Norwegian violinist Ole Böhn pursues an extensive career as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher.
In 1990 Ole Böhn gave the world premiere of Elliott Carter's violin concerto with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He has performed this concerto , which was written for and dedicated to him, with the leading orchestras in Europe and the U.S.A. His recording of the concerto on Virgin Classics was nominated one of the best recordings in 1992 by the Gramophone. The Fanfare magazine wrote in July 1993 : " This release is of Hall of Fame quality. Ole Böhn gives a heroic account of the soloist role. He has comfortably in his grasp all of the unwieldy intervals and expressive devices and makes the music sing." In 1994 this record gave the composer the prestigious " Grammy Award " in the category " Best contemporary composition" .
After his concert with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1993 the critic from The Plain Dealer wrote : “ Böhn made a tour de force of the solo part, playing with intrepid power, crispness of attack and sensuous detail." Describing the performance given by Ole Böhn in Carnegie Hall in 1992, David Schiff of The New York Times wrote : "Ole Böhn projects every nuance like a great dramatic singer." After a New York recital in 1995, New York Times wrote : " Ole Böhn played throughout the evening with great authority and unflagging commitment. "
The Boston Phoenix wrote after his performance of Kurt Weill's concerto in 2002 : " Ole Bohn played the solo part gorgeously". The African Art Smart wrote after his performance of the Dvorak violin concerto with the KZN Philharmonic in Durban in 2005: "Ole Bohn has a dark and full tone which this work demands. In addition he displayed well balanced phrasings and nuances. "
In 2008 David Hurwitz from Classicstoday wrote after Ole Böhn’s live recording of Roger Sessions violin concerto on Albany Records: “ Ole Böhn turns in a remarkably confident performance of what must be a terribly difficult piece to play. His tone remains warm and his intonation accurate throughout his range, and the jerky rhythms of the scherzo and finale hold no terrors for him. “
Since his debut in 1969, Ole Böhn has performed regularly with orchestras in Europe, the U.S.A. and South America. In 1983 he toured the People's Republic of China. He has collaborated with conductors such as Moshe Atzmon, Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, Lukas Foss, Heinz Fricke, Michael Giehlen, Imre Pallo, Marek Janowski, Franz Welser-Möst, and Oliver Knussen.
Ole Böhn's repertoire is greatly varied and ranges from the baroque up until the present day. His programmes are always innovative and exciting.Besides Elliott Carter, composers like Niels Viggo Bentzon, Noel Lee, Ib Nørholm, Pascal Dusapin, Saed Haddad and Arne Nordheim have written for him. Ole Böhn is a great advocate of 20th and 21st century music and has become one of the leading interpreters of American contemporary music in Scandinavia.
As a chamber musician Ole Böhn was for 12 years a member of the Trio du Nord which in 1975 won the UNESCO competition in Bratislava. From 1997 - 2001 he was first violinist of the Leonardo Quartet and first violinist and founding member of the Vigeland Quartet from 2004 - 2008. Mr. Böhn is a frequent guest at numerous chamber music festivals. He also gives a large number of recitals.
As a teacher Ole Böhn is widely recognised. His students come from all over the world and he teaches in seven languages. Many of his students have received international prizes and have won seats in leading orchestras in Europe, South America and in the U.S. In March 2009 Ole Böhn joined the faculty of the Sydney Conservatory of Music. He has taught at the Royal Danish Conservatory and at the Conservatory of Music in Oslo. He has given classes at the Eastman School of Music, The Norwegian State Academy of Music, the Gedai Institute in Tokyo and the University of Northern Illinois. He has for several years taught at the Officina da Musica de Curitiba in Brazil during their summer courses and has been teaching every year at the Pro Musica and the Cinves Festival in Juiz de Fora, Brazil.In 2014 Ole Böhn was invited for the first time to the famous FEMUSC festival in Brazil and has become a member of the board of the festival. In the spring semester of 2005 he was teaching at Oberlin Conservatory in the US. Ole Böhn has also acted as member of the jury in national and international competitions such as the Sparre Olsen Competition in Norway, The Grieg Society's International Competition for Composition., the Concert Artist Guild Competition in New York , the Canadian Music Competition, Concurso Paulo Bosisio in Brazil, The Kendall violin competition in Australia and the London International String Quartet Competition .
Ole Böhn has studied under Louise Behrend at the Juilliard School of Music , with Ernst Glaser in Oslo, Henry Holst at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, and with Max Rostal at the Statliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.
Ole Böhn lives partly in Sydney and in Oslo, Norway and is the Concertmaster Emeritus of the Norwegian National Opera after having been the first concertmaster for 34 thirty years. He has previously held concertmaster position with the Copenhagen Symphony Orchestra, and worked for shorter periods as concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatro del Fenice in Venice, Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro, the Residentie Orchestra in Den Haag, Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, The Beethoven Orchestra, Bonn and the Hamburg State Opera.
In addition to his busy life as a performing musician Ole Böhn was artistic director of the Semaine Musicale des Portes du Soleil in France from 1997 to 1999 and is since 1999 artistic director of the summer concerts and at the Vigeland Museum in Oslo. Since 2004 he also is artistic director of the winter concerts at the Vigeland Museum in Oslo. Ole Böhn was President of the National Federation of Norwegian Musical Artists from 1987 until 2012. He is a Commander of the Order of the Norwegian Artists'Association. In 2002 he became the first recipient of the " Fartein Valen " prize awarded to a musician who has made an "extraordinary contribution to the performance of the music of Fartein Valen and contemporary music in general". In 2006 Ole Böhn received from King Harald V of Norway the King's Order of Merit in Gold. The city of Oslo awarded Ole Böhn the “ Bydelspris 2007” for his contribution to his municipality. In 2007 the Norwegian Opera Foundation awarded Ole Böhn the prestigious “ Augusta Jerwell “ prize for his “ extraordinary contribution to the art of opera in Norway “. The “ Association of Friends of the Norwegian Opera” gave Ole Böhn its “ honorary award” in 2008. In 2012 Ole Böhn was appointed Honorary Member of the Danish Soloist Organisation and in 2013 became Honoray Member of the National Federation of Norwegian Musical Artists.
Ole Böhn uses a violin made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in 1766 and a Domenic Pecatte bow which were acquired for his use by Nordea Bank of Norway.