NILS ANDERS MORTENSEN – PIANO
Nils Anders Mortensen was born in Flekkefjord in 1971. He began playing piano at age three, and in 1986 he won the Norwegian Young Pianist Competition. He studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music, École Normale in Paris, and Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover with Einar Steen-Nøkleberg. Other important teachers have been Tatjana Nikolajeva and Hans Leygraf.
Mortensen was the recipient of the prestigious Concerts Norway ‘Debutant of the Year’ award in 1996. He has won international prizes and grants. In 1998 he won the Mozarteum Prize in Salzburg. In 2004 Mortensen received the Robert Levin Memorial Prize.
Mortensen has appeared as soloist with Norway’s leading orchestras. He recorded piano concertos of Geirr Tveitt with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. His first solo album “Im Freien” (LWC1032), featuring music of Debussy, Grieg, and Bartok, was released in 2012 to glowing reviews. Mortensen has also released eight recordings with mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland on the LAWO Classics label: “Früh” (LWC1033), “Sæle jolekveld” (LWC1040), “Grieg” (LWC1059), “Young Elling” (LWC1072), “The New Song” (LWC1097), “Whispering Mozart” (LWC1111), “Songs: Kielland/Dørumsgaard” (LWC1145), “Einsamkeit – Songs by Mahler” (LWC1157), and “Eivind Groven Songs” (LWC1178). In 2015 he released the solo recording “In finstrer Mitternacht” (LWC1084), featuring music of Brahms, and “Tundra” (LWC1092), a recording of solely Russian music, with double-bassist Knut Erik Sundquist. In 2016 he released “Schumann Violin Sonatas Op. 105 & Op. 121” (LWC1110) with violinist Arvid Engegård. In 2019 he released his third solo recording on the LAWO Classics label: “Bach: Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art, BWV 831 / Sarabande con Partite, BWV 990 / Englische Suite Nr. 6 d-Moll, BWV 811” (LWC1174).
Arvid Engegård – violin
Alex Robson – violin
Juliet Jopling – viola
Jan Clemens Carlsen – cello
Formed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, the Engegård Quartet has rapidly become one of Norway’s most sought after ensembles. Their bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep attachment to their Scandinavian roots has attracted international acclaim, and inspired some innovative partnerships and programming. The quartet’s debut CD was praised as ‘breathtaking’ in The Strad, while their second release won Pizzicato magazine’s ‘Supersonic Award’. Their CD of works by Grieg, Sibelius, and Olav Anton Thommessen was praised by Tully Potter in Music Web International as ‘what Grieg lovers have been waiting for’.
The Engegård Quartet has a busy concert schedule throughout Scandinavia and further afield. They have performed in some of Europe’s finest venues including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Prague’s Rudolfinum, as well as performing in South America with concerts in Bogotá and Sao Paolo. Festival performances include the Delft Chamber Music Festival, SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest, and Heidelberg’s Streichquartettfest. Members of the quartet are also deeply involved in bringing superb chamber music to Norway – Arvid Engegård as founder of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, and Juliet Jopling as artistic director of the Oslo Quartet Series.
The Engegård Quartet has had the honour to work with (among others) András Schiff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Ihle Hadland, and Emma Johnson. They also love to collaborate with colleagues from different musical traditions, including a folk/classical fusion with Hardanger fiddler Nils Økland, a collaboration with jazz violinist Ola Kvernberg, and a programme of Ibsen and late Beethoven with actor Bjørn Sundquist. The Engegård Quartet’s own ‘1-2-3 mini-festival’ has proven immensely popular and is now a regular event each year, providing a feast of chamber music, song, piano works, and lectures.