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Biography

Helen Jahren, former student of the legendary Heinz Holliger, is one of the most prominent oboe soloists today. She has performed throughout Europe, South America, the United States and the Far East and collaborated with eminent conductors such as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jun'ichi Hirokami, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Leif Segerstam, Sakari Oramo, Lev Markiz, Jorma Panula, Thomas Dausgaard, Michael Schönwandt, Owain Arwell Hughes, Ari Rasilainen, Vernon Handley and Avi Ostrovski. Helen Jahren has given recitals in Vienna, Milan, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Geneva, Munich and Tokyo and elsewhere and has participated in festivals like the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, Wiblinger Festspiele, International Gaudeamus Music Week, Turku Music Festival, Ultima, Crusell Week, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Gaida Festival. As a chamber musician, Helen has collaborated with such renowned artists as Olli Mustonen, Marc André Hamelin, the Brodsky Quartet, Sine Nomine, the Endellion Quartet, the Swensen Quartet, Altenberger Trio Wien, flutist Sharon Bezaly and many others.


Helen Jahren's repertoire naturally includes the classics of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras but she also takes a great interest in today's music. More than 50 composers worldwide, including Erik Bergman, Jouni Kaipainen, Daniel Börtz, Bent Sörensen, Anders Nilsson, Per-Henrik Nordgren and Atli Heimir Sveinsson, have been inspired by her expressive command of the instrument and have composed works for her. In September 1999 she premièred the oboe concerto by Poul Ruders at the inauguration by Queen Margarethe of the Royal Library in Copenhagen. In the coming year she will première Sven-David Sandström's Concert Pieces for oboe and orchestra in Sweden. Composers currently writing new concertos for her include Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen from Denmark, Olav Anton Thommessen from Norway and Kimmo Hakola and Jukka Tienssu from Finland.

Helen Jahren has won a succession of prizes throughout her career, starting at early age with the 1st Prize and the Audience Prize at the Jeunesses Musicales International Oboe Competition in Belgrade in 1981 and 3rd Prize at the Markneukirchen International Music Competition, Germany in 1982. In 1986 she won the Biennial for Nordic Soloists in Oslo, in 1986 she received the Swedish Composers' Society's Interpretation Award and in 1987 she was selected to represent Scandinavia at the Louisville Sound Celebration in the USA. Among her more recent awards mention may be made of the Swedish "Crystal Prize" 1995 for outstanding contributions in the field of music and the "Musician of the Year 2000" prize awarded by the Swedish newspaper Expressen. In 2001 she was awarded a 10-year grant from the Swedish Arts Committee and in the same year she received the City of Stockholm Artist Award. In 2003 the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet awarded her its prestigious Culture Prize.

Helen Jahren has recorded on the BIS, Ondine, Caprice, Phono Suecia, Aurora and MAP labels. She received the Swedish Phonogram Award in 1987 and 1986, a Swedish Grammy for Best Classical Recording in 1987 and has been nominated for the International Record Critic's Award and the Koussevitsky Award. Her discography includes concertos by Mozart, J C Bach, Ferlendis, Schnittke, Kaipainen and others, as well as chamber music by Britten, Doráti, Martinu, Krenek and Schoenberg.

Helen Jahren has given numerous master classes all over the world and has been invited as professor of oboe at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music at Odense in Denmark. Helen has been the Artistic Director of the Båstad Chamber Music Festival since its inception in 1993. In 1998 she was elected a life member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

 
Credits info@jahren.se © Helen Jahren 2004
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