Henning Kraggerud

Henning Kraggerud


Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud is an artist of exquisite musicianship, who combines an unusually sweet tone and beauty of expression with impressive virtuosity, drawing audiences and critics alike towards the genuine quality of his playing.

Henning maintains a busy diary as soloist with many of the world’s major orchestras, building relationships with leading conductors. In Summer 2010 he gave a critically-acclaimed performance at the BBC Proms with the Danish National Symphony under Thomas Dausgaard, and a highly successful season followed including concerts with the Hallé Orchestra, the Bergen Festival, the West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a recital at New York’s Lincoln Center.

After a triumphant debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Osmo Vänska in 2010, Henning has been invited to re-join the conductor at the New World Symphony in the 11/12 season. A favourite with US audiences, Henning has worked previously with the Detroit Symphony under Peter Oundjian and the Seattle Symphony under Vassily Sinaisky among others, and this season returns to the Cincinnati Orchestra as well as performing as soloist and conductor with both the Pacific and Vancouver Symphony orchestras.

The play/directing element of Henning’s career is fast developing as he proves his exceptional talent in this role. In 2009, he stepped in at late notice to play/direct the Britten Sinfonia at the City of London Festival; such was his success that the ensemble invited him as guest director on two major touring projects in 2011. His performance with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in the 09/10 season was hailed by the New York Times for his “sweet, polished sound” and the “melting beauty” of his playing. He has performed as play/director with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and in the 11/12 season joins the Basel Chamber Orchestra on a tour to include the Rheingau Festival. Extending his work with chamber orchestras further, Henning returns this season to the Geneva Chamber Orchestra where he has been invited to curate a complete programme for violin and viola along with Ilya Gringolts and conductor David Greilsammer.

With a strong Scandinavian profile, Henning continues to work extensively in his home region, including recent concerts with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra with Jukka Pekka Saraste. He has maintained frequent collaborations with the Helsinki and Oslo Philharmonic and the Norwegian Chamber orchestras, as well as strong links with many of the Norwegian festivals. The current season sees a return to the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra.

In Summer 2011, Henning began his role as co-Artistic Director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music, succeeding Leif Ove Andsnes.

With his strong commitment to chamber music, Henning performs both on violin and viola at the major international festivals; recent collaborations have included a ‘Szymanowski Focus’ at London’s Wigmore Hall and New York’s Zankel Hall curated by Piotr Anderszewski, and performances at the Verbier Festival with Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos and Martha Argerich. This season, Henning joins musical colleagues at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, Poland’s prestigious International Festival Wratislavia Cantans, the Holland Summer Festival and the Cheltenham Festival.

As a solo recitalist, the current season sees Henning’s recital debut in Tokyo, where he will perform the complete unaccompanied Violin Sonatas by Ysaye; he has recorded all these works for Simax for which he received the prestigious Spellemann CD award. He also brings this programme to the Yerevan International Music Festival this season, and with frequent collaborator Christian Ihle Hadland, gives recitals in Dublin and Manchester.

Adding to his multi-faceted career, Henning is an innovative improviser and composer, performing many of his own cadenzas and arrangements in concert, and several of his compositions have been performed at festivals worldwide.

In the 09/10 season, Henning gave the first performance of Munch Suite for Solo Violin – a new and unique concert project consisting of new pieces by fifteen composers from around the world. Taking place at the Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum in Tønsberg, Norway, as part of the Vestfold International Festival, these pieces were inspired by the works of Edvard Munch and were performed in dialogue with the paintings themselves at an exclusive arts experience.

With many highly-acclaimed discs to his name, Henning’s most recent releases are of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata for viola and piano recorded with fellow Norwegian Håvard Gimse (Naim) and of Mozart’s Divertimento in E flat major with Lars Anders Tomter and Christoph Richter (Naxos). In addition to his distinguished discography, Henning was involved in making a major television & cinema documentary about the Norwegian violin virtuoso and composer, Ole Bull (1810-1880), released in November 2006 and more recently as an English language version. Henning received the Ole Bull Prize in 2007.

Born in Oslo in 1973, Henning studied with Camilla Wicks and Emanuel Hurwitz. He is a recipient of Norway's prestigious Grieg Prize and in 2007 was awarded the Sibelius Prize for his interpretations and recording of Sibelius’ music throughout the world. Henning is a Professor at the Barratt-Due music conservatoire.

   Henning Kraggerud plays on a 1744 Guarneri del Gesu,   provided by Dextra Musica AS. This company is founded   by Sparebankstiftelsen DnB NOR

Date Last Edited: 23/01/2012
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Britten Sinfonia, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

"Kraggerud has extraordinary sweetness of tone, his sound always dances as much as it sings"

The Telegraph




“…Kraggerud has all the necessary qualities of proficiency and interpretation required for [the] work…ranging from the panache of the opening movement…and on to the florid scurrying finale, dispatched with great aplomb.”


Liverpool Echo

Philarmonia Orchestra

“[Kraggerud’s] interpretation proved to be very special. [The Sibelius concerto] has tremendous difficulties, but there are quite a few players who can get on top of them. Kraggerud went further, not in making them sound easy, but rather in maintaining the musical tensions inherent within them throughout his commanding playing. Founded on a firm, forward tone that nevertheless ranged widely in dynamics and expressive intention, he held close to the soul of the piece, exploring its intensity and sense of inwardness and isolation.” 


The Guardian

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Michael Francis

“Kraggerud projected a gleaming tone on his instrument, and, in a piece that is performed often, his view was fresh and individual…The slow movement was not only about beauty of phrasing, but the violinist also projected an inner fire. He caught the fairy-lightness of the finale, and smiled broadly as he tackled its most fiendish difficulties.”


The Cincinnati Enquirer