Birgitta Johansson Halbakken

Viola

− Working in the orchestra is a great privilege, and my skilled colleagues are a big inspiration for me. Without them, no magic! The magic occurs when all the efforts are united, when one has a mutual concentration and a very good conductor leading. Then something occurs which is only there in the moment - it’s perishable goods you’ll only get then and there.

Birgitta Johansson Halbakken

Violist Birgitta Johansson Halbakken grew up in Karlstad in Sweden, and got all the stimulus she needed in her hometown that was necessary to pursue a career in music:

− I have the communal music school in Karlstad to thank for my becoming a musician. There was an eager Principal at the school who was quick to establish a child- and youth orchestra, and I became used to sitting “in the middle of the music” from an early age.

Since then, she studied with Otto Berg at Norges Musikkhøgskole, Gennady Kleymann in San Francisco and Nobuko Imai in The Hague.

− I was thrilled when, many years after my first music experiences I got a job as a violist in the Oslo Philharmonic. It’s here, in the middle of the music, that I have had the greatest of my musical experiences, for example with the music of Brahms, Mahler and Bruckner. Picking out one special experience is impossible, since the list is now quite long.

− Something occurs which is only there in the moment

Birgitta was engaged by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1982.

− Working in the orchestra is a great privilege, and my skilled colleagues are a big inspiration for me. Without them, no magic! The magic occurs when all the efforts are united, when one has a mutual concentration and a very good conductor leading. Then something occurs which is only there in the moment - it’s perishable goods you’ll only get then and there.

She also played for ten years in The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and is very fond of chamber music. She appreciates the variation she gets when she occasionally plays in a string quartet.

When she is not playing, Birgitta likes best to spend time outdoors:

− As recreation, nature experiences are a winner, and I like the sea, forest and mountains. Perhaps it’s because my place of work is mostly indoors?