The Musical Life And Journey Of Mari Silje Samuelsen

The Musical Life And  Journey Of Mari Silje Samuelsen

Mari Silje Samuelsen

Mari Samuelsen is a classically trained violinist and brilliant violin virtuoso. The Norwegian violinist is a supremely talented artist, technically superb, and a thoroughly down-to-earth person. Of course, she is one of her kind in terms of competency and violin playing technique.

The gifted Mari Samuelsen was born in the lively town of Hamar on December 21st, 1984. She is a sister to Håkon Samuelsen who is also a musician and a cellist precisely. Mari grew up playing music with her brother in the Norwegian countryside, in the middle of the forest with a beautiful view of the lake. The farm is some kilometers away from the Oslo north in Norway.

Mari Samuelsen Journey Into Music

Mari Samuelsen started her journey into music at the early stage of her life with inspiration from her brother, Håkon. In particular, she started playing the violin as a toddler at the tender age of three. This she achieved at a local music school in the town of Hamar in Norway. She later joined the class of Arve Tellefsen in Oslo when she turned four. Mari Samuelsen was learning and playing with the legendary Norwegian violinist Arve Tellefsen for good ten years.


The Musical Life And  Journey Of Mari Silje Samuelsen

she was schooled in violin by the famous Arve Tellefsen. Mari later studied several years at the Barratt-Due Institute of Music, with Stephan Barratt-Due himself. Also, she studied for almost ten years with the world-renowned Russian professor Zakhar Bron at Zürich University of the Arts, Switzerland. Mari Samuelsen finished with two Master’s degrees at Zürich University of the Arts in 2012.

Besides, Mari has received several masterclasses from the different masters of the act. To mention a few, she passed through a konex award-winning violinist, Ana Chumachenco’s masterclass. In addition, she has masterclasses under Ivry Gitlis, an Israeli virtuoso violinist, and Donald Weilerstein, an American violinist and pedagogue. And also, she has received a masterclass from Pamela Frank as well. Pamela Frank is an American-born violinist with an international reputation across the field of music performance.

Mari Silje Samuelsen Musical Career

Galvanize and enthusiastic for new experiences, Mari Samuelsen’s career smoothly embraces the extensive array of performance platforms and musical involvement. In conjunction with her cellist brother, Mari Samuelsen has a career life that is beautifully established across Europe and extended to America. In fact, Mari has graced many international concert stages with her noteworthy violin technique couple with artistry performance. Her concerts are a mixture of an exciting musical maneuver and total mastery of the art. These are in addition to her creative and genuine way of presentation.

The musical journey she started with her brother in life continues in her career. She always finds sharing the concert stage with her cellist brother Håkon Samuelsen. Mari Samuelsen performed alongside her brother in 2003’s novel concerts where they performed with Stradivarius instruments. Moreover, she has the recognition of exploring new sound environments with her brother. Also, Mari is known for interpreting the works of contemporary composers.

Mari Samuelsen also works diligently with German-born British composer and pianist, Max Richter and the “12 ensemble”. Indeed, she incessantly explores the wide range of modern classical music with them. In fact, Max Richter’s music has evolved into a vital element of Mari’s personal playlists and also her live repertoire.

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Furthermore, the violin virtuoso and her brother worked with Oscar-winning composer, the late James Horner. The duo commissioned the Pax de Deux double concerto by James Horner. Actually, the concerto was specially written for the Samuelsen. In addition, Mari Samuelsen worked closely with an Iranian American house and techno DJ and producer DJ Dubfire, Grammy-award winning electronica artist.

In her over 30 years of exploit in music, Mari has performed together with several world-renowned orchestras and conductors. The list includes an American conductor and violinist David Zinmann, prolific Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, and British conductor Howard Griffiths. Also, she has worked with the English and Echo Music Prize Winning conductor Alexander Shelley as well as French flutist and conductor Philippe Bender. The Italian conductor Daniele Callegari is one of the great music personalities Mari has worked with and she was in the masterclass with Sir Simon Rattle. The 2014 season was including new relations and concerts with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Vasily Petrenko.

Mari Samuelsen was the artistic director of the annual event called ‘A Christmas concert from Norway’ she found in 2003 with her brother. A Christmas concert from Norway has continued to hold every year since its onset. The concert is a few hour performances of well-known classical and traditional holiday music. The concert always features top-notch musicians and singers around the globe and has grown into a Christmas eve tradition in Norway.

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Also, Mari Samuelsen with her brother has been the artistic director of the classic Yellow Lounge in Norway. The duo delivered the Berlin-born club-night to their homeland in Oslo. Also, they did work together with partners like Philipp Geist, an exceptional video artist to bring out the best all the way. Absolutely, they were just keeping classical music in the mix at the cutting edge of contemporary art.

Moreover, Mari Samuelsen is a committed chamber musician and has worked together at ION festivals with experienced musicians. Among them are Truls Mørk, Nicolas Altstaedt, Leif Ove Andsnes, Antoine Tamestit, Frans Helmerson, Lawrence Power, and Igor Levit. Also, she has worked on ION with Guy Braunstein, Inon Barnatan, Kirill Troussov, Denis Kozhukhin, Mayuko Kamio, and Measha Brueggergosman.

In January 2019, the Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen put pen on paper and endorse an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon. And in her musical career of over 25 years, she has successfully released albums of her own and also with her brother.

Awards and Honours

Mari Samuelsen has received several prizes, awards, and honours during her over 25 years of playing career. Norwegian National String Competition was the first prize she won at age of 9. And since then, she has won other top awards and also national and international scholarships for herself. These include three Norwegian cultural honour-prizes. Mari Samuelsen is the only Scandinavian ever to have won the Crescendo prize from the Meister Foundation, Switzerland.

As a violin soloist, Mari has been invited with honour as an artist to many high profile concert and events home and abroad. One of them was an invitation she received from the Vladimir Spivakov-foundation in the spring of 2001. Mari was invited to perform at different concerts in Moscow. One of the concerts was taking place inside the Kremlin.

Mari Silje Samuelsen’s Work and Album

The Musical Life And  Journey Of Mari Silje Samuelsen

The prolific violinist has worked in different dimensions in terms of performance. However, in 2015, the violin virtuoso and her brother is the focal point of the Album Pas de Deux. Pas de Deux is a double concerto composition by the American composer James Horner or violin, cello, and orchestra. The disk of the album was released through Mercury Classics and Universal Music on May 25, 2015. Afterward, the album got the number 1 spot on the Norwegian pop charts. That makes it the first classical album on that sport in the circle of twenty years.

The Pas de Deux was followed by Collage (The last work) album in 2016. This is also a composition of James Horner and Mari Samuelsen worked with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and David Arnold in track 7 title Iris. Collage is the last work by James Horner before his death.

Later in 2017, Mari released a 12 tracks album of her own that featured her brother as a cellist. The title of the album on Decca Classics label is ‘Nordic Noir’ which symbolizes dark Scandinavian drama and crime series. The ‘Nordic Noir’ was released on the 15th of September in 2017 through Deutsche Grammophon. In particular, the album debuted at number one on the UK and Norwegian iTunes classical charts. Mari Samuelsen did delve into the captivating world of Scandinavian film music in the album.

ALSO: Sir Stephen Cleobury Life and Musical Journey In Brief

The album contains original works by Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds, and Estonian classical and religious music composer Arvo Pärt. Others that wrote the work in the album are Swedish award-winning composer of film music Uno Helmersson, Swedish film score composer Johan Söderqvist. Also among is Danish composer, pianist, saxophonist, and choral conductor Frans Bak. Actually, Mari works closely with all the people involved in delivering such an amazing composition. And she also did her part with the tone of her violin to give life to the compositions.

She also releases her first solo album through the Deutsche Grammophone label in 2019. The album is title Mari and is on two CDs. The album was recorded in Berlin at Konzerthaus and Teldex Studios, in October 2018 and November 2018 respectively. The major part of the album is modern and minimalist pieces. Also, the album consists of the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, Philip Glass, Max Richter, and others.


Mari Samuelsen has performed brilliantly across Europe and also in several venues in the US as well. Mari is actually a supremely imaginative and proficient violinist. For more than 25 years on stage, the violin phenomenon has connected with audiences and musicians across the world. To cut a long story short, she has performed as a soloist on numerous world’s preeminent stages.

Mari Samuelsen has given concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York, and both Théatre des Champs-Elysées and the Paris Philharmonie in Paris. She has also performed at Victoria Hall in Geneva, Salle Garnier in Monte Carlo, Wolf Trap Center, Washington DC, Kremlin, and Tschaikowsky Hall in Moscow. Mari as a concerto soloist and recitalist has performed in Berlin Konzerthaus, Geneva’s Victoria Hall, and the Tonhalle in Zurich. London’s Barbican and the Hollywood Bowl are part of the world’s leading stages she has been to perform

On August 25, 2016, Samuelsen and her cellist brother with whom she frequently performs as a duo gave the American premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic of a work. The premiere is a work of the late film composer James Horner for violin and cello. Mari Samuelsen plays a fine G. B. Guadagnini (Turin 1773) with the Dominique Peccatte bow. The violin was generously loan from Anders Sveaas charitable foundation, Oslo, and the bow on loan from Sparebanken Hedmark.

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Mari Samuelsen collaborated with Max Richter and the 12 ensembles in June of 2017 for the opening of the Montreux Jazz Festival where they performed Recomposed by Max Richter.

Also, in 2018, Mari Samuelsen performed “November” from Max Richter’s “Memoryhouse” during the DG120 Anniversary Concert. The Deutsche Grammophon 120th Anniversary took place at the Imperial Ancestral Temple of Beijing’s Forbidden City. Specifically, the performance was with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Mari as a violinist took the solo lead.

Moreover, Mari performed as a soloist on the world premiere recording of Three Worlds, music of Max Ritcher from Woolf Works. The premiere was also anchored by Deutsche Grammophon.

The brilliant violinist continued the bliss of European tours in her 2018/19 season with top-notch performance. In addition, she performed Recomposed of Max Richter with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Hong Kong and also his Memoryhouse in Tokyo.

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