VC INTERVIEW | Johan Dalene on the Carl Nielsen Worldwide Violin Competitors

Johan Dalene — © Mats Bäcker


The Violin Channel not too long ago had a chat with VC Younger Artist Johan Dalene to debate his expertise attending and profitable first prize on the 2019 Carl Nielsen Worldwide Violin Competitors.


As a younger violinist, I attended many violin competitions, however the Nielsen Competitors was my first competitors for adults. It was additionally, by far, the one which required the most important repertoire — an unbelievable quantity of music to current in a short while — it felt tremendous critical! You can undoubtedly really feel the joy within the air in Odense, but additionally goodwill, anticipation, and curiosity. A lot of my pals at house weren’t musicians and could not totally perceive why I used to be practising on a regular basis, so in a approach, it was cool to immediately be surrounded by plenty of like-minded instrumentalists who wish to spend many hours day-after-day doing one thing they actually love. Regardless that we had been opponents, we additionally supported one another, wishing everybody to carry out their finest.

Odense has a small, very cozy metropolis heart and you possibly can see indicators of the competitors in all places with posters and flags – and wherever you went you got here throughout individuals from the competitors. It made the entire thing acquainted and pleasant.

Within the Nielsen Competitors, there have been some new components for me in comparison with earlier ones. For instance, we performed the primary spherical anonymously behind a display, which felt uncommon but additionally honest. Earlier than the second spherical, everybody obtained to file a brief movie, the place we spoke concerning the repertoire that we had chosen. It was proven proper earlier than we went on stage. Within the semifinals, we performed a Mozart Concerto and not using a conductor — I bear in mind sitting within the lodge room, nervously practising tips on how to make the orchestra begin collectively within the first motion — turned out it was nothing to fret about. The musicians had been so expert, tremendous versatile, and agreed with all my intentions, it was really enjoyable!

All through my week in Odense, I did every thing in my energy to push away any thought that jogged my memory that I used to be really participating in a contest. I attempted onerous to give attention to enjoying in addition to I might and having fun with the music. It’s a lot simpler stated than executed, however I feel it’s important that you just really feel assured in what you do and never assume an excessive amount of about how the members of the jury will react. There’ll all the time be completely different faculties, beliefs, and tastes and all you are able to do is be your self, attempt to current the music in a approach you consider in, and hope for the most effective. In spite of everything, it is a incredible alternative to get to play three completely different violin concertos with an amazing symphony orchestra for one week!

After competing, we sat nervously within the live performance corridor ready for the jury to announce the outcomes. When it grew to become clear that I had received first prize, I felt infinitely proud, comfortable, and grateful! To have a profitable title in your CV is maybe not a necessity, however no less than for me, it has been a useful assist to start out a global profession. It led to plenty of engagements outdoors Scandinavia, assembly with nice orchestras and conductors and enjoying at prestigious festivals like Verbier. I additionally obtained to signal with Enticott Music Administration.

Having stated that, I can even affirm that the current years actually had been no stroll within the park. When the pandemic hit the world, it meant powerful challenges for artists. I attempted to make use of the time to study new repertoire nevertheless it wasn’t all the time straightforward to maintain up the motivation when live shows had been postponed or canceled. Fortunately, I had the privilege to do various streamed live shows; in the course of the first lockdown in April 2020, I carried out Bach’s Concerto for two Violins with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, alongside the superb Janine Jansen — a incredible expertise!

I want the most effective of luck to all of the contestants on this 12 months’s competitors! It appears to be an incredible group of violinists and I hope it is going to be an equally unforgettable and academic expertise for them because it was for me!


A pupil of Janine Jansen and Per Enoksson on the Royal Faculty of Music in Stockholm, Dalene is a former main prize winner on the Menuhin, Kocian, and Cooper Competitions. The 21-year-old additionally performs on a Stradivarius violin from 1736 (“Spencer Dyke”), generously on mortgage from the Anders Sveaas’ Charitable Basis.

He was a BBC New Era Artist from 2019-21 and Artist in Residence with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in the course of the 2020-21 season. In Spring 2020, Johan Dalene’s debut album on BIS Information acquired a Diapason d’Or in France and was chosen as an Editor’s Alternative by each the BBC Music Journal and Gramophone within the UK. His second launch, “Nordic Rhapsody,” was adopted by his most up-to-date SACD, “Sibelius and Nielsen Violin Concertos.”



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