Norwegian violinist Terje Moe Hansen to perform at GVSU

Chris LaFoy

Critically acclaimed professor and violinist Terje Moe Hansen will play a guest recital Friday at Grand Valley State University.

Hansen, a native Norwegian who now teaches violin at the Malmo Acadamy of Music and Norwegian State Acadamy of Music, has been considered an exemplary violin talent since he first performed at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 1984.

He is renowned for his unique style. Classically, violinists play holding the violin with their left hand and bowing with their right. Hansen, who is left-handed, bows with his left hand, an unusual technique that he credits part of his interesting and uncommon methods to.

Hansen said his style does not ignore classical style but rather enhances it. Because he plays in a way many would consider backwards, he developed a new way of organizing and patterning fingering.

Gregory Maytan, a violin professor at GVSU, was instrumental in making Hansen’s appearance at GVSU a reality.

“I applied for a grant from the Padnos Center to do an exchange with Mr. Hansen,” Maytan said. “Mr. Hansen is one of Scandinavia’s leading violin teachers, and I felt it would benefit the GVSU community to have him come.”

Hansen has played music since he was a young man. His father built violins in his hometown of Stavern, Norway, a small town south of Oslo.

When his father asked him to test the acoustics of a recently-produced violin, he immediately recognized Hansen’s natural talent.

The family hired a local violin teacher to teach Hansen the foundations of his new practice, and eventually Hansen was invited to study full time at the Academy of Music in Oslo.

Hansen’s recital will be a part of the master class program he is teaching this semester at GVSU.

“It’s fascinating to learn how the violin is taught in a different part of the world,” Maytan said. “Perhaps my students will get new insights into how to solve their problems and will become inspired to work harder.”

Hansen’s instructional book, “A Modern Approach to Violin Virtuosity,” focuses on teaching students better fingerboard control and sight reading.

Maytan said guest performers often elevate student work in the music department.

“Guests of this caliber bring knowledge and inspiration on many levels,” he said. “Just the knowledge that a guest like this will be coming causes student to practice and prepare more.”

Hansen’s guest recital will take place on Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

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