Since her childhood, violinist and Hardanger fiddler Ragnhild Hemsing has been deeply connected to the rich folk tradition of her home country Norway. As a result, she is uniquely able to successfully combine the typical elements of Norwegian folk music and classical music in a youthful, fresh and completely new way.
Born in Valdres in 1988, Ragnhild Hemsing began playing the violin at the age of five and the traditional Hardanger fiddle shortly afterwards. Later she studied at the Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo and with Professor Boris Kuschnir in Vienna. At only 14 years old, Ragnhild made her debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Since then, she has built an international career and brought the Hardanger fiddle to prominence outside Norway.
Ragnhild Hemsing's extensive repertoire of classical solo works for violin and lesser-known, complex works for the fiddle make her one of the most versatile musicians of our time.
In the 2023/2024 season, Ragnhild Hemsing will perform a wide range of programmes throughout Europe.
In October 2023, together with the Philharmonic Orchestra Regensburg, she will perform Concerto for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra No. 2 by Tveitt from her current album BRUCH + TVEITT at the Regensburg Theatre.
In addition, her concerts will take Hemsing to Katowice in Poland, where she will perform Grieg's Peer Gynt with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. She will also perform Glass' Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in the Grieghallen in Bergen.
Another highlight will be Hemsing's debut with the Brighton Philharmonic under the baton of young conductor Adam Hickoxim at the Brighton Dome in April 2024.
A tour with Trondheim Soloists will take the artist to Germany again with concerts in Munich and Fürth, among others. Together with the Württembergisches Orchester Reutlingen, Ragnhild Hemsing will be heard in Reutlingen and at the Gezeitenkonzerte in East Frisia.
In the field of chamber music, Ragnhild Hemsing will be heard in Germany with long-standing partners such as the cellist Benedict Klöckner and Bjarke Mogensen.
Last season Hemsing made her debut at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the MDR-Musiksommer, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Musée d'Orsay and the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal, among others, where she opened the season. On a tour of Germany with the Trondheim Soloists, she captivated audiences with Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites. Hemsing also returned to the USA and accepted the invitation from the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
She performed chamber music and solo with orchestra at the renowned Weilburger Schlosskonzerte and followed (re)invitations from the Nürnberg Symphoniker, the German Baroque Orchestra L'arte del Mondo, the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK), the Trondheim Soloists, the Kristiansand Orchestra and the Barokkanerne (Norwegian Baroque Ensemble).
Important debuts in recent years include concerts with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the MRD Symphony Orchestra (under Kristjan Järvi), the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra Freiburg, the Residence Orchestra The Hague, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (under Santtu-Matias Rouvali), the Belgian National Orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, as well as appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Risør Chamber Music Festival and the Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Concert Hall.
Her album Røta (= roots) with works by classical Norwegian composers and traditional folk music for violin and Hardanger fiddle received excellent reviews. "Almost too good to be true" is the verdict of journalist Stephan Bartels, and Alain Steffen writes in pizzicato: "Ragnhild Hemsing plays all the pieces with much love and care, technically flawless, but always in the spirit of traditional Norwegian music. The purity of the music and the meditative power, the richness of colour and the sparse but warm soul images set in as if by themselves, offering the listener an intense and truly beautiful listening experience [...]." Spring 2022 saw the release of her latest album, featuring Edvard Grieg's famous Peer Gynt Suite with the Trondheim Soloists. The newly commissioned arrangement for violin and Hardanger fiddle by Tormod Tvete Vik premiered at the Bergen International Festival in May 2021 and was euphorically received by audiences and the press. On the digital platforms Spotify and Apple Music, the album turned out to be a great success with high streaming numbers.
In early 2023, Hemsing released her album BRUCH + TVEITT on the Berlin Classics label, for which she recorded Bruch's Violin Concerto and Tveitt's Concerto for Orchestra and Hardanger Fiddle No. 2 together with Bergen Philharmonic.
In November 2023, Hemsing's fans can look forward to another album, which will again be released on the Berlin Classics label. The album VETRA will deal with compiled, as yet unknown and rarely played melodies and works from her homeland Valdres collected by Ludvig Mathias Lindeman in the 1800s, and will let this cultural heritage be heard in a modern way.
Her recording of Halvorsen's Fossegrimen op. 21 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Neeme Järvi (Chandos label) received great acclaim from the international press. Since this recording, the two have enjoyed a close working relationship. Among other things, Neeme Järvi invited the young artist to make her debut with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in February 2012. Ragnhild Hemsing's albums Northern Timbre (label: 2L) and YR with Tor Espen Aspaas also met with a very positive response from the press and the public.
The duo's latest CD, Beethoven's Testaments (2L), received rave reviews. "Although Beethoven can be played in many ways, I simply have to say that this is exactly the way Beethoven should be played," wrote Magnus Andersson on musikkritikk.no.
In October 2021, Ragnhild Hemsing received the prestigious Opus Classic Prize in the category Classical Music without Borders for her album Røta and also performed at the Gala of the Prize Winners on 10.10.2021 at the Konzerthaus Berlin, which was broadcast live on ZDF television.
After her successful debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn in 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing received the Beethoven Ring, which is awarded annually to a Beethovenfest artist by the association "Citizens for Beethoven". In 2018, she was appointed by the Art Council as a member of the expert group for "touring activities". Since 2021, she has been an advisor to the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Program for Culture.
In 2013, Ragnhild Hemsing founded the "Hemsing Festival" with her sister Eldbjørg Hemsing, which the two have been running together ever since. The chamber music festival takes place every year in February in their hometown Aurdal/Valdres. In 2021 the festival will be made up in October after being cancelled in February.
Ragnhild Hemsing plays on a violin built by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1694) and a Hardanger fiddle previously played by the violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810-1880), dubbed the "Paganini of the North", both generously loaned by the Dextra Musica Foundation.