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Arve Tellefsen was born in Trondheim, Norway and started playing at the age of six with Arne Stoltenberg. He continued his studies at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music with Professor Henry Holst, before moving to New York to study with Professor Ivan Galamian.
Arve Tellefsen is one of the most highly regarded violinists in Europe and performs with leading orchestras across the globe.

Arve Tellefsen is one of the most highly regarded violinists in Europe and performs with leading orchestras across the globe.

Arve Tellefsen has worked with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Gary Bertini, Evgeny Svetlanov, Bryden Thomson, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mariss Jansons, Arvid Jansons, Walter Weller, and Zubin Mehta. In the UK, he has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the Hallé, BBC Scottish, BBC Welsh, the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National orchestras.

His discography includes concertos by Carl Nielsen, Shostakovich, Bach, Beethoven, Bruch, and Sibelius, as well as concertos by Scandinavian composers: Tor Aulin, Franz Berwald, Lars-Erik Larsson, Johan Svendsen, Christian Sinding, Fartein Valen, Arne Nordheim, and Alfred Janson. In 1997 he gave the world premiere of the Violin Concerto dedicated to him by Arne Nordheim, Norway’s foremost contemporary composer, with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on Sony Classical.

Tellefsen broadcasts regularly for the BBC; in Norway, he featured in a series of television programs with the Oslo Philharmonic focusing on classical music. He was a music consultant and soloist on the soundtrack of the feature film Sofie, Liv Ullmann’s directorial debut.

As a chamber musician, Tellefsen has taken part in festivals all over the world, including the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Bath Festival, Gidon Kremer’s Festival in Lockenhaus, Barbara Hendricks’ Festival in Montreux and the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades.


Arve Tellefsen founded the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, which takes place annually and attracts the cream of international artists, including Anne Sofie von Otter, Randi Stene, Solveig Kringlebotn, Elizabeth Nordberg-Schulz, Barbara Hendricks, Liv Ullmann, Jan Garbarek, Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk, Yuri Bashmet, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Angela Hewitt, Hagen Quartet, Hilliard Ensemble, Jordi Savall, Rolf Lislevand and Maria João Pires.



1956    Prinsesse Astrids Musikkpris


1962    Harriet Cohen International Music Award, London


1973    Edvard Grieg-prisen


1975    Festspill-prisen, Festspillene i Bergen


1978    Peer Gynt Pris


1994    Kommandør av Den kongelige norske St. Olavs Orden


1994    Oslo By's Kulturpris


1996    Norsk Kulturråds Ærespris


1996    Doctor Art Honoris Causa NTNU 


1997    Æresborger av Trondheim


2004    Fartein Valen-prisen


2004    Ole Bull Prisen


2005    Kommandør av Den kongelige norske St. Olavs Orden med stjerne.


2007    Anders Jahres Kulturpris

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