The pianist Sveinung Bjelland has already for several years been in the forefront among classical pianists in Norway. His latest recording (Scarlatti and Mendelssohn on Simax) has been received with enthusiasm, in Norway and internationally. It became nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannprisen 2006).
Musicweb International writes: 'These performances have many subtleties and the imagination of the coupling is reflected in the taste and imagination of the playing.' Classics Today also praises the recording, referring to 'Sveinung Bjelland's cultivated, imaginative, and poetic artistry', concluding: 'No self-respecting piano connoisseur should let this truly distinctive release slip away'. The recording has recently been nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannprisen 2006).
Sveinung Bjelland has most of his musical background from Central Europe, mainly through studies with Hans Leygraf at Mozarteum, Salzburg and Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. He finished his studies in Berlin with the highest degree and with distinction, and he put himself strongly on the map in 1999, when he was named Young Musician of the Year by the Norwegian Concert Institute, this ranking beside numerous prizes he has been awarded.
After this he has developed into an unusually interesting, prolific and versatile artist. He has been a soloist with the leading Norwegian orchestras with distinguished guest conductors and visited various concert series and festivals in Europe, where he has made his mark just as much as a soloist as in a chamber music setting. In October 2008 he made his debut in London with a Chamber Music Recital at Wigmore Hall.
His duo partnership with the young violinist Alina Pogostkin, the 2005 winner of the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, has made a particular impact. They have done a brilliant recording of Mendelssohns Concerto for Violin and Piano, adding to the pianists series of successful recordings, covering a wide and varied repertoire. In duo with Alina Pogostkin the pianist recently performed at the Helsinki Festival and the Beethovenfest in Bonn.
In addition to being a frequent festival artist, Sveinung Bjelland was from 2002-2008 festival director himself. The artistic profile of the Gloger Festival in Kongsberg developed into one of the most interesting among Norwegian music festivals, with the exquisite and inspiring space of the beautiful Kongsberg Church as its main arena.