The remarkable rise of Norwegian siblings Mari and Hakon Samuelsen is the result of their characteristic mixture of artistry and enterprise. For more than 20 years on stage, the brother and sister-phenomenon have connected with audience and musicians across the world. The chief aim of the Samuelsens is to enlarge and expand the repertoire for cello and violin. In autumn 2014 the duo will give the world premiere performance of the new double concerto Pas de deux written specifically for the two of them by Oscar-winning composer, James Horner. The concert will mark the opening of the 175th anniversary season of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and will be conducted Vasily Petrenko.
Growing up in the beautiful natural surroundings of Hamar, some 130 kilometres north of Oslo, Mari and Hakon have always felt a strong bond to their native Norway. Alongside their international careers as soloists and as a duo, the siblings have built a strong profile in their home country and have launched and supported a variety of projects to widen the audiences for classical music. For 10 years they have produced and performed at A Christmas Concert from Norway: Klassisk Julekonsert. Presented by HRH Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, the program has been broadcasted around the world, bringing the spirit of Norwegian Christmas to millions of households in Europe and North America. More recently the siblings have taken on the role of artistic directors for the Yellow Lounge Norway, brining the Berlin-born classical club night project to Oslo for the first time in October 2014.
The Norwegian brother and sister have been shown great honour from the regional government and have received several Culture-prices over the years.
Mari and Hakon have appeared as soloists at venues including Carnegie Hall, Théatre des Champs-Elysées, Konzerthaus Berlin, Smetana Hall, Victoria Hall, Kremlin Hall, the Oslo Opera and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Recent engagements include a celebrated series of performances of Brahms Double Concerto and Beethovens Triple Concerto, with Behzod Abduraimov, with I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, a tour with Brahms’ Double Concerto with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Alexander Shelly, and concerts at Oslo Chamber Music Festival. They also featured as soloists in Royal Liverpool Phiharmonics’ The Spirit of Christmas concert series, broadcast nationwide on Classic FM.