Still it is no surprise, for despite his young age, Eivind Gullberg Jensen has been closely watched by the international classical scene for years. German critics foresaw what would happen already five years ago, when they called Gullberg Jensen the greatest conductor talent in Scandinavia after his debut at Alte Oper in Frankfurt. Le monde de la Musique, the most important musical journal in France, pronounces him one of the ten future conquerors of classical music.
More than one leading orchestra has had its eye on the 35-year-old Norwegian, but it was the Hanover Radio Philharmonic that acted first. Gullberg Jensen takes up his position in Hanover in 2009. The contract is for 12 weeks a year, and includes the responsibility for creating the yearly program and selecting soloists. With such a prestigious position, the most coveted guest appointments tend to follow. So there is little doubt that Gullberg Jensen has ascended to the very summit of international classical music. Still a young man, there is no telling how far he can reach.
His style is inspiring, demanding and manifestly musical, and the musicians feel ignited by his leadership. He has been called the “rock conductor”, due to his casual style of clothing and intense body language.
-It is not a bad thing, he muses; in a time when the attention lavished on TV-made “Idols” is tenfold that which befalls anyone in the classical sphere.
Commenting on the appointment in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, Gullberg Jensen relates that extremely hard work for many years has given him the level of experience necessary to take on such a challenge as he is now presented with.
-The hard work means that I have internalized a repertoire and gained mastery of the most demanding musical contexts.
Gullberg Jensen was educated in Stockholm under the auspices of master pedagogue Jorma Panula. He has also done master classes with Kurt Masur in Poland and New York. And it was as a substitute for the same Masur that Gullberg Jensen had his true international breakthrough when he stepped in on extremely short notice and created a sensation with the Orchestre Nationale de France in 2005.
In Hanover he takes over after the Japanese Eiji Oue. Starting in 2009, the most brilliant career of any contemporary Norwegian conductor makes a huge leap forward. So now Norwegian critics are only hoping that he will find time in the future to also work back home.
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