Peter Herresthal


"Peter Herresthal played with an analytical precision tempered by great sensitivity to Adès complex structures and layered colourations."

Gary Anderson, Arts Hub

"Herresthal stamps his personality on the piece and turns Nordheims lavish gestures in to meaningful musical discourse."

Philip Clark, The Strad

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Peter Herresthal is recognised as a brilliant and inspired interpreter of contemporary violin music, strongly associated both in concert and recordings with concertos by composers including Per Nørgård, Arne Nordheim, Henri Dutilleux, Thomas Adès, Olav Anton Thommessen, Henrik Hellstenius and Jon Øivind Ness. Peter Herresthal has appeared with orchestras and ensembles including the Vienna Radio Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Stockholm Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Remix Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Tapiola Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Musica, Helsingborg Symphony, Oslo Sinfonietta, Oulu Sinfonia, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony, Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta and Bit20, with conductors including Andrew Manze, Thomas Adès, Martyn Brabbins, Anu Tali and Sakari Oramo.

Peter Herresthal has given the Austrian, Norwegian, Spanish and Australian premieres of the Thomas Adès violin concerto ‘Concentric Paths’, the latter conducted by the composer at the 2010 Melbourne Festival. Festival appearances have included the Bergen Festival, where he currently curates an annual series, Risor Chamber Music Festival, MAGMA 2002 Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein and Mechelburg-Vorpommern.

He has recorded a number of CDs for BIS and Simax/Aurora including prize-winning discs of Nordheim and Ness. His 2012 Nørgård CD was nominated for a Gramophone Award and was Editors Choice in The Strad and International Record Review. In 2013/14, he recorded the violin concerto by Thomas Adès and premiered Ades new cadenza for the Ligeti concerto with conductor Andrew Manze.

He performed the Birtwistle Concerto for violin and orchestra at Casa da Musica, Porto under Martyn Brabbins, as well as Saariaho’s Graal Theater with the London Sinfonietta in both Bergen and London.

Current engagements include performing and recording Saariaho’s Graal Theater with the Oslo Philharmonic, with performances of the same work at the Oberlin College and Conservatory in the USA as well as the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and  Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire.

Peter Herresthal is a Professor at the Oslo Academy and visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, London.

He performs on a GB Guadagnini from Milan 1753.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Rolf Wallin Under City Skin / Eivind Buene Miniatures

Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta (BIS 2242)

Peter Herresthal plays both of the concertos with consummate skill, and the Arctic Philharmonic players are clearly world class.

Dominy Clements, Music Web International​

Kaija Saariaho – Graal Theater

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble (March 2017)

Performing the solo part for the eleventh time, Herresthal played with easy virtuosity, a quality he also brought to a brief encore: the sneak preview of an arrangement of the final aria from Saariaho’s opera L’Amour de loin. Scored for solo violin, strings, piccolo, and harp, it was as deeply expressive as its textures were diaphanous.

Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical​

Kaija Saariaho – Graal Theater

London Sinfonietta, Bergen International Festival (June 2017)

Peter Herresthal’s suberb and respectful interpretation of Kaija Saariaho’s violin concerto Graal Theater with London Sinfonietta.

Emil Bernhardt, Morgenbladet

Henrik Hellstenius and Ørjan Matre

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, BIS-2152 (April 2016)

Herresthal has its measure, both technically and expressively… Superb sound.

Guy Rickards, Gramophone

Ørjan Matre, meanwhile, chose to home in on specific aspects of Herresthal’s playing for his Violin Concerto, notably the violinist’s confidence at the top of the register and his sure way with harmonics… Herresthal’s sound [is] clean and determined.

Andrew Mellor, The Strad

Hellstenius' In Memoriam [Violin Concerto No. 2]… is intensely told by Herresthal… Matre’s concerto is bigger, both in orchestral and musical breadth. Herresthal provides a staggering performance, weaving an almost unearthly picture of ethereal, spinning figures, against deep woodwinds and dark moods. The sound is colorful, rich and wonderfully satisfying.

Maren Ørstavik, Aften Posten

Per Nørgård: violin concertos ‘Helle Nacht’ and ‘Borderlines’

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (April 2012, BIS-CD-1872)

Herresthal plays here the reduction for chamber orchestra [of Helle Nacht] Norgård made at his suggestion in 2002, which gives the music an extra transparency that proves even more beguiling than the original. Herresthal plays compellingly.

Guy Rickards, Gramophone

A master violinist explores two atmospheric Nordic Landscapes: "This compelling disc serves as much as a showcase for the unfussy, no-nonsense musicianship of Norwegian violinist Peter Herresthal as it does for the rarified music of Danish composer Per Nørgård. Herresthal is by turns muscular, introverted and mercurial in the first concerto. Similarly, Herresthal brings a clean Romanticism to the work's almost folk-like melodies, only to explode into assertive action for its showy pyrotechnics. His vivid, committed reading brilliantly captures the work's luminous, crepuscular world.

The 'Bordelines' of the Second Concert's title refers to the frontier territory the soloist occupies between two radically contrasting sonic worlds…traditional Western equal temperament and a strange microtonal landscape created by overtones in the cellos and basses. Herresthal is entirely convincing, wringing the last expressive possibilities out of not just the ear-tweaking world of sixth- and quartertones, but also the relentless shifting between two systems.

David Kettle, The Strad

Thomas Adès: Violin concerto ‘Concentric Paths’

BIS-8003 (February 2014)

Not a note is wasted: this compact 20-minute concerto grips the ear throughout. Herresthal, with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, is more in touch with the concerto’s freewheeling fantasy, and the recording showcases the orchestra’s equally absorbing role.

Andrew Clark, The Financial Times ****

Direct, not too Romanticised tone matches the classically-leaning passacaglia structure....The Lightness of texture in the final movement draws together the dance rhythms and the soaring solo lines convincingly.

Martin Cotton, BBC Music Magazine ****

Herresthal and Manze bring and objective intelligence and sonic beauty [to their recording].

Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3

Olav Anton Thommessen: Bull’s Eye

Oslo Philharmonic (May 2006, BIS-SACD-1512)

The performance and engineering could hardly be improved upon, Peter Herresthal is equally adept in managing the pyrotechnical demands of Bull and Thommessen.

Peter Quantrill, The Strad

Peter Herresthal does an excellent job…this one of the standout contemporary music releases of 2006.

David Hurwitz, Classic Today

Arne Nordheim: Complete Violin Music

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Jan 2001, BIS-CD-1212)

This CD leaves an overwhelming impression of composer and soloist in complete understanding. Herresthal stamps his personality on the piece and turns Nordheims lavish gestures in to meaningful musical discourse. It would be easy to sleepwalk through this music, but Herresthal manages to keep all its strands in to the air. Herresthal portrays the character of each section [of the Partita] with panache and the electronically engineered collage in the final movement is magical.

Philip Clark, The Strad

Expertly played by Peter Herresthal, who displays much virtuosity throughout.

Robert Layton, BBC Music Magazine

Concertos with Symphony Orchestra


Violin Concerto “Concentric Paths”


Double Concerto (Violin and Timpani)


Violin Concerto


New commission (from 2015)


Violin Concerto No. 2 "Sul meme Accord"


Violin Concerto No. 2


The Crystal Cabinet (Double Concerto for Piano and Violin)


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


Violin Concerto No. 1 "Helle Nacht"
Violin Concerto No. 2 "Borderlines"
Double Concerto (Violin and Cello) - new commission (from 2015)


Graal théâtre (in preparation)




New commission (from 2015)

Concertos with Chamber Orchestra / Sinfonietta


New commission (from 2014)


Falling Angels


"by the voice a faint light is shed"


Mad Cap Tootling


Graal théâtre (sinfonietta version)

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