artist portrait ANNAR FOLLESØ
Annar Follesø studied at Barratt Due Musikkinstitutt in Oslo and at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. In addition to his violin studies with Mauricio Fuks in Bloomington, he studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie and chamber music with György Sebök and Leonard Hokanson, among others.
Follesø has recorded three CDs for the record label 2L, the most recent being world premiere recordings of the violin concertos by "the Scandinavian Paganini", Ole Bull (1810-1880). A collaboration with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra conducted by Ole Kristian Ruud, this CD was released in March 2010. The release has received superb reviews, and the Grieg Society of Great Britain has conferred on the recording its "Record of the Year" award. The disc has been widely broadcast, and in September 2010 the entire CD was aired by BBC 3 as part of their five-programme traversal of Ole Bull and his times. The Yehudi Menuhin Competition, held in Oslo in April 2010, purchased the CD as a gift to its participants, jury and guests. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has purchased a large volume of the disc for distribution to all of its foreign stations. Follesø has in this anniversary year championed Ole Bull extensively on the concert stage, and delighted audiences in cities like London, Bergen, Oslo, Stockholm and Lviv with this virtuosic and beautiful music.
In 2005 Follesø released a CD in collaboration with pianist Christian Ihle Hadland and clarinetist Björn Nyman. This record, comprised of works by Bartók, was received with equal enthusiasm as the Bull release. John Marks in Stereophile named it "…one of the most attractive Bartók releases I have come across in years". Elaine Fine, American Record Guide: "This is a wonderful recording. All the playing is superb."
Annar Follesø has toured and given concerts in the USA, People's Republic of China, Russia, France, Austria and South Korea, among others. He has worked with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Eivind Gullberg Jensen and Ole Kristian Ruud. In 1998 Follesø became the first Norwegian violin soloist to perform at the Salzburg Festival, after being awarded the violin prize at the International Summer Academy for his interpretation of the Bartók solo sonata. Together with Wolfgang Plagge he is artistic director of the Sunnmøre Chamber Music Festival.
"When I perform it is essential for me to achieve a sense of direct communication with the audience, in the form of a sincere, real-time, spontaneously inflected exploration of the musical landscape. For this to be possible it will be necessary for me to have attained a strong sense of the emotional, stylistic, and structural properties of the music. This approach is one that I also try to bring with me in the recording situation." - Annar Follesø
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