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Geir Draugsvoll is considered to be one of the most important musicians on his instrument, the bayan. Through collaborations with many composers, Geir Draugsvoll must also be characterized as one of the pioneers on this young instrument, and he has premiered a large number of works. This includes "Fachwerk" by Sofia Gubaidulina, which is dedicated to Geir Draugsvoll, and today widely acclaimed as one of her most important works.

He has performed all over the world in festivals and concert-arenas like Concertgebouw (Holland), Alte Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Barbican Hall (London), Mariinsky Hall (Skt. Petersburg), Gasteig (Munich), Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory (Russia), Philharmonie Luxembourg, Lockenhaus Festival (Austria), Edinburgh Festival, (Scotland), Rheingau Festival (Germany), Mittelfest (Italy), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Musikhalle (Hamburg), Bergen International Festival, (Norway), CCB (Lisbon) NGA (Washington D.C.), Zellerbach Hall (Berkeley) and many others.

As a soloist with orchestra, he has performed with London Symphony Orchestra, Münchener Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra, Vilnius National SO, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Kremerata Baltica, Moscow Soloists, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Soloists, and collaborates frequently with conductors like Valery Gergiev, Vasily Petrenko, Andres Mustonen, David Geringas, Joana Carneiro, Yuri Bashmet and many others.

Upcoming engagements 2016-17 includes Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Tyrolian Symphony Innsbruck

Geir Draugsvoll is Norwegian, but now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is a Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. 

His extensive discography on EMI, BIS, SIMAX, Delos, DaCapo and Marco Polo labels, and concert activities have further expanded:

In 2009 Geir Draugsvoll world premiered Gubaidulina "Fachwerk" dedicated to him, and WP recorded in 2011 (Naxos 8.572772) in the presence of the composer. The recording and concert performances of this important creation by Gubaidulina have received euphoric international reviews throughout. Leading German newspaper «Die Zeit» has named the recording 'Best Album of the Year'.

Through collaborations with many composers,Geir Draugsvoll must be characterized as one of the pioneers on his young instrument, and he has world-premiered a large number of works.

Geir Draugsvoll (b. 1967) is Norwegian but now lives in Copenhagen where he is professor at the Royal Academy of Music.


March 2016


Geir Draugsvoll er internasjonalt anerkjent som en av de fremste musikere på sitt instrument, klassisk akkordeon (bayan). Det siste tiåret har hans konserter forårsaket overskrifter som "Breaking Borders", "Fantastic", "All hail accordeon" og "Musical Sensation".

Med et repertoar som spenner fra Bach, Mozart, Grieg og Stravinskij til moderne klassikere som Gubaidulina, Hosokawa, Berio, Nørgaard og Piazzolla, har han turnert over hele Europa, i Kina og Japan, og opptrådt på de fremste festivaler og konsertarenaer.

Han har vært solist med London Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Munchner Philharmoniker, Nederland Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Kremerata Baltica, Moskva Solistene, TrondheimSolistene, Trondheim Symfoniorkester, Camerata Nordica, Det Norske Kammerorkester, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Norsk Radio Symfoniorkester KORK , Kristiansand Symfoniorkester.

Dette inkluderer opptredener med bl.a. Valery Gergiev, Vasily Petrenko, David Geringas, Yuri Bashmet, Joana Carneiro, Andres Mustonen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Francesco Angelico, Alexander Mayer, Øyvind Gimse og Terje Tønnesen.

Engasjementer 2016-17 inkluderer bl.a.  Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester , Tyrolian Symphony Innsbruck.

Gjennom samarbeid med mange komponister, har Geir Draugsvoll vært en av pionerene på sitt - fra en klassisk synspunkt - unge instrument, og han har urfremført en rekke verk. Sofia Gubaidulinas «Fachwerk» som komponisten fremhever som et av sine viktigste verk, er tilegnet Draugsvoll, en utøver Gubaidulina setter særdeles høyt og har samarbeidet tett med.

Den tyske kulturavisen «Die Zeit» kåret in 2011 «Fachwerk» og CD innspillingen for Naxos til «Best Album of the Year».

Han har gjort innspillinger for EMI, BIS, SIMAX,Delos, DaCapo / Marco Polo og mange andre.

Geir Draugsvoll (f. 1967 ) er fra Voss, men bor nå i København hvor han er professor ved Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium.


Mars 2016


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Geir Draugsvoll
Public critics from last decade

"Harmony of Beauty»

Viktor Alexandrov,St. Petersburg, especially for «Orpheus» 07.06.2012

On the banks of the Neva Riverconcerts are continuing during the Fifth Festival of Contemporary Music "New Horizons", another large-scale creation ofValery Gergiev’s"White Nights Festival». (XX Anniversary 2012).

At the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre (the 5th June) the concert was devoted to the 210th anniversary of the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg. The evening program presented Anatol Liadov - folk tale "Kikimora",Sergei Rachmaninov Third Concerto for Piano and Orchestra,(soloist - Nikolai Lugansky) and the Fifth Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich. In addition,for the first time in the northern capital sounded the monumental concert «Fachwerk»by Sofia Gubaidulina,accordion,percussion and strings -. The name means a special type of German construction design from the XV century.

Sofia Gubaidulina admired the idea of capturing the sounds of this architectural phenomenon by means of technical and expressive possibilities of the accordion.

"In this style, (she says) it turns out to construct an aesthetic fact, even taking social value. The simplest constructs,such as poles and beams,some closures,hooks should just serve to make the door opened. The building stood,and did not fall. And suddenly these constructs were beautiful. I kept thinking about how this property would be used for music. It turned out thatthe only tool that has this opportunity - was the accordion. It is just a construct which can be taken at the front,that is to make an aesthetic element. The left-hand keyboard of the instrument has two possibilities: either it's melodic voice or chord voices. It turns out an amazing thing - a single button is boththe support and the beam. This is something esoteric»

The premiere of the Second Concerto for accordion,percussion and strings was held in Ghent,Belgium,November 13,2009. The work is dedicated to Norwegian accordionist Geir Draugsvoll,who had already fulfilled this monumental opus of Sofia Gubaidulina in London,Frankfurt and Luxembourg with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. And now the time had come to hear «Fachwerk» for residents and guests of St. Petersburg.

Valery Gergiev is delighted by Geir Draugsvoll - in his opinion, he is a wonderful,psychologically sensitive musician:

"Great joy that Geir Draugsvoll performs this wonderful product at such a high artistic,almost creative level. I think that this is his first,but not last visit to St. Petersburg ».

In «Fachwerk» Sofia Gubaidulina uses decorative colorful timbres of orchestral instruments. Strings and differentiated exotic percussion sounds are combined with a colorful palette of accordion sounds,which is a full part of the general orchestral process.

Throughout the work,Geir Draugsvoll reached incredible sonorities,presenting a diverse palette of accordion sounds. He recognize this concert has played a huge role in his work:

«Fachwerk»is a great masterpiece.There are many distinct structures in itthat requires deep understanding (by the performer) of the accordion as a concert instrument.

The score is built on the principle of Fachwerk-building,with construction in the centre. These structures can be seen on the stage when you play,there are different colors,and in the middle of all - the cross. I have always been inspired by a grand episode (the cadenza). When you get to it,you are not feeling that this is the moment of death,but rathera ‘turn on the light’. Sofia Gubaidulina uses all the sound possibilities ofaccordion.

Cooperatingso close with the composer - was an invaluable experience, pleasure and inspiration ».

When in the final ofthe concert the development of musical material reaches its climax,Geir Draugsvoll literally dissolves himselfin a mixture ofsonority by the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestraunder its strict guideance by Valery Gergiev.

He demonstrated an intonation technique which goes beyond everything else which can be produced on acoustic instruments. Thoroughly made weavings and glissandos left the listener astonished of admiration and delight. ... It was a virtuosic performance on the highest artistic level.
Berlingske Tidende (Denmark)

"An Overcoming"
Hands up - and all hearts open! The most fragile tones he can grow from silence or let die,as if he was a clarinetist or a string instrumentalist. The shortest tones length and value he can obviously vary endlessly,and the control with sound and dynamic gives every statement,every word,its own identity. A master of details. But important is also,that all the simplicity in the forms,are controlled by a strong musical instinct,so his music comes out with profile and in its entirety.
Information (Denmark)

"Breaking Boarders"
... he broke all boarders,both national and instrumental,in some fantastic performances... which brought the accordion up amongst the finest and most expressive classical instruments.
Berlingske Tidende (Denmark)

"a musician of poetry. He has a way of using total concentration to penetrate the music of silence. The music is set forth as if from a distant world,gentle and crisp,and takes on form,is brought to life,through lines constructed by way of the most subtle control over the weight and dynamics of every single note. He can make his instrument sing quietly with the music surrounded by a glow of its own. At the same time,the virtuosity of his playing is incredible; the music flows lightly across foundation pillars of rhythm and sound control,so much so that in the end everything falls assuredly into place. At times it is so brilliant that one loses one's breath."
Berlingske Tidende (Denmark)

It was not only touching,it was one of those rear moments when time stands still,and dissolves into music.
Dagbladet (Norway)

"Musical sensation"
Geir Draugsvoll is not a musician which has to mature to end up amongst the established musicians. His concert was shocking and sensational,because he broke down our prejudice towards the instrument,and also because the musical experience at times were shockingly good. ... Geir Draugsvoll could easily become more than "debutante of the year",he could become a continuos sensation in the norwegian music life.
Drammens Tidende og Buskeruds Blad (Norge)

Auf alle Fälle aber weiß ich eines: Von diesen beiden Herren möchte ich sehr bald sehr viel mehr hören. Sie beleben den saturierten,oft selbstgefälligen und in lebloser Tradition versinkenden Konzertmarkt. Schon mit zwei Akkordeons,so gespielt,könnte er ein wenig über seinen langweiligen Schatten springen...
Salzburger Nachrichten (Austria)

"Best of all is Stravinsky's score,given an inspired rewrite for two accordions,and played brilliantly on stage by James Crabb and Geir Draugsvoll. By the end,when Petrushka lies dead on the snowy ground and they walk towards him,throwing their silhouettes on the back wall,they are the piece's true heroes."
The Independent (England)

Geir Draugsvoll
Public CD-critics from last decade

The already big discography of works by Sofia Gubaidulina,is little by little filled with first rank performances. This CD from BIS - centered around Geir Draugsvoll's accordion,should be marked with a milestone.
Repertoire (France)

Geir Draugsvoll¹s virtuoso performances have to be heard to be believed.
American Record Guide (USA)

Geir Draugsvoll takes us on a chastening and never merely virtuosic
tour of the accordion's full potential...
Grammophone (England)

Accordionist Geir Draugsvoll -- a graduate of the Royal Danish Conservatory in 1992 -- is especially to be congratulated for hisstunning performances on this album. I listened to De profundis and Et exspecto while following along with the score; his playing is masterful and true to the composer's intent.> 
The Classical Free Reed (USA)

Draugsvoll is a master musician. He breathes life into these difficult contemporary works and helps make these pieces more accessible to listeners.
The Classical Free Reed (USA)

Classical Accordion is a fortuitous fusion of talented artist,technical mastery and excellent instrument; this combination certainly evokes some musical magic on this recording.
Thc Classical Free Reed (USA)

Geir Draugsvoll plays with strength and verve,producing as convincing performances as we are likely to hear. His technical audacity is successful,and he seems to have a complete understanding of and identification with what he plays.

Crabb and Draugsvoll have you on the edge of your armchair with their dash and virtuosity,and fill your mind with fantasy and colour,compelling you to re-evaluate the instrument's capacity as a serious concert medium.
Sunday Times (England)

All in all something of an artistic triumph. ... No doubt of the musicianship and virtuosity of the playing. The recording,too,is excellent.
Gramophone (England)

The most striking features of Crabb and Draugsvoll's playing are their extraordinary unanimity of ensemble,and an ebullient rhythmicality and athleticism made possible by a phenomenal bellows technique... This is a different and splendidly enjoyable disc.
Classic CD (England)

There are the makings of a cult hit somewhere here.
Independent on Sunday (England)

A disc which I am sure is destined to become something of a collector item...
Hi-Fi News (England)

Crushed chords droop or judder; mud seems to squelch; fog spreads; a singing bird flies high. These were just a few of the sounds forged through Gubaidulina's extraordinary adventurous ear and the dexterity and iron control of the brilliant Norwegian player Geir Draugsvoll. During the British premiere the orchestra, too --- the London Symphony Orchestra with Valery Gergiev conducting --- did nothing dainty or folksy. They acted as Draugsvoll's mirror image; settled into subterranean dialogue, growl for growl; or attacked the bayan with bells and gong. All very remarkable.
The Times 28.11.2011

The Norwegian soloist Geir Draugsvoll clearly relished the bayan’s strange hoarse wheeziness, the way it can make a huge, shuddering sound emerge suddenly from nothing, or (as at the very beginning of the piece) a procession of deep, reedy chords float in stillness like an organ. To hear those set against a delicate tracery of upward swoops on violins and marimba was magical indeed.
The Telegraph, 25.11.2011

Den Solopart gestaltete der superbe norwegische Akkordeonist Geir Draugsvoll verhalten virtuos, klangvoll und - dem Instrument entsprechend - gestenreich. Die Musik der tatarisch-russischen Komponistin fasziniert durch ihre subtile Klanglichkeit und Schönheit, die sich gleich zu Beginn durch den Kontrast von konsonanten Harmonien des Bajan im Wechsel mit Glissandi des Orchesters vermittelte. Das Publikum zeigte sich zu Recht beeindruckt.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25.11.2011

“Wahre Musik hat die Struktur der göttlichen Schöpfung”, sagte die wohl bedeutendste lebende Komponistin Sofia Gubaidulina dem Ensemble-Magazin für Kammermusik anlässlich ihres 80. Geburtstages am 24. Oktober. Hört man diese phänomenale CD, dann spürt man, was damit gemeint ist. Gubaidulina adelt das russische Volksinstrument Bayan (eine Art Akkordeon) zum klassischen Klangkörper und entlockt ihm Harmonien von transzendenter Schönheit.
Die Zeit 2011 «Best Album of the Year»

 Geir Draugsvoll is a mesmerising soloist, both here and in the slighter Silenzio, five miniatures with violin and cello that explore the border between sound and silence with intimate concentration. Øyvind Gimse, who directs the performance of Fachwerk, is the cellist here and, with violinist Geir Inge Lotsberg, a perfect and sensitive sonic foil to Draugsvoll’s bayan. A marvellous disc.
BBC Music Magazine 2012


Kjell Wernøe - Director - Vardesvingen 92F,N-5141 Bergen - Fyllingsdalen,Norway
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