PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

"It would be difficult to find a more breathtakingly beautiful rendering than this, tonally wondrous, searching and consummately felt. It immediately cast a spell over the audience."

Svendsen’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra / Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2019)

- Geoffrey Newman,  February 2019

“[Kraggerud] performed the Tchaikovsky head-on, without reservation... with bravura and devotion. A rare virtuosic achievement.”

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto / Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra with Nathalie Stutzmann

- Schibsted, August 2018

“Kraggerud is outstanding, sultry and incisive by turns in a smart work which deserves to be a popular classic.”

Sverre Indris Joner, Con cierto toque de tango / Norwegian Radio Orchestra – Lawo Classics (2018)

- The Arts Desk, July 2018

"At the very outset I was slightly concerned that Henning Kraggerud’s tone might be slightly too small-scale, but no—he was simply obeying Mendelssohn’s specified piano marking (surprisingly few soloists do) and there was certainly no lack of strength, weight or body in his athletic playing later on. As in the Dvořák, Hanus allowed for some leeway of tempo especially in the first movement, and Kraggerud took full advantage of this to let us hear some really delicate phrasing as well as relishing the glorious melody of the slow movement."

- Paul Corfield Godfrey, Seen and Heard International, January 2018

“Quietly strings in [Preghiera] evoke the influence of Arvo Part, whist the solo violin contributes rhapsodic moments, and the whole alternates the quietly intense and the vividly dramatic…”

[The Postlude in B flat minor from Equinox] is lyrical and intimate, thoughtful but a little spiky too…”

lyrical and rather bittersweet, the slightly romantic sound-world [of The last leaf] is redolent of many earlier Nordic composers, the middle section develops into a very Sibelius-like dance, before the quiet intimacy of the opening returns, leading us into Winter…”

[Victimae Paschale is] a lyrical and beautifully sung piece, full of rich harmonies. I enjoyed this disc immensely… Kraggerud's own pieces beautifully complement the Vivaldi, making a satisfying whole.”

- Planet Hugill (blog), January 2018

“Kraggerud displayed a striking virtuosity which felt bold with a masculine ruggedness yet natural, attributes so often absent from performance. Rich, mellow sound streamed from his Guarneri del Gesù (1744) of a volume that easily cut through the hall, one known for its challenging acoustics. With soaring sonorities, I loved the biting Nordic chill and sense of mystery that Kraggerud created while the tranquil beauty of the surface and undertow of melancholy of the Adagio was especially spellbinding”

“Kraggerud’s passion fuelled performance was a special one of a type that comes around all too infrequently and will stay long in the memory. Without any sense of routine there was an elevated standard of excellence displayed both by soloist and orchestra of a level rarely encountered.”

- Michael Cookson, Seen and Heard International, October 2017

"Fostering the Grieg presence mercurial solo violinist, composer and director Henning Kraggerud was persuasive, his lengthy verbal prequels, kaleidoscopic violin timbres and energised direction revealing his Grieg passion at every turn."

"Kraggerud’s own Topelius Variations (From Topelius Time), an almost equally new work, provided a far more emotional counterpoint to one of Finland’s most compelling authors with a helter-skelter procession of strongly etched statements and immense drive."

"Whatever your perspective we were undoubtedly given a serve of really big-hair Grieg and it brought the house down in true ACO fashion”

- The Advertiser [Adelaide Now], September 2017

​"Kraggerud was a gregarious musical host, with a story to tell for each performance, his own joy and vitality reflected in the ACO musicians."

 "The lush orchestral sound and melodies recalled Grieg, with Kraggerud leading the orchestra" (Henning's Topelius-Variations)"

- Limelight Magazine, September 2017

“[Topelius-Variations (From Topelius’ Time) is] a very convincing, deeply idiomatic work for strings which sits brilliantly well alongside the Grieg.”

- A Cunning Plan, September 2017

“[Henning Kraggerud and Bernt Simen Lund’s] arrangement of the third [Grieg violin] sonata respects the composer’s ­intentions that it be bold and exuberant.”

 - The Australian, September 2017

“A superb and boundary pushing fiddler“

“The Norwegian violinist phenomenon Henning Kraggerud jested his way through Mozart”

“The Norwegian turned towards the musicians and indicated tempi and phrasings through the exuding joy of a fiddler [...] but if you closed your eyes to concentrate on the music you still experienced a Mozart concerto bursting with life”

”Much like his Naxos recording, Kraggerud chose fast tempi, but the game play was really Mozart-esque in his character - the greatest praise you can give a musician to such a work”

“The audience applauded Kraggerud for an encore and he surprised them by collaborating with DNSO cellist Soo-Kyung Hong. Together they performed a little suite of Norwegian Folk/Classical influence composed by Kraggerud himself”

-Peter Dürrfeld in Kristeligt Dagblad (translated)

"There is a lovely freedom in Kraggerud’s manner and a sense of fantasy and feeling in his playing and, indeed, in his sensitive explorations as a composer ... His tone is particularly fine and pure and he shows beguiling flexibility ... The sheer speed and bounding energy of the opening Allegro was about as truculent as I have ever heard. The heart of the performance was the Andante, Kraggerud suspending his long cantabile lines with so much beauty and fantasy that it was quite spellbinding. The finale brought out a delicious range of play and delight with a vigour recalling the opening movement."

Henning played a postlude from Equinox as his encore, something the reviewer was especially taken with:

"An encore does not usually leave as much imprint as the main work, but Kraggerud’s traversal of Postlude 10 from his new composition, Equinox, really was eye-opening, and in some ways unforgettable ... interestingly enough, I left the concert immediately wanting to seek out the rest of Henning Kraggerud’s Equinox."

- Geoffrey Newman, Seen and Heard International, April 2017

"One of the most fascinating programs in the history of the concert hall ... And when Henning Kraggerud himself entered with his violin, the mood rockets right into the Spring weather. The Norwegian Star stands for life and happy days and does everything in his own personal way. Nobody will forget his dexterous flight over the strings for some time. Nobody has ever heard the middle movement as beautiful, or the Finales Turkish Music as fiery. Or, for that matter, the Norwegian's homemade and rather smooth encore with Soo-Kyong Hong (section leader: cello) as a partner on Cello ... Orchestra, Conductor and Soloist secured an unforgettable evening both for the connoisseurs and those new to classical music."

- Berlingske, April 2017

 

"There is a lovely freedom in Kraggerud’s manner and a sense of fantasy and feeling in his playing and, indeed, in his sensitive explorations as a composer ... His tone is particularly fine and pure and he shows beguiling flexibility ... The sheer speed and bounding energy of the opening Allegro was about as truculent as I have ever heard. The heart of the performance was the Andante, Kraggerud suspending his long cantabile lines with so much beauty and fantasy that it was quite spellbinding. The finale brought out a delicious range of play and delight with a vigour recalling the opening movement."
- Geoffrey Newman, Seen and Heard International, April 2017

 

"The violinist Henning Kraggerud has been listening to the music of his countryman Johan Halvorsen since childhood ... Together with his colleagues, Kraggerud senses the changing moods of the music, which sometimes strike an unmistakable Norwegian tone, as in the finale of the violin concerto. The rhythmic swing is inspired by a folk dance called Halling; The sound effects are reminiscent of the sound of the Hardangerfiedel. Kraggerud and the orchestra feel at home in the soil-like climate of this music ... With his catchy melodies and his musical joke, the violin concerto by Johann Halvorsen is a real discovery, freshly and vividly interpreted by Henning Kraggerud and the symphony orchestra Malmö under Bjarte Engeset"

- Deutschlandfunk, March 2017

 

"Kraggerud’s 1744 Guarneri Del Gesù has surely never sounded warmer or brighter, and the joy, exuberance and perfect communication between soloist and orchestral players is a delight to see. The performances throughout are superb, with brilliant outer movements and beautifully judged slow movements.
Kraggerud, who provides his own cadenzas, gives introductions to each work (in Norwegian with English subtitles) with fascinating insight and stories"

- The Whole Note, March 2017

 

"[Kraggerud] is disarmingly informal and a deeply engaging performer ... [he] very carefully choreographed his movement, turning his back on the audience to ‘jam’ with the first violins before turning back to reveal the true tone of his solo instrument, direct and resonant throughout the entire hall. The vibrant communication between the orchestra, McGegan and Kraggerud was palpable and simply a joy throughout."

- The MD Theatre Guide, February 2017

"Henning Kraggerud's Victimae Paschali was a highlight"

 - Tidens Krav, February 2017

 

"Kraggerud’s haunting composition [Equinox] draws its power from being steeped in tradition while at the same time astounding us with its originality."

- Thomas Thornton, Seen and Heard, December 2016

 

"In Sibelius’ 'Humoresques', a delightful Scandinavian rarity, the 43-year-old Kraggerud conveyed both musicality and unassuming virtuosity, from the mazurka-like opening piece and double-stopped melodies of the second to the more lyrical fourth and introspective sixth. Throughout, Dausgaard and the ensemble were as one with the soloist."

- The Los Angeles Times, November 2016

 


"I've seen a lot of MSO concerts over the years, but I don't recall any [soloists] that compare with Kraggerud's ease with both the orchestra and with conductor John DeMain. He could almost have been sitting in the violin section rather than standing next to the podium... [Kraggerud] will attack his violin with intensity – which always seems a bit alarming when the instrument in question was built in 1744 (decades before the United States separated from England) – but, at the same time, seems one with the violin, something like a jockey urging his horse to reach its limit."

- WISC-TV / Channel 3000, October 2016

 

"Kraggerud seemed deeply at ease with the material, resulting in a generous performance. Visibly relaxed and often smiling, he played with mastery, flexibility, and a warm, liquid tone."

- Jessica Courtier, The Capital Times, October 2016

 

"An irresistible reading [of Bruch Violin Concert No.1] ... Kraggerud returned to open the second half in excerpts from one of his own compositions, a Suite of three preludes from Equinox. Telling the audience that he had always been jealous of pianists, who have works from Bach and Chopin that traverse all the 24 major and minor keys, and curious to explore the so-called emotional and color characteristics of each, Kraggerud wrote a set of 24 preludes for solo violin and orchestra. Each is set in a different city (there is actually a fascinating and detailed story as a backdrop, crafted by author Jostein Gaarder. We were taken on a 9-minute tour of Prague, Hangzhou and New Orleans. Kraggerud’s composing is as delightful as his playing, capable of swirling from a waltz to atmospheric mystery and finger-snappin’ Cajun echoes."

- Greg Hettmansberger , What Greg Says, October 2016

 

"a pure joy to watch and hear Henning Kraggerud as a composer and performing as a violinist in Trondheim"

adressa.no, September 2016

 

"[Henning's] brusque attacks and angular interpretation made Sibelius sound especially fresh as if newly conceived."

- barczablog, September 2016

 

"The performance ended with great applause, and Mr. Kraggerud followed it up with an encore - a duet he performed with the principal cellist, which I later found out was Kraggerud’s original composition, Variation Suite for Violin and Cello. This impetuous little piece was played with remarkable character and was received with great enthusiasm all around." Tussah Heera - Toronto Concert Reviews.

Toronto Concert Reviews, September 2016

“Kraggerud provides his own cadenzas throughout, which demonstrate both his dexterity and his sympathy for the idiom, and never feel like anachronistic accretions.”

 - Gramophone, August 2016

“Kraggerud’s cadenzas work very well I think - a better match in terms of period style than the more romantic ones of Joachim and Kreisler, something Kraggerud tries to pass on to his students. "

 - Record Review, BBC Radio 3, July 2016

"The almost improvisatory effect is enhanced by Kraggerud’s own cadenzas, which bring additional new value to the recording.”

- Pizzicato, five stars, July 2016

“Kraggerud’s “Equinox” a set of 24 pieces (one in every major and minor key) is an unabashedly Romantic collection, and not surprisingly, it puts the violin fully in the spotlight. Anyone who believes that music should reflect something of its own time – let me raise my hand, here – would have found its 19th-century language disappointing. Yet there is no denying that the works are beautifully wrought showpieces that demand much of a violinist’s technique and interpretive moxie, and once expectations about style were set aside, they proved thoroughly enjoyable.”

- Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald, June 2016

 

"Kraggerud and the OPO’s excellent principal cellist, Louisa Tuck, played his own composition, [Variation Suite]. Here was a natural charm to complement the Grieg."

“Kraggerud’s tone is eloquent and beautiful, marrying richness in the low notes with sweetness at the top, and he plays his own long, sparky cadenzas.”

- The Guardian, four stars, March 2016

 

"an outstanding account of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto from Henning Kraggerud"

- Classical Source, March 2016

 

"[In] 'Con Cierto toque de tango' we experienced the soloist Henning Kraggerud on violin ... we could sense he had the rhythm and phrasing of tango under his skin." 
- Ståle Wikshåland Dagbladet, February 2016
 

“Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud is clearly a native speaker when it comes to Grieg … Kraggerud brings an ideal fluency that allows him to integrate the folk idioms into the music’s otherwise classical discourse. His tone is robust and, when required, impressively muscular.”

- Gavin Dixon, The Arts Desk, February 2016

 

“Violinist-composer Henning Kraggerud’s booklet biography describes him as ‘an artist of exquisite musicianship’ and that’s not hyperbole. Hearing him play as a Prom encore the tenth of his 24 'Postludes in All Keys' ... opened a window on a magical world ... [the music] is endlessly resourceful and surprising ... from meditation to lopsided dance, it is extraordinary. I can't wait to hear the whole thing in action.”

- BBC Music Magazine, five stars, December 2015

“Equinox is a fascinating composition to return to over and over again.”
- MusicWeb International, December 2015

"Hearing [Henning] play as a Prom encore the tenth of his 24 'Postludes in All Keys' ... opened a window on a magical world ... [the music] is endlessly resourceful and surprising ... from meditation to lopsided dance, it is extraordinary. I can't wait to hear the whole thing in action.” 

- David Nice, BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

 

 

"Kraggerud gave a noble and technically assured account of the Bruch ... [he] chose one of his own pieces as an encore, following an ovation for his concerto performance. The encore was a sparkling, folk-influenced violin-cello duo called 'Variation Suite', performed with the symphony’s principal cellist, Efe Baltacigil ... Members of the audience roared their approval"

“Some of the most delightful concert moments occur in the encores — when spontaneity and surprises overrule the strictures of the printed program... Kraggerud chose one of his own pieces as an encore, following an ovation for his concerto performance. The encore was a sparkling, folk-influenced violin-cello duo called “Variation Suite,” performed with the symphony’s principal cellist, Efe Baltacigil. The two players clicked as if they had been rehearsing together for months, not hours, and were ready to take the duo on the road. Members of the audience roared their approval and headed out for intermission still wearing appreciative smiles.”

- Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times, November 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

 

 

"Bruch’s treasured Violin Concerto No. 1 is a work that rarely fails to delight ... Kraggerud obviously agrees as was evident in his consistently dynamic and exciting account of the solo part ... Vigour and dash permeated a dancing rendition of the third movement, Kraggerud tossing off the passagework with panache"

- Simon Holden, Bachtrack, October 2015

 

 

"[Kraggerud's] utter brilliance still allowed for gripping dialogue and interaction with the orchestra in the opening Allegro... 

Kraggerud's encores were generous and personal; an original Postlude ... and his own tribute to the legendary Ole Bull, coming across as romanticised Nordic Bach."

- William Dart, New Zealand Herald, October 2015

 

 

"... it was good to hear [Nielsen's] Violin Concerto played by a soloist as sprightly as Henning Kraggerud. Halfway through the second movement he took off his jacket, throwing it on the floor, but nothing impeded the silvery beauties leaping from his violin." (****)

- Geoff Brown, The Times, September 2015

 

 

"... the Norwegian soloist Henning Kraggerud [made] an instant impression with his very forward account of the work’s early cadenza. The openness and commitment of Kraggerud’s playing maintained the tension through the concerto’s darker pages and made a compelling case for what is a surprisingly neglected score..."(****)

- Martin Kettle, The Guardian, September 2015

 

 

“[Henning’s] character came through so vividly as he duetted happily with BBC woodwind so far back on the platform, and the cadenzas proved stunningly unorthodox … [Kraggerud returned] to play an encore that has stuck in my mind - and how often can you say this of a new piece? - the Postlude No 10 from a work I have to hear, his own Equinox."

- David Nice, theartsdesk.com, September 2015

 

 

 "In this hugely enjoyable and approachable performance Henning Kraggerud proved a forthright soloist whose confident playing integrated ornamentation and burnished tone into a pleasing whole ... As an encore Henning Kraggerud offered up one of his own compositions, a rather mournful and meandering postlude in B flat minor that relied heavily on double-stopping until its final few passages, when a flash of pure tone secured a memorable conclusion." (****)

- Evan Dickerson, MusicOMH, September 2015

 

 

Interview with composer Piers Tattersall on his career highlights:

"Writing a violin concerto for Henning Kraggerud and the Britten Sinfonia. He's an exceptional soloist and they're an exceptional orchestra."

Piers Tattersall, Rarescale.org, September 2015

 

 

"A great amount of respect goes to the artists Henning Kraggerud, Annabelle Meare, Lawrence Power, Guy Johnston and Alessio Bax, who with all their devotion and emotion, were not overwhelmed by the impact."

- Von M. Hanns, Sächsische Zeitung, August 2015

 

 

"Equinox is a fascinating composition to return to over and over again."

- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International, August 2015

 

 

"Henning Kraggerud is an incredible violinist... who fully showed respect and knowledge for the Finnish composer's [Sibelius'] true musical language."

- Bodvar Lotsberg, Østlendingen, August 2015. Translated by Audun Breen. 

 

 

Henning's BBC Prom on 9 September 2015 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton was selected for The Arts Desk's 'Essential BBC Proms - 12 of the best' article, May 2015.

 

 

“...when Henning Kraggerud’s shimmering violin took over from him the effect was nothing short of sublime”

- Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International, May 2015

 

 

“...hearing this superb trio of musicians live in this extraordinary music was a most compelling and memorable experience”

- Geoff Diffines, Seen and Heard International, May 2015

 

 

“a wonderful performance by three leading musicians who not only put their heart into their music but seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience”

- Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International, May 2015

 

 

"...we were even treated to a premiere of one of Kraggerud's own works. For The Last Leaf he takes inspiration from a short story featuring death and despair but also clear seeds of hope. Thus the postludes are also uplifting. Tonally and harmonically the work charts the difficult road through the uncertainty which is life itself, though all in a tone of optimism. No wonder Kraggerud's work was lauded with clapping and stamping. (6/6)"

- Jørgen Mathisen, Avisa Nordland, August 2014

 

 

"....Between each time zone and its stories is the music. And herein lie the definitive highlights [of Equinox], which come thick and fast. Kraggerud has composed the music and it is beautiful, varied, full of unexpected turns and touching. He has created room for the individual musicians to shine. It is precise as well as generous and spacious - and a fantastically good listen...."

- Anki Gerhardsen, Avisa Nordland, August 2014

"They followed those with an exquisite performance of Preghiera, a new work by the Norwegian composer Henning Kragerrud in which the wrenching expressiveness of Central European Jewish music was harnessed to an Arvo Pärt sound-world"

-Michael Church, The Independent, January 2014

 

 

“Henning Kraggerud begins in C major and follows the circle of fifths through all the 24 keys on which classical music is based. The music examines the inherent qualities of the keys, as well as the people, moods and situations the narrator visits on his journey … The music is new but, given its classical tonal language and means, does not feel unfamiliar … Both Henning Kraggerud’s solo performance and the homogeneity of the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra impress. Ending with an overture is a brilliant move, as it gives an important dimension to the musical journey. (5/6)”

- Bladet Tromsø, January 2014 (on the premiere of Equinox)

 

 

“I have rarely, if indeed ever, heard the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra so harmonized and with as much euphony as last night, while at the same time having the ability to master the readjustment that is required to fully master 25 compositions.”

- Bjørn Harald Larssen, Nordlys, January 2014 (on the premiere of Equinox)

 

 

“Kraggerud's playing is consistently marvellous”

- Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, November 2013

 

 

“And, best of all, the performance of the Violin Concerto No.4 by Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud. In an evening filled with beautiful music, the Concerto, superbly played, Kraggerud stole the show... Kraggerud took advantage of every possibility the music offered, from soaring, high harmonic melodies to rhythmically surging double-stops and rich interaction with the orchestra. In sum, it was one of the fine solo appearances of recent memory... It was Mozart as, one suspects, Mozart himself would have wanted it played.”

- Don Heckmann, The International Review of Music, August 2012

 

“As an encore, Kraggerud played his own Fantasy on a Theme by Ole Bull, the 19th-century Norwegian violinist whose music Kraggerud has recorded. It is a richly harmonic work with lots of chords and arpeggios, and was played with an improvisatory spirit that seemed to recall the old-time fiddle virtuosos.”

- South Florida Classical Review, April 2012

 

“As an encore, Kraggerud played his own Fantasy on a Theme by Ole Bull, the 19th-century Norwegian violinist whose music Kraggerud has recorded. It is a richly harmonic work with lots of chords and arpeggios, and was played with an improvisatory spirit that seemed to recall the old-time fiddle virtuosos.”

- David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review, March 2012

 

 

“It was an absorbing performance, well paced, accomplished, exciting but also sensitively calibrated”

- Timothy Mangan, The Orange County Register, December 2011

 

 

“I must proclaim a new master of the violin, the Norwegian Henning Kraggerud, born in 1973 and already well known in the world of virtuosos.”

- Gérard Pernon, Ouest-France, June 2011

 

 

“Kraggerud played the concerto with impeccable intonation and beauty of tone”

- Paul E. Robinson, La Scena Musicale, October 2010

 

 

“Norwegian virtuoso Henning Kraggerud made an authoritative Royal Albert Hall debut alongside the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, before encoring with his own stunning Fantasia based on a theme by Norwegian composer Ole Bull.”

- Nick Shave, BBC Music Magazine, August 2010

 

 

“The remarkable young Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud gave a fresh, stimulating performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto… Kraggerud’s playing gripped the attention through its subtle blend of tenderness and virtuosity."

- Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, August 2010

 

 

“Henning Kraggerud's charm-filled performance was excellent.”

- Guy Dammann, The Guardian, August 2010

 

 

“Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto was a risky strategy that came off handsomely – Henning Kraggerud emerging from the orchestra’s strings to deliver a performance of unusual poise and clarity, while not lacking the necessary warmth, affection or – notably in a tensile reading of the cadenza – virtuosity.”

- Richard Whitehouse, classicalsource.com, August 2010

 

 

"He possesses the interpretative insight to make the music bristle with character and with a powerfully communicative spectrum of expression.”

- Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph, July 2008

 

 

"He remained calm and with faultless intonation reached the heights flawlessly; his wonderful instrument (a Guarneri from 1744) added its silvery sheen to the performance – it was simply phenomenal."

- Michael Dellith, Frankfurter Neue Presse, December 2008

 

© 2019 Henning Kraggerud

Henning Kraggerud violin composer musician
Henning Kraggerud violin composer musician
Henning Kraggerud violin composer musician
Henning Kraggerud violin composer musician
Henning Kraggerud violin composer musician