17 rounds in the chamber

Throughout July, the northern Zealand town of Frederiksværk will be buzzing with the sound of classical chamber music. The reason is that the annual Frederiksværk Music Festival is taking place. Located only about an hour away from Copenhagen Central Station, the town’s beautiful culture house, Gjethuset, provides the setting for the 17 concerts on this year’s programme. The line-up consists of a versatile mix of Danish and international names, who will be performing both traditional classical music as well as more modern and progressive sounds.

Gjethuset, which was built between 1761 and 1767, was originally a foundry. In the 1970s, however, it was taken over by the local authorities and lay idle for many years until it was eventually restored as a culture house and became the setting for the Frederiksværk Music Festival in 1991. This year’s festival will be the 22nd of its kind and promises to be an exciting one.

For the evening concerts, the audience can expect high-profile names such as Swedish-Danish cellist Andreas Brantelid, 25, who has already established an international reputation in spite of his young age. Brantelid will be performing on Monday July 15 together with Russian-German violinist Alina Pogostkina and Israeli pianist Shai Wosner. They will perform works by Beethoven, Ravel and Schubert.

Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, who has won numerous international prizes and was named one of the BBC’s New Generation Artists in 2009, will be performing as part of a quartet on Monday 29th. Apart from Piemontesi, the quartet will consist of renowned British violist Lawrence Power, Swedish cellist Torleif Thédeen and Russian-British violinist Aleksander Sitkovetsky. Together they will present a programme consisting of three different piano quartets by Mahler, Schumann and Brahms.

Also among the evening concert performers are the Italian string quartet Quartetto di Cremona, as well as some of the most significant Nordic ensembles including Trio con Brio, Concerto Copenhagen, Engegård Kvartetten, Stadler Kvintetten and Ensemble Midtvest.

The ‘Saturday Sessions’ is a platform for the more progressive and frisky initiatives on the Danish musical scene. Here you will find some of the most exciting Danish musicians of the moment in different ensembles, playing both very old and very modern music. There will be a good number of Danish premiere performances and new compositions in this concert series. The cast of musicians includes names such as the accordion duo Mythos, the sax, recorder and percussion trio Alpha, jazz pianist Carsten Dahl, the piano, sax and percussion ensemble Trio Zoom and percussionist Marilyn Mazur.

For the festival’s four ‘Friday Five O’clock’ concerts, the audience will become acquainted with even more talented and prominent singers and instrumentalists performing a wide-ranging repertoire. Accompanied by pianist Peter Møllerhøj, baritone Martin Hensel will be performing compositions by Beethoven, Schumann, Mahler and Brahms, and another baritone, Jakob Bloch Jespersen, will be singing the legendary ‘Winterreise’ by Schubert, accompanied by pianist Kristoffer Hyldig.

The Swedish soprano Gitta-Maria Sjöberg will be singing some of the great operettas and arias by composers such as Bizet, Puccini and Gershwin, accompanied by the Danish klezmer band Mames Babegenush, while the last of the Friday concerts will see the Copenhagen Cello Quartet perform five different works by recent classical composers including Sjostakovitj, Popper and Koppel.

If you enjoy your classical music in beautiful surroundings, the Frederiksværk Music Festival is a must and, with the variety of performers and repertoires on offer, there should be something for all classical music lovers.

To see the full programme, visit www.frv-musik.dk. Tickets are available from www.billetlugen.dk.

Frederiksværk Music Festival
Gjethuset, Gjethusgade 5, Frederiksværk; starts Mon, ends July 29; tickets: festival pass 1,500kr, evening concerts: 120-160kr; www.frv-musik.dk