Oslo String Quartet
The Oslo String Quartet has become one of the best-known quartets in Scandinavia. It was formed in 1991 and had immediate success. It is invited regularly to the Norwegian Music Festivals and has also appeared in the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and Niedersächsischer Musiktagen in Germany and the Orlando Festival and Deft Chamber Music Festivals in Holland. The first violinist and a founding member of the quartet is Geir Inge Lotsberg. He was born in 1969 in Elverum and studied violin with Leif Jørgensen of Oslo, Sándor Végh in Salzburg, and Camilla Wicks in the U.S. He was a longtime member of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. His debut as a soloist in Oslo was in 1996. The other violinist is Per Kristian Skalstad, who was born in Drammen, Norway, in 1972. He is a member of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and is one of the concertmasters of the Oslo State Opera. His violin teachers were Stig Nilson, Bjarne Fiskum, and Lars Anders Tomter. Are Sandbakken, the violist, was born in Brummendal in 1967 and studied with Leif Jørgensen and Lars Erik Tomter in Oslo and Sándor Végh in Salzburg. He is one of the founders of the quartet. He was principal violist of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra before becoming the principal violist of the Oslo Philharmonic. The cellist, Øystein Sonstad, was born in 1970 in Stjørdal. He was a student of Aage Kvalbein at the College of Music in Oslo and Emma Ferrand at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he won the Leonard Rose Award as the best post-graduate cello student. He is a founding member of the Oslo String Quartet and is the alternate principal cellist in the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and principal cellist in the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra. After the quartet was founded, the members received coaching from the Borodin, Amadeus, and Alban Berg Quartets, and from composer András Mihály. In 1994 they were prizewinners in the London International String Competition. They record for the Naxos and Simax labels, on which they have released performances of quartets by Grieg, Carl Nielsen, Knut Nystedt, and David Monrad Johansen. The group has commissioned new works for quartet by leading contemporary Norwegian composers.
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