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Catharina Chen

1. konsertmester

Catharina’s status as one of Norway’s most promising classical musicians and her appearances through Norwegian television and radio broadcast programs* has made her well known in her home country. 

In 2012, Catharina was appointed as the youngest 1. Concertmaster of The Norwegian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, winning 1st prize in consecutive national violin competitions, The Norwegian Music Publishers’ Union “Prize of Honour”, and the “Karoline Prize” for high achievement in culture. Catharina is the youngest musician in Norway ever to be awarded the highly respected and prestigious Oslo City Artist Prize in 2004. International awards include Grand Prize and the “Best Artistic Performance” in the third International Gnessin Violin Competition in Moscow, Russia, and 2nd Prize at the Jeunesse Musicale International Violin Competition in Bucharest, Romania. She was selected to “New Masters On Tour” in Holland for 2011-2012 seasons.

Norwegian-born Catharina Chen has soloed with many major orchestras since the age of 8. Highlights among her engagements include performances with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Tromso Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Camerata, ZKO-Zuricher Chamber Orchestra, I Palpiti Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Beverly Hills Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Slovenska Filharmonia.

As a soloist and recitalist, Catharina has appeared at concert venues such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Mozarteum Grosse Hall in Salzburg, Carnegie Hall in New York, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and performed at international festivals in Norway, Italy, China, Israel, Malaysia, USA, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Mexico, Brazil, Slovenia, Slovakia, New Mexico and South Africa. She is often invited as solo recitalist to concert series in Pennsylvania, New York and Los Angeles.

With Chinese roots, Catharina has been active to combine and unify Norwegian and Chinese music. In 2007 she toured China with all-Grieg program in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Qingdao International Music Festival, soloed with Qingdao Symphony Orchestra and in Norway (Oslo, Stavanger, Stord and Bergen) with China National Chinese Orchestra with the program “Grieg dressed in Chinese Tone” and “Butterfly lovers” by He/Chen. She gave a world premier of “The Moon” written by Martin Romberg performed during Expo 2010 in Shanghai alongside a tour across China.

Born in 1985, Catharina began to play the violin at the age of 5 with her father. She later studied with Alf Richard Kraggerud and Stephan Barratt-Due at the renowned Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo and Professor Eduard Schmieder at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Temple University in Philadelphia where she finished her Artist Diploma and Master Degree. She has also worked with Professor Miriam Fried, Mauricio Fuks, Detlef Hahn, Camilla Wicks, Arve Tellefsen, Michael Tree, Martin Chalifour, Andrew Manze and the Emerson quartet.

In her native Norway, Catharina continues to be an attraction for the important musical and government occasions.  She recently took part in the prestigious “Intro Classical” program, a three-year program for introducing the highest level of young classical musicians, described as the toughest music competition in Norway. 

Some Television and radio broadcasting include:- “Bravo Bravissimo” in Italy 1996 - The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘Big Stage’ for young musicians with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in 1998 - Arve Tellefsen med Følge, Store Studio - New Year Celebration in Switzerland 2001 - ‘Eurovision’ broadcast with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002 - The Norwegian Prime Minister’s New Year Speech broadcasted in 2003- “Summer” of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Oslo Camerata broadcasted in Brazil - Norwegian National Television program: Great opportunity - A Live competition, youngestwinner from the selected artists from around the country, 2003. - Concert from Bergen International Arts Festival on Norwegian National Television and Radio “Always Classic” - 2008 - Sundays Live! KCSN 88.5 Los Angeles (Bartok Contrasts, Mendelssohn Trio no 2, Rossini Quartet)

Catharina Chen plays a Jean Baptiste Vuilaumme (built in France in 1859) and a Antoni Stradivari "Emiliani, Da Russo" (Cremona, 1723), kindly lent by Leif Hoegh Foundation.

Read more at her own webpage: