Bjørn Solum

Cello Co-Principal

− What I love most about being an orchestra musician is having the opportunity to play incredible music with colleagues who are skillful, dedicated and professional, and who are constantly seeking to develop together. It's very rewarding and inspiring.

Bjørn Solum

Bjørn Solum grew up in Namdalen in North Trøndelag, where the basis for his career as a musician was laid in the amateur music world. His father and grandfather were keen amateur violinists, his mother played the piano, his uncle was a well-known pianist, organist and choral conductor, and his older brother Arild is a violinist and Bjørn’s colleague in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

− There was a lot of music at home during my childhood, he says.

− After a while the music took up more and more space in my life, so much space that I didn’t consider any other alternatives. I didn’t want anything else.

− He opened up my musical consciousness

One of his cello teachers was of particular importance, namely William Pleeth, based in London:

− In many ways, he opened up my musical consciousness. A very inspiring teacher who gave me many insights into a large and varied musical world.

Bjørn made his debut as a soloist already in 1980, and has since performed as a soloist several times with the Oslo Philharmonic - most recently in Arne Nordheim’s “Wirklicher Wald” in the autumn of 2015. He was engaged by the Oslo Philharmonic in 1989.

− What I love most about being an orchestra musician is having the opportunity to play incredible music with colleagues who are skillful, dedicated and professional, and who are constantly seeking to develop together. It's very rewarding and inspiring.

He has had many great experiences with the orchestra, and finds it difficult to pick out only one:

− The experiences are so different. It could be a concert with Jansons in Leeds, with Previn in Munich, with Berglund in Oslo, with Petrenko in Oslo, with Jansons in Salzburg, or with Blomstedt in Oslo.

− No other composer who has such an effect

Bjørn is a big fan of Ludwig van Beethoven, and has recorded all his five sonatas for cello and fortepiano on the 2L label, with his wife Kristin Fossheim.

− Beethoven has always been special for me, and I think both his symphonies and his chamber music constitute great music without exception. There is no other composer who has such an effect on me; it discombobulates me somehow.

He thinks it’s a good idea to approach a concert with an open mind if one wants to have a good experience.

− If you are looking for an interpretation which for instance resembles your favourite recording, you may be disappointed. It’s much better to simply accept what comes, and then let the music affect you in the way that only music can.

When the cellist isn’t playing, being in the mountains or with his family are important to him:

− I very much appreciate being outside in nature, maybe especially in the mountains. The problem is that I don’t have enough time for it. Otherwise, my family means very much to me.