Elise Båtnes

1. Violin 1st Concertmaster

−​ When I moved to Oslo after high school at nineteen, I was often a substitute at the very last desk in the Oslo Philharmonic. It was there I gained an understanding about what a phenomenal community a symphony orchestra can be, and how incredible it is to be a small piece in this great machinery which is producing such fantastic music. It’s pure luxury to be able to share the experience with the other musicians.

Elise Båtnes

Elise Båtnes comes from Trondheim, and started playing the violin when she was four years old. She appeared as a soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time when she was ten, and has since performed as a soloist with all the Norwegian and many international symphony orchestras.

− I like to say that I haven’t decided yet whether I want to become a musician or not, she says.

− I feel I have always been a musician, as I’ve always been involved with music. I think it originates in my background from the music school in Trondheim. Playing music was an integral and natural part of my life from early on.

− The interplay, expression and energy was incredible

Elise has studied with a number of influential violinists. The greatest influence on her development as a musician she attributes equally to the Oslo Philharmonic and its long-standing chief conductor Mariss Jansons.

− When I moved to Oslo after high school at nineteen, I was often a substitute at the very last desk in the Oslo Philharmonic. It was there I gained an understanding about what a phenomenal community a symphony orchestra can be, and how incredible it is to be a small piece in this great machinery which is producing such fantastic music. It’s pure luxury to be able to share the experience with the other musicians.

Her greatest experience with the Oslo Philharmonic was playing Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 on tour to England in 1991.

− I was sitting right at the back of the first violin group, at the ninth desk, and knew the symphony more or less by heart. It was my first Bruckner symphony and the interplay, expression and energy were simply incredible. At the back desks of the first violins, we often sat very near the horn group. Since then I’ve always felt that recordings of this symphony don’t have enough horn … After that tour Bruckner’s Seventh has become one of my favourite symphonies.

A big machinery expressing feelings

In other words, Elise quite likes Bruckner, and in addition, she’s fond Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and Richard Wagner.

− I love being a part of a big machine which as a whole expresses such strong feelings. Of a smaller format, there’s also Brahms; his symphonies are also fantastic to play. Now that I have mentioned Strauss and Wagner, I must also say that I love to play opera. Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde is incredible music, even if it involves a pretty long day at work!

Elise believes the most important element in having a good listening experience in the concert hall is to be able to put away stress, and to be receptive to the music in the moment.

− In our lives it’s a very rare thing to be able to sit calmly and concentrate on only one thing. See it as a fantastic opportunity to share a unique experience with both the performers and other listeners!

When Elise isn’t playing, she might turn her attention to other disciplines, fishing and the future.

− I love the forest. And fishing! I also like studying other disciplines. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to do this in recent years, but I hope to have time at some point in the future. I don’t mind a good book, either …