Biography

ANNA MARIA FRIMAN
LINN ANDREA FUGLSETH
JORUNN LOVISE HUSAN

The crystalline voices of Trio Mediaeval have captivated audiences since the group was founded in Oslo in 1997. The Grammy-nominated trio’s core repertoire features sacred monophonic and polyphonic medieval music from England, Italy and France; contemporary works written for the ensemble; and traditional Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic ballads and songs. The group’s fruitful relationship with the legendary ECM Records, collaborative spirit, and busy touring schedule has earned them worldwide renown. "Singing doesn't get more unnervingly beautiful," wrote Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle, who declared their San Francisco debut "among the musical highlights of the year." He added, "To hear the group's note-perfect counterpoint - as pristine and inviting as clean, white linens - is to be astonished at what the human voice is capable of."

Trio Mediaeval's first of nine albums on ECM Records, Words of the Angel, landed on Billboard's Top 10 and was a Stereophile "Recording of the Month.” Further releases on ECM followed in 2004 with Soir, dit-elle and in 2005 with Stella Maris. The first three recordings, produced by John Potter, consisted of medieval and contemporary works. In 2006, the trio started a long-term collaboration with the Norwegian percussionist Birger Mistereggen, and the long awaited recording of Norwegian ballads and songs, Folk Songs, was produced by Manfred Eicher and released in 2007. Folk Songs was nominated for the Norwegian Spellemannprisen and for a Grammy Award for "Best Chamber Music Performance" the following year. A Worcester Ladymass (2011) was also on Billboard's Top 10 list, and was selected by the German Record Critic's Award as one of the best new releases in the "Early Music" category. The trio’s 2014 release, Aquilonis, was named a “Top Music Recordings of 2014” by the New York Times. In 2017, Trio Mediaeval and jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen released Rímur — medieval and folk music from Iceland, Sweden and Norway.

Trio Mediaeval made its US debut in 2003, performing two sold-out concerts at New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Since that first appearance, the trio has embarked on multiple North American tours, performing in cities across the continent. Highlights include concerts in New York's Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., the Kennedy Center, engagements at San Francisco Performances and Spivey Hall, and broadcasts on American Public Media's Saint Paul Sunday and Performance Today. In Europe, the trio has performed in a variety of venues: churches, cathedrals, monasteries, farms, clubs, industrial spaces, museums as well as prestigious halls such as Oslo Concert Hall, Bozar in Brussels, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London's Wigmore Hall, and the Vienna Konzerthaus. The group has also toured in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea.

The trio has collaborated with a multitude of contemporary composers, including Anna Clyne, Gavin Bryars, Betty Olivero, John Adams, William Brooks, Ivan Moody, Sungji Hong, Oleh Harkavyy, Bjørn Kruse, Trygve Seim and Andrew Smith. In 2005, the trio teamed with Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe and David Lang for Shelter, the ensembles's biggest multi-media contemporary music project to date. Shelter premiered in Cologne, Germany, and it was fully staged the same year at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Julia Wolfe was so fascinated by the trio'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 recorded it in 2011. In 2013, Steel Hammer was performed in Europe in Bruges, Uppsala Konsert & Kongress, and at the Barbican Centre/LSO in London. Trio Mediaeval and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra premiered David Lang’s Reason to believe in Oslo in 2011.

Since 2016, the trio has embarked on a number of collaborative projects with Norwegian jazz/improvisational musicians. These include projects with Trygve Seim, Frode Haltli, the Tord Gustavsen Trio, Arve Henriksen, and others. These collaborations have led to concerts and radio broadcasts at the Bergen Festival (where the trio was Artist-in-Residence in 2007), Molde Jazz Festival, Wigmore Hall, West Cork Music Festival, as well as performances in Norway, Holland, Italy and Germany.

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