Bjørg Lewis (Vertavokvartetten)

Festivalutøver/lærer
Cello, 2.periode
Bjørg Lewis (2)

The Vertavo Quartet is internationally recognised as one of the most masterful string quartets playing today. Since their formation in Norway in 1984, their dynamic and deeply thoughtful performances have captivated audiences. In June 2005, the quartet was honoured with the Grieg-Prize: a prize bestowed on artists of high international standing and whose former recipients include Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk and the Grieg Trio. Just ten years previously in 1995 they had won First Prize at the 2nd Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition where they were also awarded the Audience prize and the Critics' prize.

Vertavo now play at all the major concert venues in the world. They tour extensively throughout Europe and also in Japan and the US. Their last US tour included performances at Stanford Lively Arts, Chamber Music in Napa Valley and Lincoln Center. In the past year, tours and concerts have also taken them to Norway, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Poland, the US and the UK. They gave concerts at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Barbican, London; Kings Place, London and in last year's celebration of Benjamin Britten' s centenary, Vertavo were invited to play at the Aldeburgh Festival 2013.

Collaboration also plays an integral role in the Vertavo Quartet's concert life; they have formed partnerships with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lambert Orkis, Steven Kovacevich, Håkan Hardenberger, Martin Fröst, Sabine Meyer, Isabelle van Keulen. In 2014 they will undertake a quintet tour with the renowned British pianist Paul Lewis.

The quartet's discography is a diverse one and includes Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Debussy, Bartok, Nielsen, Asheim, "Les Vendredis" (Russian vignettes of the turn of the 20th century) all for SIMAX Classics, as well as the Mozart clarinet quintet with Martin Fröst for BIS Records. Their Debussy and Grieg recording received the Diapason d'Or. Their most recent SIMAX release is of Beethoven's Op.130 and Op.133.

Vertavo have always had a great affinity for contemporary music. They have given commanding performances of works by Ligeti, Adès, Widmann, Gabriela Frank and works by contemporary Nordic composers such as Nørgård, Edlund and Asheim. In March 2013 to great critical acclaim, they gave the world premiere of Poul Ruders's 4th String Quartet at a major festival of Danish and Finnish composers at the Barbican Hall in London: "Played with a thrilling iron-fist-in-velvet-glove touch by the Vertavo Quartet, it was a miracle of stylistic light-footedness." The Telegraph March 2013.

Vertavo Quartet are Artistic Directors of the Elverum Summer Music Festival in Norway.