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

"Norway's leading violinist"

Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone

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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, Ørjan Matre, Henri Dutilleux, Thomas Adès, Harrison Birtwistle, Olav Anton Thommessen, Henrik Hellstenius and Jon Øivind Ness.

Peter Herresthal has appeared with orchestras and ensembles including the Asko Schoenberg Ensemble, Vienna Radio Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Stockholm Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony, Remix Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Tapiola Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Musica, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Helsingborg Symphony, Oslo Sinfonietta, Oulu Sinfonia, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Stavanger Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta and Bit20, with conductors including Andrew Manze, Thomas Adès, Martyn Brabbins, Ludovic Morlot, 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 Melbourne Festival. Festival appearances have included the Bergen Festival, where he currently curates an annual series, Risor Chamber Music Festival, MAGMA 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, and most recently the Buene and Walli concerti nominated for Norwegian Grammys. His Nørgård recording was nominated for a Gramophone Award and was Editors Choice in The Strad and International Record Review. His recording of the violin concerto by Thomas Adès was released by BIS in February 2014 and he gave the Adès new cadenza premiere for the Ligeti concerto with conductor Andrew Manze.

He works closely with composer Kaija Saariaho, and has performed Graal théâtre with the London Sinfonietta in both Bergen and London, and with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, and BBC Philharmonic (televised for BBC Four). He has also recorded the work with the Oslo Philharmonic and Clément Mao-Takacs, released in 2019 to critical acclaim. The disc was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s Concerto Choice, and was nominated for a Spellemannsprise and International Classical Music Award.

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.

Saariaho: Circle Maps, Graal Théâtre and other works

BIS Records

Performances could scarcely be bettered. Peter Herresthal finds greater expressive variety in Graal Théâtre than Gidon Kremer… The Oslo Philharmonic evince all the clarity and fastidiousness this compelling music requires

Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone

In both this [Vers toi qui es si loin] and Graal Théâtre, Herresthal is a dazzling soloist, at once neat and carefree, imbuing the often-abstract score with tenderness and tackling the extended techniques with aplomb.” Claire Jackson, BBC Music Magazine: Concerto Choice, *****

BBC Music Magazine: Concerto Choice *****

Herresthal plays skillfully and convincingly

Helsingin Sanomat *****

Rolf Wallin Under City Skin / Eivind Buene Miniatures

Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta (BIS 2242)

Norwegian contemporary music often gets overlooked… so this disc of works from two of its leading composers comes as welcome redress – not least when it highlights the playing of Norway’s leading violinist… it is Peter Herresthal, whose disc of Nørgård concertos (6/12) was such a revelation, that commands attention on this finely recorded and informatively annotated release. Warmly recommended.

Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone

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

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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