COMPOSER / DIRECTOR / VIOLIN
Romantarctica is Henning Kraggerud’s most recent major composition, commissioned by the Arctic Philharmonic and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the world’s most northern- and most southernmost professional symphony orchestras. The idea for the composition was conceived while Henning was performing excerpts of Equinox in Tasmania in 2017, and the work brings together two ports of departure – Tromsø, from which many explorers set off for the Arctic and Hobart, a departure point for Antarctic expeditions including those of Scott and Amundsen. The piece is composed for flexible scoring, and exists in multiple versions ranging from solo piano through multiple chamber formations up to the version for two soloists and full orchestra.
The world premiere of Romantarctica, in the version for flute, viola and string orchestra, with the composer performing the solo viola part, took place with the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra in Tromsø on 18 February 2021.
Equinox, a collaboration between Henning Kraggerud and Jostein Gaarder, the world-famous author of Sophie’s World, takes the listener on a kaleidoscopic tour across the world and time. It comprises four concertos – Afternoon, Evening, Night and Morning – each of which consists of six postludes. These postludes are composed in 24 keys, beginning in C major, and depict 24 hours and 24 times zones. Jostein Gaarder has written an original accompanying 24-part narrative, 24 keys to a world before it slips away. The work is scored for violin and string orchestra. Equinox was premiered at the opening concert of the Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø in 2014.
A recording of the work was released internationally on the SIMAX label in 2015.
“Equinox is a fascinating composition to return to over and over again”
– Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International, August 2015
“Kraggerud sticks to a lush, late-Romantic idiom and delivers a beautifully clean, superbly articulated performance of his self-composed solo line throughout, full of character and wit.”
– David Kettle, The Strad, November 2015