Eberson, and Ole Edvard Antonsen is regarded as one of the most outstanding trumpet soloists. After winning First Prize in the CIEM-competition in Geneva in 1987 and the UNESCO Competition in Bratislava in 1989, he left his position at the Oslo Philharmonic and started his career as a full time performing and recording soloist. In the 2003-2004 season, he worked with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Ljubljana Radio Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Spanish Brass Luur Metalls, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Soloists, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Württembergische Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, and many other ensembles. In addition to recitals, he toured extensively throughout Austria, Brazil, England, Japan, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.
Ole Edvard Antonsen has played as a soloist under the direction of some of the world's leading conductors, such as Jiri Belohlavek, Mariss Jansons, Kent Nagano, Joel Levi, and Jeffrey Tate. He has also performed with orchestras and chamber orchestras like the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Czhech Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Dresdner Philharmonie, English Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo, Stockholm Radio Orchestra, Württembergisches Kammerorchester, and many others.
In addition to appearing with wind and brass ensembles, he has taken a keen interest in contemporary music and has premiered more than 40 works that were written especially for him in concert at renowned halls in Europe, Japan, the U.S., and South America. Festival credits include Flandern, Istanbul, Kings Lynn, Ludwigsburg, Rheingau, and Schleswig-Holstein.
Mr. Antonsen has appeared as a soloist and guest soloist in more than 60 different recordings of all genres. The rock-inspired CD Tour de Force sold more than 140,000 copies in Norway alone, and received a second release in January 2004. Mr. Antonsen's versatility has resulted in successful collaborations with pop, rock, and jazz musicians, such as John Miles, Level 42, Mark King, Lisa Stansfield, and Willem Breuker Kollektif.
Bassist Tom Erik Antonsen performs frequently with a number of artists, promoters, and various Norwegian television channels. In the past 20 years, he has been one of Norway's most requested musicians for various entertainment programs. He has appeared at numerous assignments in Norway and abroad, including with artists such as Carola, Johnny Logan, Wenche Myhre, Lill Babs, Lill Lindfors, Al Jarreau, Morten Harket, Rolf Lovland and Secret Garden, Jon Eberson, and
Christian Engebrigtsen. Mr. Antonsen has played in the orchestra for a number of musicals, such as Annie Get Your Gun. In addition to his extensive touring career, he is a session musician and has recorded on several of the best selling albums in Norway.
Keyboardist Atle Halstensen was trained classically at the Bergen Conservatory and Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam as an organ player and composer. Composing credits include the Bergen Philharmonic, the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra, “Den Nationale Scene” in Bergen, The Cathedral Choir in Bodo, and the Norwegian TV channels NRK and TV2. He has toured both as an orchestra leader and a musician, and performed with such artists as Karoline Krüger, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Katia Cardenal, Göran Fristorp, and Ole Edvard Antonsen. Mr. Halstensen has appeared on many recordings and is frequently requested as orchestra leader for the largest TV-entertainment shows for Norwegian television. Currently, he teaches counterpoint at the Grieg Academy in Bergen.
Percussionist Helge Norbakken received his education Academy of Music's Department of Jazz in Trondheim. A strong and clear percussion player, Mr. Norbakken has successfully collaborated on tours and recordings with both Scandinavian and international artists such as Sissel Kyrkjebø, Maria Joao and Mario Laginha, Mari Boine Band, Magnetic North Orchestra, Batagraf, Kari Bremnes, Karl Seglem, Anne Wylie, Steinar Ofsdal, Kouame Sereba, and Kjetil Bjørnstad.
Created in 1995, Norwegian Visions is a long-term Norwegian-North American cultural partnership program initiated by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program is aimed at strengthening existing cultural exchanges and building new cooperative cultural initiatives between Norway and North America. The program's relationship with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts began in December 1998 with the first annual joint concert by the group Secret Garden. Norwegian artists who have since appeared at the Center under the auspices of the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Kennedy Center are vocalist Kari Bremnes and guitarist Tom Russell (1999), the Grieg Trio (2000), Sissel, with the Oslo Gospel Choir (2001), a duo recital by the young brother and sister team of violinist David Coucheron and pianist Julie Coucheron (2002), and avant garde trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær and his band (2003). As have been all of the previous jointly presented Norwegian Visions concerts, this year's program is also the concluding event of the Embassy's annual cultural festival, Norwegian Christmas at Union Station .