Leif Arne Pedersen, born 1964 in Porsgrunn, is principal clarinet of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has held since 1990. Pedersen studied with Knut Henriksen, Bendt Neuchs Sørensen in Copenhagen, and Larry Combs in Chicago. In 1987, after having performed for two years with the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces, he was hired as co-principal clarinet of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He joined the OPO as co-principal clarinet in 1988. In 1996 Pedersen and the Oslo Philharmonic premiered Rolf Wallin’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, for which the composer received the Nordic Council Music Prize.
Pedersen’s orchestral solos often receive special attention in the Norwegian and foreign press. He has on numerous occasions performed as soloist with Norway’s principal symphony orchestras, and by virtue of his position with the OPO he has collaborated with a number of the world’s leading soloists and conductors. Pedersen is active as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He has made guest appearances as chamber musician and teacher at festivals in Europe, South America, and Asia. From 2003 to 2008 he was Music Director of the Royal Norwegian Navy Band, and today he holds the same position with the Royal Norwegian Air Force Band. He is professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music, teaching clarinet and chamber music. Pedersen has several previous releases on the LAWO Classics label, both as clarinettist and conductor.