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If Ole Bull had been born without arms, what a rank he would have taken among the poets--because it is in him, & if he couldn't violin it out, he would talk it out, since of course it would have to come out.

– Mark Twain


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Mar 09, 2010

Celebration of Ole Bull - ‘the Nordic Paganini’

In 2010 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Ole Bull's birth by presenting a comprehensive intstrument exhibition with many concerts.

The Norwegian violin virtuoso of the 19th Century, Ole Bull played to crowds in the tens of thousands on his tours of Europe and the USA. Robert Schumann called him ‘the greatest of all’ and his friend Franz Liszt performed with him on several occasions.
Bull him self claimed to have learned to play from ‘the Norwegian mountains’. Though he was a man of the world, he retained a close bond with the city of his birth and often came to Bergen to rest. His fairy-tale villa “Lysøen” and his country house are regular concert venues for the Bergen International Festival.
The 'Ole Bull' del Gesú from 1744
In 2010 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Ole Bull’s birth by presenting a comprehensive instrument exhibition. Bull owned some of the greatest violins ever built. The exhibition includes a number of specially selected violins from Guarneri del Gesù’s late period. Some of the exhibited del Gesu’s will be used in concert at the festival, including free afternoon concerts at the museum. The 'Ole Bull' del Gesú from 1744 will be exhibited by the kind permission of Chi Mei Foundation. Dextra Musicas own del Gesú also made in 1744 will be exhibited together with the “Ole Bull”. These two violins have probably never been presented together before.

In addition, a selection of instruments from the Dextra Musica collection will be on display, and heard in concerts. This includes instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri “del Gesú”, Guadagnini, Rugieri and Gasparo da Saló, just to mention a few.

Specialists on string instruments

Seven of the most prominent violinmakers of today will collaborate in building a violin inspired by the “Ole Bull” del Gesù. This violin will be played in concert during the Festival.

The Dextra Musica collection includes instruments by modern makers, and will be exhibited in a separate room dedicated to these makers.

Specialists on string instruments from all over the world will gather in the city for the Festival and our exhibition will feature lectures by renowned violin experts.

The curators for the exhibition are string instrument expert, Peter Biddulph, and Øystein Birkeland, the artistic director of Dextra Musica.. Dextra Musica owns a collection of prominent stringed instruments and lends them out to established and talented Norwegian musicians. Dextra Musica is a subsidiary of Sparebankstiftelsen DnB NOR.


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last modified Mar 09, 2010 12:14 PM