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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Young violinist thrilled with silver

Guro Kleven Hagen from the mountain community of Nord-Aurdal has become the latest Norwegian to attract international attention with a violin. She won second place in the Eurovision Young Musicians competition over the weekend, and called it an “indescribable experience.”

Guro Kleven Hagen has performed often on Norwegian national TV, like here on NRK during the Eurovision run-up earlier this year. PHOTO: NRK

Kleven Hagen is only 16 and beat out top classical musicians from all over Europe during the finals in Vienna on Friday night. An estimated 40,000 spectators filled the square in front of Vienna’s City Hall, while millions of TV viewers followed the action at home.

Like Norway’s more well-known Eurovision winner in the pop category, Alexander Rybak, Kleven Hagen studies at the Barratt-Due Music Institute in Oslo and has been playing violin since the age of five. She also started playing piano at age eight and has been tutored by Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud.

Her number-two ranking among 16 semi-finalists was the latest in a string of awards for Kleven Hagen. She most recently won “The Norwegian Soloist”  at Virtuoso 2010 in Oslo and will play at the annual Festspillene in Bergen later this month.

She’s particularly fond of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, and played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D-major at the major international competition in Vienna.

“It was incredibly fun,” Kleven Hagen told newspaper Aftenposten after her performance in Vienna. “To be able to stand up there on the stage with the orchestra behind me, Vienna before me and music I love, was an indescribable experience. It’s something I’ll always remember.”

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