Passion. Perfection. Raw intensity. With these fundamentals, the chamber orchestra TrondheimSolistene (The Trondheim Soloists) is carving out its own musical territory.
The orchestra was founded in 1988 to give the best music students in Trondheim an opportunity to play together and to gain concert experience. It has since established itself as one of the most distinguished ensembles in Norway, and has won international recognition for its own distinctively open and clear orchestral sound, described by the British music magazine "Classic FM" as "The Trondheim Sound".
Teamwork and a lively musical inquisitiveness are core values. From August 2017 the violinist and music teacher Geir Inge Lotsberg, is the Artistic Director and continues to develop the virtuosity and confidence that allow them to play what they want, when they want, and to take chances rather than play safe.
The orchestra’s energetic musicality and sheer joy in music-making are infectious. In 1999 a fruitful association with the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter was begun that has spanned many years and has included concerts, tours and recordings, and this has contributed to the orchestra’s growing reputation at home and abroad, leading to an increasing number of engagements. The orchestra has performed with leading artists not only in classical music, but also in jazz, folk music, rock and pop.
TrondheimSolistene has been featured on more than 50 albums. Its recordings for the 2L label have won great acclaim, earning not only three Spellemannpriser (Norwegian music awards), but also, for the albums "Divertimenti", "In Folk Style", "Souvenir" and “Reflections”, a total of ten Grammy nominations, as well as glowing international reviews. The orchestra's best-selling release to date has been Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with Mutter as soloist, on the Deutsche Grammophon label (with approximately 700,000 records sold).
The development of musical talent and the fostering of an enduring musical environment in Trondheim constitute a vital part of this orchestra’s work. It has close ties with the Department of Music at Trondheim’s NTNU (the Norwegian University of Science and Technology). The promotion of Norwegian music and of contemporary music is also a strong commitment. The ensemble never travels abroad without Norwegian music on its programme, and it has premiered about 50 works specially written for the orchestra.
The orchestra’s many years of collaboration with visual artist Håkon Gullvåg have been very successful. He has produced artwork for the covers of three of its records, and the orchestra has played at the openings of many of his exhibitions abroad – for example in China, the Middle East and across Europe.
TrondheimSolistene has three main partners: NTNU, which, in addition to what has already been mentioned, uses the orchestra to help profile itself around the world; Sparebank1 SMN, whose collaboration began in 2013 and Koteng Eiendom AS from 2018.
Geir Inge Lotsberg began his professional career at a young age and has distinguished himself as one of Norway’s most active chamber musicians. He studied with Leif Jørgensen (1927-1988) in Oslo from the age of ten for eight years, Sandor Vègh in Salzburg, Camilla Wicks in Houston and Ana Chumachenco in Munich.
In 1991 he became one of the founding members of Oslo String Quartet. In addition to collaborations with other musicians including Håvard Gimse, Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, Vebjørn Anvik and Kåre Nordstoga, Lotsberg has performed as a soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Camerata Academica Salzburg.
He released a number of CD-recordings featuring works by J. S. Bach, Carl Nielsen and Edvard Grieg, and two recordings of contemporary music for solo violin. His latest album is the recording of Herman Vogt's new Violin Concerto with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Lotsberg is much in demand as a teacher and orchestra leader, working regularly since 2005 with TrondheimSolistene and as a professor at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo since 1994.
He holds the position as Artistic Director of the Trondheim Soloists from August 2017.
For many years, Geir Inge Lotsberg has played a Joseph Guarnerius filius Andrae dating from 1703, provided by Dextra Musica AS.