The remarkable rise of Norwegian siblings Mari (violin) and Håkon (cello) Samuelsen is the result of their artistry and enterprise. 'A Christmas Concert' from Norway, showcases their musicianship alongside the five-time Grammy-nominated Trondheim Soloists and a host of international talent. Ten years on, this event is broadcast to over 116 million households in the United States alone on the PBS network. Their 2011 concert, broadcast between 17-29 December, will reach new audiences across Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway has presented the concert since 2009.
Mari and Håkon have appeared as soloists at venues including Carnegie Hall, Théatre des Champs-Elysées, Konzerthaus Berlin, Smetana Hall, Victoria Hall, Kremlin Hall, the Oslo Opera, Wolf Trap Centre in Washington DC and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. The duo’s highly acclaimed performances of the Brahms Double Concerto in Milan with I Pomeriggi Musicali in May 2011 resulted in immediate re-invitations for both 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. This season, they return to Milan with pianist Behzod Abduraimov to perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. 12/13 will also see the duo make their debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with whom they will tour the United Kingdom.
A chief aim of the Samuelsens is to enlarge and expand the repertoire for cello and violin. In autumn 2013 the duo will give the world premiere performance of a Double Concerto by the Oscar-winning composer, James Horner.
"It was virtually impossible to divert attention from the pair with their sensitive and athletic playing. Dazzling in their intelligence, the two played together as a mirror, with perfection, with great brilliance and virtuosity - a joyful and optimistic performance of the Brahms concerto. After leaving the stage to the thunderous applause, they gave the audience an exciting encore, a Passacaglia by Handel" (Grazia Italia, May 2011)
"The brother and sister team of Mari and Hakon Samuelsen, both string players, also steps away from core Christmas repertoire with purely instrumental works, including isolated movements from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. The pace never lags. Nothing overstays its welcome." (The Philadelphia Enquirer, December 2010)