Sara Chen

Sara Chen (born in Oslo, October 27, 1990) began to play the violin at the age of five and
already two years later, she had her first performance as a soloist with Bærum Symphony
orchestra. Sara has studied with Alf Richard Kraggerud (1998 – 2005), with Stephan
Barratt-Due (2005-2011) and she has a performance diploma as a student of Prof.
Mauricio Fuks at Indiana University (2011-2014). Her Masters degree is from Munich
Hochschule für Musik und Theater, with Prof. Christoph Poppen. Sara has had master
class with well-known violinists, both nationally and internationally, such as Ana
Chumachenco, Henning Kraggrud, Piotr Janowski, Detlef Hahn, Stephen Shipps, Almita
Vamos, Ida Haendel, and Aaron Rosand. She also has attended many of the most
prestigous masterclass festivals, such as Kronberg Masterclass, and Keshet Eilon.
Sara has had numerous of performances broadcasted on television since the age of nine.
Her first appearance was with Arve Tellefsen, where she played the ”Bach double violin
concerto” in 1999. Later she was invited to play at a children channel with Minken
Fossheim, and in 2001 she had her piano performance broadcasted at NRK’s ”Happy New
Year”. Two years later she played at another Christmas program all broadcasted by NRK.
In 2006 she had a great performance on the Norwegian National Television program:
”Great opportunity”, a live competition program of selected young artists from around the
As a soloist, and a chamber musician, Sara has contributed in several national and
international tours and festivals in the world, such as in Brasil, Tanzania, China, Germany,
Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, England and USA.
Solo performances:
2007 – Soloist with Bergen Philharmonic orchestra.
2007 – Soloist by Lofoten Festival, Grieg Festival, Tønsberg ”Levende Musikk” and Olav’s
dagene in Trondheim
2008 – Soloist with Kristiansand and Tromsø Symphony Orchestra
2008 – Soloist in Bergen International music Festival.
2008 – Soloist with Oslo Symphony Orchestra
2008 – Soloist with Barratt Due Symphony Orchestra.
2009 – Soloist in Hardanger Music festival.
2009 – Soloist in Ljubljana in Slovenia.
2009 – Soloist by Chinese New years Concert in Oslo Concert Hall.
2009 – Soloist in Grieg festival in Bergen
2009 – Soloist in International Young Artist Festival in Los Angeles.
2010 – Soloist with Shanghai WanFang Symphony Orchestra in Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
2011 – Soloist with Shanghai WanFang Symphony Orchestra.
2013 – Soloist with Oslo Camerata, on the main stage of the Oslo Opera
2014 – Solo recitals at the Villefavard Festival in France
2015 og 2016 – Solo- and Chambermusic Recitals at the Incontri Musicali Festival in
Spoleto, Italy
2016 – Chamber music concerts at the Marvao Festival in Portugal
2016 – Chamber music concerts at Oslo Chambermusic Festival
2003- Virtuoso prize at the Gnessin International Violin Competition in Moscow.
2004 – Winner of ”the Dream Scholarship”
2004 – Ånun Lund Rej’s Scholarship.
2006 – 1st Prize of the Remember Enescu International Violin Competition in Romania.
2007 – Winner of the ”Karoline Prize.
2008 – 1st Prize Norwegian Youth String competition
2011 – Received the Fulbright Scholarship
2013 – Drewes Merit Award from National Society of Arts and Letters
2014 – Received the Ingar Dobloug Award
2015 – Received the DEA Award
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Sophie Rosa

Sophie Rosa first garnered attention after winning the Second Prize and Audience Prize at the 2nd Manchester International Violin Competition 2011. She has performed across the UK as a recitalist in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and Bridgewater Hall as well as appearing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. Sophie has broadcast for Radio 3 and Classic FM.


Sophie’s debut album, ’Reve d’Enfant’ was released in 2016 on the Champs Hill Records label. It was described in Musical Opinion as, ’….a very fine disc, containing uniformly excellent performances in great style and played with complete musical understanding….a very desirable record of the year’. Sophie’s second CD of English violin duets with Midori Komachi and Simon Callaghan, has recently been released on the EM Records label.


As a chamber musician, Sophie has collaborated with notable musicians including Martin Roscoe, Nobuko Imai, Craig Ogden, Guy Johnston, Joan Rodgers and James Gilchrist. Sophie also performs with Pssapha contemporary music ensemble and is a member of Pixels Ensemble.


Sophie studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music with Wen zhou Li. She was a recipient of the RNCM Gold Medal and was also awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal in recognition of her musical achievements. After completing her Masters Degree with Distinction, Sophie completed the RNCM International Artist Diploma in Solo Performance and furthered her studies in America with Midori Goto, Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein.


Sophie was kindly supported by several award foundations including the Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Music Scholarship, The Solti Foundation, The Hattori Foundation, The Stephen Bell Charitable Trust, The Lauriston School Trust and Help Musicians UK.


Sophie currently plays on a Joseph Gagliano violin dated 1795 and a Fonclause bow made available through the generous support of the Stradivari Trust.

Mihkel Kerem

Mihkel Kerem was born in 1981 into a family of musicians. He studied violin and composition in Tallinn and London graduating from Royal College of Music in 2006.

As a solo violinist, Mihkel has played with many orchestras including the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Opera Orchestra, Brandenburg Sinfonia, Southbank Sinfonia. He has appeared Live on BBC radio 3 and his performances have been broadcast on national radios in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. He has performed all the major concertos, as well as some lesser known works, such as Trandafilovski’s violin concerto (of which he gave the London premiere in 2004). He has lead Estonia State Symphony Orchestra and Southbank Sinfonia (UK) and directed Camerata Nordica (Sweden). He has also appeared with English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Amsterdam Sinfonietta.

Mihkel is prolific composer with over 150 works to date. His works have been performed in the USA, Russia, UK, Germany, Holland, and many other European countries. In 2012, Toccata Classics released a CD of his 4 Violin Sonatas. A second CD of Symphony No. 3, Lamento for Viola and Strings and the String Sextet was issued in 2013.

Mihkel is the leader of Brandenburg Sinfonia (London), joint assistant leader of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra a section principal in Camerata Nordica (Sweden) and member of New European Ensemble (Holland).

Pål Solbakk

Pål Solbakk (Norway) is a versatile musician, with experience ranging from baroque to contemporary, free-jazz to tango bands, and has participated in more than 40 recordings in different genres. He is artistic director of Nord-Trøndelag Chamber Orchestra, co-founder of Long Island String Quartet, and have been following the Aurora journey from the start as a member of Aurora String Quartet. He is a teacher at Musikakademi Vänersborg in Sweden and Toneheim in Norway.

En allsidig musiker med erfarenhet från allt mellan frijazz och barockmusik, rock och tangoband, och har medverkat på över 40 CD-inspelningar i olika sammanhang. Har efter avslutad utbildning 1998 varit tilknuten kammarorkestern Camerata Nordica och har varit gruppledare i flera andra nordiska orkestrar. Spelar ofta med Oslo Barockorkester och Det Norske Kammerorkester. En mycket efterfrågad pedagog som bland annat undervisar musiker genom Barratt Dues talangprogram i Oslo. Pål är även violast i Aurora String Quartet.