Terje Viken

Percussion Co-Principal

− I find almost every concert week a great experience. In addition to being inspired by these fantastic experiences, it’s the music itself which is the very core of the joy I experience as a musician.

Terje Viken

Percussionist Terje Viken was surrounded by music when he was growing up in Hadeland:

− My grandfather and my uncles played in bands, and Uncle Jan’s snare drum probably made an impression on me. That was how it started.

Then he got to know Bjørn Seiersten, from the same town, who is today Principal timpani player in Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, and later, the percussionist Bjørn Rabben.

− Through them and others I was introduced first to classical and then newer music. From then on it was Shostakovich, Nordheim, Beethoven, John Williams and more - and there was no way back. It had to be that way - that I became a musician.

− Music is the very core of joy

Terje was trained at Norges Musikkhøgskole, and after four years in the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra he was engaged by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996.

− I find almost every concert week a great experience. In addition to being inspired by these fantastic experiences, it’s the music itself which is the very core of the joy I experience as a musician.

Some of the concerts with the orchestra distinguish themselves as extra memorable:

− I have to mention the residency in Vienna in 1997 with Mariss Jansons. Several concerts with Jukka-Pekka Saraste have also been great experiences, such as when we played Schoenberg's Pelleas & Melisande, and the concerts with Mahler’s Sixth symphony. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting Beethoven’s Seventh symphony and The Rite of Spring is also an important memory.

− Still fascinated by pop and rock

The percussionist has been a soloist with both the Oslo Philharmonic and other orchestras several times, and has also performed his own compositions. As a listener he considers the whole of the classical music repertoire to be “filled with gold”

− I discovered Shostakovich early, and he is still one of the composers I rate the most highly, together with Mahler. Other favourites are Beethoven’s Third symphony, Richard Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder, Mahler’s Ninth symphony, Alban Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder, and much much more. In addition I am still fascinated by pop and rock, which I discovered early. From pop, rock and jazz I would mention Terje Rypdal, Sting and A-ha.

Terje's best advice for a good concert experience is to come with open ears and an open mind, and to focus fully and wholly on the music.