Gisle Kverndokk – Composer of the year
Gisle Kverndokk studied composition at Norwegian Academy of Music and at The Juilliard School in New York. Together with the librettist Øystein Wiik, he has written several musicals and operas which have been produced in Norway, Germany, Austria and US. Their musical “Martin L.” (2008) was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize. Together with the librettist, Ivar Tindberg, Kverndokk has written several operas. Among these is the radio opera “Bokken Lasson – Sensible Progress”, which won Prix Italia 2000. Their musical “Ruth Maier” (2015) was played in New York and Washinton DC. The children’s opera “Purriot and the lost bronze horse”, libretto by Bjørn Rørvik premiered at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet in May 2018 and won the Critics Award for music the same year. Kverndokk has worked with all the great orchestras in Norway, and in 2000 he won composer of the year of Trondheim Orchestra. in 1992 he won the Juilliard Composers Competition, and in 1993 he won the first prize for composers under 30 years of age at Paris ROSTRUM. “Symphonic dances” written for Stavanger Symphony Orchestra was released by SSO Recordings in 2018 and was nominated for the Spellemann- and Grammy award. Gisle Kverndokk won “Author of the year” at the Norwegian Music Publishing Prize 2019 (Musikkforleggerprisen). We are very proud to present Gisle Kverndokk as this year’s composer at Nordic Song Festival 2020 and in 2021 in Trollhättan!
Eir Inderhaug has established herself as one of the leading Norwegian singers and distinguishes herself on opera stages around Europe. She has taken her education at Rogaland Music Conservatory, The Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen, and on the soloist class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Bernhard Greter is a Swedish/German freelance répétiteur and pianist based in Oslo, currently working for major and smaller Opera houses in Scandinavia, including the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in Oslo and Göteborgsoperan in Gothenburg. In addition Greter is frequently coaching singers, playing in masterclasses, competitions and playing concerts in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In 2019 Greter performed at Olavdagene, Nordic Masterclass, Nordic Song Festival, Queen Sonja International Music Competition and at numerous other occasions. Greter holds a Bachelor degree from Edsbergs Manor – Professor Mats Widlund and an Opera Répétiteur Master from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo – Professor Tore Dingstad.
Gitta-Maria Sjöberg – Soprano
Gitta-Maria Sjöberg is a Danish/Swedish opera singer with the stages of the world as her workplace. She is also a vocal coach and the creative director of Nordic Song Festival. The soprano Gitta-Maria Sjöberg was born and raised in Trollhättan and today she lives in Elsinore, Denmark after having worked 26 years as an opera soloist at The Royal Theater in Copenhagen. With her great vocal artistry, she has been an acclaimed guest soloist in many parts of the world, both in opera houses and in concert halls. She is even a sought-after vocal coach at various masterclasses at festivals and in music schools.
Jacob Lidåkra – Piano
Jacob Lidåkra had his debut in November 2016 at Musikverein in Vienna together with Barytone Kristian Lindroos and has performed at various festivals in Sweden as well as abroad. He is even a recurring artist and scholarship holder at The International Holland Music Sessions Festival and has been invited to play at several stages around the entire Netherlands. He won second prize and won a prize for the best contemporary work at Stockholm International Music Competition 2012, second prize in Ljunggrenish Competition (Ljunggrenska tävlingen) 2016 and was the sole winner of Yamahas scholarship competition in Finland 2017. In addition to his soloist career, for more than twelve years, he has worked intensively with singers and studied lied-duo under Martin Katz, Ralf Gothóni, and Anne-Sofie von Otter among others. He also participated in Nordic Song Festival 2018 and 2019. This has led him to play at many concerts in the North and Europe, and furthermore also led him to become a finalist together with the bass, Markus Suihkonen, at Helsinki Lied Competition 2015. During the fall of 2019, he was employed as an accompanist for a production of a concert at Ystad Theater together with promising young singers from Malmö Operastudio. Jacob has a master’s degree from The Sibelius Academy where he studied under prof. emerita Liisa Pohjola, but has also taken lessons with Dmitri Bashkirov, Angela Hewitt, and Fabio Bidini. Additionally, he was also a student at Lake Como International Piano Academy Summer School under Stanislav Loudenitch and William Naboré. In August 2018, Jacob was in Portland, Oregon where he participated in The Golandsky Institute’s Sommer Symposium to study The Taubman Method. This is something that exists almost exclusively in US, and he is one of the few people from Europe who studies it.
Olle Persson – Barytone
Olle Persson is a Swedish opera- and concert singer. He studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and aside from the diploma as a soloist singer, he also has a diploma as a music teacher- and vocal coach from this school. He is one of the most distinguished interpreters of the Romantic German lied repertoire and has performed many roles in operas at Folkoperan. Beyond traditional opera roles and a multitude of barytone parts in oratorios and passions, he has had larger parts in newly composed works. He is a frequent guest singer on both radio and television and appears on several recordings. Persson is pedagogically active and teaches masterclasses regularly around the North.
Mats Jansson – Piano
Mats Jansson has had and still has an extensive career as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist, and orchestral musician around Sweden, Europe, as well as US and Japan. He also teaches piano, chamber music and rehearsal studies.
Gjermund Larsen – National Folk Musician (Riksspelman)
Gjermund Larsen is a Norwegian folk musician (violinist) and composer, known from his performances in many orchestras and recordings. Larsen was educated at Ole Bull-Academy in Voss and studied Folk Music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo as well.
Runa Hestad-Jenssen – Soprano
Runa Hestad Jenssen’s passion is the voice. She is an educated singer and vocal coach from Barratt Due Music Institute and the Norwegian Academy of Music. She is a scholarship holder at Nord University and is working on her PhD “Vocal narratives” – the experience of vocal training with girls during puberty voice change. She also works as an active singer with a repertoire that spans from folk music to contemporary music.
Trygve Brøske – Piano and Pump Organ
Trygve Brøske is a Norwegian pianist and composer. He was a student to Henning Sommerro and has a varied range of works as a composer. His interest in cabaret/revue has, among other things, resulted in compositions and arrangements to the musical “Gro” at Trøndelag Theater.