Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2018

Marthe Grimsrud Husum

Played air cello until allowed to play the violin

Marthe grew up on a vegetable farm in Norway, and this is perhaps the reason why she prefers participating in festivals and master classes which are located close to beautiful nature. She can then rehearse with a quartet in the morning and go for a long walk in the mountains in the afternoon.

Then I’m happy, Marthe says and smiles.

After a walk in the nature, Marthe gets the energy for the evening’s concert and inspiration to continue working when she gets home to the city again. This is how she recharges her batteries.

Marthe has come a long way, even though she is reluctant to set specific goals: Actually, I do not dream about anything that I have to achieve. If you have a specific dream, you also close many doors and do not see the opportunities that come along. I rather take one day at a time. Things change all the time so I rather prefer to set sub-goals in relation to my practising or something else based on how things are at the moment. When I have achieved my goal, I will set a new, Marthe says.

To Marthe, it is more about being able to continue with the music and to cooperate with talented and committed people with whom she can make good music.

I want to experience things and take chances. I would rather get a lot of rejections and slaps in the face than sit at home and hide behind a sheet, Marthe says.

It was quite a coincidence that Marthe from the vegetable farm found her way to Horten Kulturskole at age seven and started playing the violin. Her sister was playing the cello and perhaps that inspired her.

I saw my sister play, and I really wanted to, but I was not allowed at first. I was so eager that I pretended to have a cello and played in the air. A year went by, before I was allowed to play the violin, says Marthe, who subsequently replaced the violin with the viola.

While living at the vegetable farm, the Danish String Quartet came to her neighbourhood. I was really inspired by that concert. I was impressed that anybody could play that well.
Today, Marthe plays that well, which has resulted in an invitation to play Mozart on a CD with the Norwegian Ensemble Allegria.

I panicked. But luckily, I was studying in the USA then; so I was in good hands and had time to study the work. The recording was going to be preserved for posterity so I wanted to do good, Marthe says.

The recording went so well that it was nominated for the Spellemann Prize 2017 in Norway. It did not win, but Marthe was still happy.

It means a lot to me that the record has been well received. And I am proud of the nomination.

Marthe Grimsrud Husum, viola in brief

She was born in Tønsberg, Norway, in 1991. Marthe started playing the violin at age seven, but it was not until she was introduced to the viola that she found her true place. She studied at the talent programme of the Norwegian Academy of Music and took a bachelor’s degree there. Since then, she has studied in Berlin and now attends the soloist class in Copenhagen.

Marthe has recorded Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante together with Maria Angelika Carlsen and Ensemble Allegria for LAWO Classics. The CD was nominated for the Spellemann Prize 2017 in the category classical music.

Marthe loves nature. She therefore tries to participate in projects that combine concerts with beautiful nature experiences.

How Marthe will use the scholarship from the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation

Marthe will use the scholarship for a new bow for her new instrument. In June and September, Marthe will participate in international competitions for which she will prepare by attending a master class in Prussia Cove.