February 2011. A group of classical musicians fromNorwayis back at theStaplesCenterinLos Angeles, sharing the red carpet with the greatest names in musical entertainment. They’re not from a powerhouse orchestra inOsloorBergen, but from a picturesque town hemmed in by mountains and a fjord. They’re the Trondheim Soloists under artistic director Øyvind Gimse, accepting their fifth Grammy nomination in three years.
It’s the latest in a long list of accolades. The ensemble’s spirit, diligence and innovation are paying off again – this pure, lithe, unpredictable and idiosyncratic group fast building a reputation for quality and originality.
It started in 1988. The ensemble for training young string players soon became known for its energy and warmth. On its first foreign tour,Londonaudiences wouldn’t stop clapping. The Trondheim Soloists turned professional, but the spirit of apprenticeship stayed: student musicians became part of its constitution.
Major collaborations followed. Anne-Sophie Mutter sought-out the ensemble’s energy and verve. Leif Ove Andsnes tapped into its smoothness and sensitivity. Folk and rock artists discovered its versatility and openness.
Today the orchestra revels under Øyvind – a musician with the enthusiasm of a teenager and the brain of a virtuoso. He has tapped into ensemble’s lifeblood of youth and discovery. He has pushed the boundaries of its repertoire and taken it around the world. The founding vision of violinist Bjarne Fiskum remains, but now the Trondheim Soloists are heard inNew YorkandBeijing,London,BerlinandCape Town.
Trondheim, though, always shines through. They call it ‘the city with a heart’. And that’s precisely what you hear in the unmistakeableTrondheimsound.