Arve Tellefsen

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Arve Tellefsen
Arve Tellefsen Harrywad09.jpg
Arve Tellefsen at the Norwegian Labour Party, April 2009.
Background information
Born (1936-12-14) 14 December 1936 (age 82)
Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag
LabelsVirgin Classics, Grappa Music,
Simax Classics

Arve Tellefsen (born 14 December 1936 in Trondheim, Norway) is an award winning Norwegian violinist, known from collaborations with conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Arvid Jansons, Herbert Blomstedt, Gary Bertini, Evgeny Svetlanov, Bryden Thomson, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Walter Weller and Zubin Mehta. In the UK, he has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, The Hallé, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Welsh Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.[1]


Statue of Arve Tellefsen in Trondheim

When he was 6 years old, Tellefsen began playing the violin in 'Trondheims musikkskole' (the music school in Trondheim). In 1955, he began his studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. In 1959, he had his debut in Universitetets Aula, Oslo.

Tellefsen is one of the most highly regarded violinists in Europe and in his long career as a soloist, he has played with many of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors. He has made many recordings and received many awards, including the Harriet Cohen International Music Award.

Tellefsen founded the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, which takes place annually and attracts the cream of international artists, including Anne Sofie von Otter, Randi Stene, Solveig Kringlebotn, Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, Barbara Hendricks, Liv Ullmann, Jan Garbarek, Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk, Yuri Bashmet, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Angela Hewitt, Hagen Quartet, Hilliard Ensemble, Jordi Savall, Rolf Lislevand and Maria João Pires. He has also recently recorded Edvard Grieg: Complete Violin Sonatas with pianist Håvard Gimse at Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen. His latest recording is music by the famous Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810-1880)[2][3]

1984 aircraft emergency[edit]

In February 1984 he participated in an emergency evacuation on an SAS flight that ended up in the water off of JFK airport.[4] Although instructed to leave their possessions, he refused to abandon his priceless Guarneri violin as they evacuated onto an inflatable raft. The evacuees had to paddle away from the airliner with their bare hands, and due to the lack of oars there arose several suggestions(though mostly in jest) to use the precious instrument as an replacement thereof.

Prizes and Honours[edit]

Arve Tellefsen performing in 2017

Discography (in selection)[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

  • 1988: Pan (Norsk Plateproduksjon)
  • 1992: Intermezzo (Grappa Music)
  • 1995: Arco (Grappa Music)

As soloist[edit]

Collaborative works[edit]



  1. ^ "Arve Tellefsen Biography". Store Norske Leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  2. ^ Vollsnes, Arvid O. "Arve Tellefsen Biography". Norsk Biografisk Leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  3. ^ Mosnes, Terje (2013-08-09). "Joakim i Arves felespor" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  4. ^ Lilleås, Heidi Schei (2009-01-16). "Bruk fiolinen som åre, Arve" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  5. ^ "Arve Tellefsen æresdoktor ved Musikkhøgskolen". Universitas (in Norwegian). August 2009.
  6. ^ "Arve Tellefsen Discography". Retrieved 2013-08-18.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ole Henrik Moe
Recipient of the Norsk kulturråds ærespris
Succeeded by
Liv Ullmann
Preceded by
Tommy Tee
Recipient of the Spellemannprisen honory award
Succeeded by
Mari Boine