country performing a programme of Ole Bull’s music in his 200 year anniversary with the eminent Norwegian violinist Arve Tellefsen.
He was Artistic Director of the Elverum Festival and now sits on the Artistic Board of the Oslo Chamber Music festival. He performs regularly at all of the Norwegian festivals including the Bergen, Trondheim, Oslo, Risør and Stavanger Chamber Music Festivals where he is called upon to perform varied and extensive programmes with many combinations of artists.
Born in Kongsvinger, about an hour drive east from Oslo, Håvard is the middle child of 3 brothers, his younger brother being a cellist and Artistic Director of the Trondheim Soloists. Håvard Gimse combines his hectic concert schedule with a Professorship at the Oslo Music Conservatoire as well as giving regular master classes across Norway and beyond. Håvard’s high level of artistry, broad experience, easy going and positive nature means his creative output has a significant and far reaching effect on audiences both at home in Norway and abroad.