Duo A Corda: Birgitte Stærnes, violin/Martin Haug, guitar

Established in 1997, duo A Corda is the only professional duo for violin and guitar in Norway.

Their concerts during these few years have aroused public interest both in Norway and internationally.

The repertoire ranges from stylistically refined interpretations of baroque and classical music to Spanish and Latin-American fireworks. Instrumental virtuosity, a perfection in ensemble playing, and an ability to create beauty and emotion in expressing music is a trademark for A Corda.

Apart from performing a wide range of original works dating from the classical period, A Corda guitarist Martin Haug is the arranger and the composer of an unique repertoire.

Their CD,” Fuego”, with Spanish and Latin-American music, was released in October 2001 on the label MTG and received critic’s acclaim.

In addition to their dedication to Spanish and Latin-American music,  duo A Corda is working into the field of musical treasury from the early romantic period.

“Con Amore” (2003) presents Vienna Serenades by Beethoven and Diabelli.  “Terzetto”(2005) includes trios by Niccolo Paganini and Francois de Fossa.  Playera is their second CD with Spanish and Latin-American music and was released in 2008

A Corda has performed  in Norway,Spitsbergen, Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Russia, USA, Spain and Estonia. In 2008 they toured in China, ending with a recital in Shanghai; “Chamber Concerts by Euoropean Artists.” Several times they have been invited to the International Chambermusicfestival Classica&Dintorni in Sicily. Autumn 2009 duo A Corda toured in Brazil and Uruguay, before they visited Salle Cortot in Paris. They have performed at different festivals in Norway as well: “Nordlysfestivalen”, Tromsø , “Vestfoldfestspillene” and Festspillene in Nesbyen. They are the artistic directors of the Johan Halvorsen Music Festival which takes place every year in March.

In recent years, Birgitte Stærnes has performed in Norway, Spitsbergen, Denmark, France, Spain, the Canary Islands, the Czech Republic, Italy, Estonia and Russia. Birgitte has performed at several festivals such as Bergen International Festival, Nordlysfestivalen and the Vestfold International Festival in Norway as well as the Italian chamber music festival Classica & Dintorni. Her concert at the Brighton Festival in 2004 was proclaimed “the most exciting music at the festival.” In 1997, she formed the duo A Corda with the guitarist Martin Haug. The duo has given several concerts in Norway and abroad, and it has released four CDs with repertoire ranging from Spanish and Latin American to classical chamber music. A Corda’s concerts during these years have aroused public interest both in Norway as well as internationally. The duo has toured in China, Brazil and Uruguay; and has performed in prestigious concert halls, such as the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Rachmaninov Concert Hall in Moscow and the Salle Cortot in Paris. In 1998, Birgitte’s début CD presented the works of Christian Sinding with the pianist Jorunn Marie Bratlie. In 2002, she released a CD with works written for her by the Norwegian composer Terje Rypdal. Stærnes and Bratlie made their Wigmore Hall début in 2003, receiving critics’ acclaim. Birgitte has studied with Prof. Isaac Shuldman at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo. Both her concert début in Oslo in 1991 and her diploma graduation concert in 1996 received excellent reviews. Birgitte won the First Prize in the Rotterdam International Violin Competition in 1989. She won the Yamaha prize for strings (1992), the Ticon Prize (1997) and the Government’s Work Grant for younger artists (1998). Birgitte started to play the violin at the age of six and performed with orchestra for the first time when she was 12 years old. She is the artistic director of the Johan Halvorsen Music Festival. Birgitte Stærnes plays a Lorenzo e Tomasso Carcassi violin (Florence, 1741).

Martin Haug, guitar studied with prof. Erik Stenstadvold at The Norwegian State Academy of Music. In 1979, he recieved his instrumental diploma, and in 1980 he received excellent reviews for his instrumental debut. Since then he has given concerts in Europe, Asia, South-America and the USA. Together with the guitarist Erik Stenstadvold, he has released two CDs with recordings of the French composer Antoine de Lhoyer, receiving international interest. The first CD was voted ”Record of the year” by the renown Italian magazine ”Il Fronnimo”.

International magazines like “Soundboard” and “Classical Guitar” have given his recordings excellent reviews. Martin Haug has received the State Scholarship for performing artists.

Martin Haug  plays a Daniel Friederich guitar, built in Paris 2007.