Debut at Luzerner Sinfonieorchester on May 3rd 2024

Håvard Gimse


Håvard Gimse is one of the Nordic region’s most popular and significant concert- and recording artists. His highly personal sound of the instrument, his sympathetic approach and intelligent, investigative programming have led to numerous prizes and countless glowing reviews. He has received the Diapason d’Or and Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice accolades, among others for his recent recording together with the cellist Truls Mörk. Gimse’s playing is to be heard on recording labels like Naim Audio, Sony Classical, Chandos, Simax, Naxos, Lawo, Fabra and Alpha-Classics. His recordings of especially Nordic repertoire such as the complete piano music by Sibelius, or selected works by Grieg or Geirr Tveitt, have been described as “best on the market”. About Tveitt, Gimse has also been involved in reconstruction works from old live recordings by the composer, since many of these scores were lost in a tragic fire.

Wherever he plays, Håvard tries to bring music from his own area. In this respect many places in the world have experienced music by both well-known and unknown composers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Denmark for the first time through Håvard´s playing.

Håvard has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages including the Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brüssels, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Recital Hall in St Petersburg, the Suk Hall in Prague, and the Konzerthaus in Berlin. Most recently he performed in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester together with the Hallè Orchestra in Beethoven 5th, and in Oslo concert hall with the Oslo Phil doing Bartok. His performance and recording of the second piano concerto by Rachmaninoff with Maestro Petrenko during the pandemic, has been by far the most viewed video with Oslo Philharmonic to this date.

Alongside with all these big events, Håvard has since he was a boy kept up performing on lots of small, local venues. There might be no living classical artist in Norway who has been visiting so many corners of his own country, both as a soloist and as a co-musician. His long collaboration with the legendary violinist Arve Tellefsen has been an inspiration regarding this, and during the years Håvard has developed a highly interesting, broad profile performing with both folk musicians like the Hardanger fiddle player Knut Buen, the folk singer Arve Moen Bergset, the jazz saxophone player Bendik Hofseth or actors like Liv Ullmann and Lise Fjeldstad. Friends like the sculptor Nico Widerberg, and the author Levin Henriksen has also contributed to Gimse’s multifaceted work, which often is headed towards creating new audiences for music.

Håvard is now an honorary citizen of the little town of Kongsvinger (east of Oslo) where he was born and now lives together with his family. Here he started to play the piano when he was 6, and later studied in Oslo (prof Bratlie) followed by the Mozarteum Salzburg and the Hochschule der Künste Berlin with the legendary Hans Leygraf. His latest teacher has been the famous Czech-born pianist Jiri Hlinka.

Gimse’s victory and 1:st prize at the Jugend Musiziert Competition in Frankfurt in 1987 was the last competition he did, but the first in a string of major accolades to come his way. He won the Steinway Prize in 1995, the Grieg Prize in 1996, the Sibelius Prize in 2004, Norwegian Critics Prize for his performances of Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas with Truls Mörk at the 2011 Bergen International Festival, and just some months ago the “Lindeman Prize” which is considered to be the most important musical award in Norway.

In the Nordic countries, Håvard has performed as a concerto soloist with nearly all the major Scandinavian orchestras. Further afield he has performed with the Baltimore, the Atlanta, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, with the Royal Philharmonic in London and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, plus now recently with the Hallè Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio and Belgian National Philharmonic Orchestras.

In addition to performing as a soloist, Håvard has all his life been doing lots of chamber music. He has been heard in numerous chamber music festivals all over the world, performing together with many of today’s most important musicians. His experience from around 40 years on stage is highly appreciated by other musicians, and his ability to adopt to nearly all kinds of musical temperament is rare. He has been leading chamber music festivals both in Elverum and Fredrikstad (the Mozart Festival) and his nearly 30 years of contribution to the Oslo Chamber Music Festival has led to countless memorable concerts with world famous artists.

Håvard Gimse has since the late nineties been a part-time Professor of Piano and chamber music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and his students coming from all parts of the world are doing annual special projects consisting of deep diving in the piano music by one particular composer, performed in public concerts, whom have become popular also in the audiences.

In addition to this, Håvard is leading the national youth piano talent initiative, plus giving master classes for children at the Siljustøl Music Academy, in the home of the composer Harald Sæverud.

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