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Anna Maria Friman, Linn Fuglseth, Jorunn Lovise Husan
The brilliant Scandinavian singers of Trio Mediæval have created a fascinating and unique world of sound, which they give life to with unerring virtuosity. Founded in 1997 in Oslo, Trio Mediæval’s specialised repertoire features ballads and songs from the Norwegian Middle Ages, polyphonic music arranged by the three singers themselves from medieval England, France and Italy, as well as contemporary works written specifically for the ensemble. More recently the trio have been working to create new kinds of aural experiences with musicians and ensembles from the jazz and world music scenes, including Rolf Lislevand, Nils Økland, Sinikka Langeland, Arve Henriksen and the Mats Eilertsen Trio.
The current season’s engagements include invitations to the Macao International Music Festival, Bozar Brussels, the Bavarian Radio’s Musica Viva with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the International A-cappella Week Hannover.
Trio Mediæval's first CD on ECM Records, Words of the Angel, immediately reached Billboard's Top 10 Bestseller list and was named the Stereophile "Recording of the Month" in April 2002. Further releases followed in 2004 and 2005, followed in October 2007 by the trio’s long-awaited CD of Norwegian ballads and songs entitled Folk Songs, which immediately received enthusiastic reviews. Folk Songs was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Chamber Music Performance category the following year. Their recording A Worcester Ladymass was selected by the German Record Critics’ Award as one of the best new releases in the Early Music category and also met with the highest critical acclaim. Trio Mediæval’s album Aquilonis was released in November 2014 on ECM and was chosen as one of the best recordings of the year by The New York Times.
At the beginning of 2017 the vocal ensemble’s eighth recording with ECM was released. RIMUR is a collaborative project with jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen and immediately drew comparisons to Jan Garbarek’s and the Hilliard Ensemble’s renowned Officium project. The recording reached the top five of the UK classical charts and received enthusiastic press: the German radio station SWR2 stating that “the two genres do not see eye-to-eye, but rather ear-to-ear: Rímur is a masterpiece of mutual empathy.”
Trio Mediæval has performed throughout Europe in prestigious venues such as the Oslo Concert Hall, Bozar Brussels, De Doelen Rotterdam, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ Amsterdam and the Wiener Konzerthaus, as well as at renowned festivals, among them the Bergen Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, Snape Proms/Aldeburgh Music, SWR RheinVokal Festival, Schwetzinger SWR Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersächsische Musiktage, the Dresden Music Festival and the Adelaide Festival. The ensemble is a regular guest at London’s Wigmore Hall, and several engagements have also taken them beyond Europe, including performances at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Carnegie Hall.
The trio collaborates with a multitude of contemporary composers including Gavin Bryars, Ivan Moody, Oleh Harkavyy and Andrew Smith. As a result of their collaboration with Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang and with the musikFabrik Cologne, the trio premiered Shelter, their biggest multimedia contemporary music project to date. Julia Wolfe was so fascinated by the Trio Mediæval’s voices that she wrote a piece for them entitled Steel Hammer. Together with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the trio premiered Steel Hammer in New York's Carnegie Hall in 2009 and revived this programme again in 2013 in Bruges, Uppsala, and at the Barbican Centre London. In 2016/17 the trio appeared on the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo’s CD “Concerti II” in John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music.
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