Cast 2023

CAST 2023

Olli Mustonen

piano, festivalcomposer 2023

Olli Mustonen started his studies in piano, harpsichord and composition at the age of five in his native city of Helsinki. The first studies were with Ralf Gothoni, he subsequently studied piano with Eero Heinonen and composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Olli Mustonen is artistic director and chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, and has a unique position in international music life. He is rounded off by the tradition of the great masters such as Rachmaninov, Busoni and Enescu, and Mustonen combines with fascinating strength the triple role of composer, pianist and conductor in a balance that is quite unusual. He holds the position of 1st guest conductor for the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, where he will combine orchestral concerts with chamber music series and solo concerts.

During his glamorous career, Mustonen has contributed his extraordinary musical insight to many of the world's most significant orchestras, including the Berlin, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Orchester de Paris , Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Camerata Zürich, orchestras in Tokyo and all the London orchestras.

Michala Petri
blokfløjte, gæstesolist

Michala Petri is the delightful surprise as a guest soloist at Classical Days 2023.

For nearly 50 years, Petri has made her mark on the Danish music scene, notably expanding the repertoire for the recorder. She has continually pushed the boundaries of the instrument, and today, the recorder is no longer limited to Baroque music but is seen in classical and modern compositions, Danish songs, and even in popular music – she has even ventured into Chinese music.

Since her debut at the age of 11 in Tivoli Concert Hall, Petri has traveled the globe with her instrument, performing over 4,000 concerts and recording more than 70 albums. Michala Petri is considered the world's leading recorder player today, and she has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music. Over 150 works have been composed specifically for her, and she has received numerous recognitions and awards, including the prestigious Sonning Music Prize. Additionally, she has been appointed a Knight of the 1st degree by Queen Margrethe.

Ismo Eskelinen


"This performance makes every piece sound

as if hearing it for the first time. ” - American Record Guide

Ismo Eskelinen is recognized as one of the world's finest classical guitarists. He has been a true pioneer in spreading the classical guitar to a larger audience. He is a sought-after orchestral soloist, chamber musician and in collaboration with some of the most significant international composers of our time.

His impressive list of recordings includes two Bach albums, the first of which won the Finnish Emma Award in the category of Best Classical Album in 2014. A concert recording with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu was released in 2018 (BIS). The latest recordings are 'Songbook' with Jan Vogler (Sony Classical 2019), 'Carnival' (BIS 2019) with Karen Gomyo and 'Kromos' (BIS 2020), a solo album containing music composed for Eskelinen.

Eskelinen has performed in such prominent concert halls as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall and Théâtre de la Monnaie.

Daniel Rowland


"Although it can be difficult these days to distinguish the individual sound of the top international violinists, Rowland truly sounds like no other." -Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone

"Daniel Rowland has a powerful, glamorous tone, shiny at the top and throaty androbust at the bottom" Richard Bratby, Gramophone

“Glorious… riveting subtleties” Tim Ashley, The Guardian

"The kind of authenticity you'd expect from Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel or Isaac Stern... a force of nature that gives you goosebumps" Robert Maxham, Fanfare

Dutch/English violinist Daniel Rowland's playing has been hailed as "wonderful, ravishing in its finesse" by The Guardian, as "both naked and highly virtuosic" by NRC Handelsblad, while The Herald has highlighted his "astonishing sound and uniquely single-minded intensity" .

Daniel Rowland has established himself on the international stage as an extremely versatile, charismatic and adventurous performer with a wide repertoire. In recent seasons, Daniel has performed with orchestras from Tromsø in northern Norway to Cape Town in South Africa.

Maja Bogdanovic


"Serbian-born cellist Maja Bogdanovic gave an exceptional concert, offering an uncommon tonal beauty of distinct character, interpreted with maturity and superior technical assurance." Dennis Rooney, Street

"Cellist Maja Bogdanovic is a true, soulful artist with a boldly expressive sound that has a lot to show but is never pretentious." - New York Concert Review

After her stunning debut concert at Carnegie's Weill Hall, "Strad" magazine hailed Maja Bogdanovic for "an outstanding performance of exceptional tonal beauty and great maturity in interpretation."

Since then, she has taken a place among the foremost cellists of the time.

Janne Thomsen


"Janne Thomsen was one of the big stars of the evening. Sincere joy in playing, perfect technique and a special radiance characterized her playing and appearance on stage," - Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich.

She has established herself worldwide as an extremely successful and sought-after soloist. After her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London and in the soloist class at the Conservatoire de Musique de Paris, she continued as a prize winner in prominent flute competitions in Prague, Paris, Bayreuth, Rome, Vienna, Paris and Boston. Likewise, Janne Thomsen has been awarded scholarships by Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik's Foundation, as well as the Augustinus Foundation, the Holstebro Music Prize and the Street Prize. In 2016, she was awarded the title ARAM, "Associate of the Royal Academy of Music", an honor awarded to musicians who have made a special effort in the world of music.

More about Janne Thomsen

Sigurd Barrett


Sigurd Barrett wrote his first songs at the age of six. As a young man, he studied Russian rock at university, and as an adult, he has both conveyed big band and symphony orchestra works for the smallest. Sigurd and his bear, Bjørnen Bjørn, really became everyone's property through the long-standing collaboration with DR-TV on the dissemination of music for children.

Sigurd Barrett has shown with tireless energy how to be spontaneous, funny, deeply musical, popular and at the same time a well-thought-out, serious music mediator within a respect-inspiring multitude of genres.

In Holstebro, we know the skilled entertainer as the one who boosts and controls the energy in some of the school children's greatest musical experiences when they take part in Klassische Dage's large children's projects with up to 500 children.

Super trio with some of Europe's strongest shining international jazz stars from the Swedish and Danish jazz scene who create new music sprung from the American jazz tradition in new perspectives. The sound is an acoustic and dynamic powerhouse. The band's members are known for playing with some of the best jazz musicians in the world such as Jerry Bergonzi, Jeff Tain Watts, Gregory Hutchinson, George Garzone, Aaron Goldberg and others. and gathers their forces here in a new extroverted and swinging band that just has to be experienced live.

Carl Winther - jazz piano, Johnny Åman - bass, Anders Mogensen - drums


Jazz trio

Ensemble MidtVest

Ensemble MidtVest understands classical music as a living tradition that is rooted in the past, but which is just as relevant today as it has been for centuries. It is therefore the ensemble's aim to make the last 500 years of music accessible to the 21st century audience. To fulfill this goal, the ensemble not only presents a repertoire of classical chamber music, but also works with free improvisation as well as baroque and early classical works.

Ensemble MidtVest was established in 2002 and consists of a string quartet, a wind quintet and a pianist. The ensemble is based at HEART – Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses both rehearsal rooms and a concert hall.

Ensemble MidtVest plays approx. 100 concerts a year at home and abroad, and has, among other things, performed in 2023 Carnegie Hall in New York, Kings' Place and Wigmore Hall in London.

Morten Ryelund

artistic director of DUEN

"Morten Ryelund is a rare great musical talent. His insight into and interpretation of the music is always thoroughly worked out, personal, innovative and extremely convincing. Furthermore, Morten possesses a rare ability to collect the positive and creative energy that always arises in his presence and use it to bring out the best in the musicians." - Johannes Søe Hansen, concertmaster of the DR Symphony Orchestra.

Morten Ryelund (b. 1970) made his professional conducting debut with the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra in 1996. Since then he has worked with numerous orchestras and ensembles such as Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, DR Entertainment Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Bergen Chamber Orchestra , Pskov Symphony Orchestra, Athelas Sinfonietta, DR Radio Choir, The Kgl. Opera Choir and Copenhagen Chamber Orchestra.

In addition, he has long and extensive experience in working with young musicians. In the period 2004-11, Morten Ryelund was conductor of the Danish Youth Ensemble - from 2012 conductor and artistic director of the Danish Youth Ensemble.


Danish Youth Ensemble

DUEN, The Danish Youth Ensemble consists of approx. 25 young, talented string players with classical as their core repertoire. At the helm is conductor and artistic director Morten Ryelund, who ensures that both the energy and the quality are high. Most of DUEN's members are students at the country's classical conservatories and have been selected after an entrance exam. Each member has a permanent place in the ensemble for two years, as needed the crew is occasionally expanded with talented young wind players. The distinguishing feature among the young string players is an infectious joy of playing and a high technical level.

Christian Øland


Christian Øland is a comet and one of the Nordic countries' most promising young conducting talents.

He was born in Denmark in 1994 and studied in the renowned conducting class at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He went to OrkesterEfterskolen in Holstebro with bassoon and piano and was admitted to the Sibelius Academy just a few years later, aged just 18. After just one year of study, he was appointed assistant conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra by the orchestra's chief conductor Hannu Lintu and led the orchestra in concert. He worked closely with the FRSO's guest conductors, including Esa Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt and Oliver Knussen.

In the 2022/23 season, Christian Øland conducts, among others, the Slovak State Orchestra, Copenhagen Phil, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Aalborg and Aarhus symphony orchestras. Christian Øland has conducted orchestras such as the DR Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Kapel, the Royal Court Chapel in Stockholm, Magdeburg Philharmonic, Slovakian State Philharmonic, Wermland Opera, The Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Jönköping Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonia and all Danish regional orchestras. In Denmark, Christian particularly often conducts the Copenhagen Phil.

foto: Morten Albek

Orkester MidtVest og ReMus

symphony orchestra

Orkester MidtVest was founded in 1994 by the then Ringkjøbing County under the name Ringkøbing County Symphony Orchestra. When the counties were closed down in 2007, it changed its name to the current Orkester MidtVest. The orchestra is a fantastic mix of young talents and experienced musicians. Half are young people from, among others, the Basic Music Course, MGK, while the other half are adult musicians, professionals as well as seasoned amateurs.

REMUS stands for the Central Jutland Youth Symphony Orchestra. It is a full symphony orchestra with 55 members between the ages of 12 and 20. The young people are selected from several central Jutland youth orchestras and from the conservatory. The orchestra has functioned under Aarhus Music School since 2012 with support from among Region Central Jutland.

The orchestra is managed by Aarhus Music School.

Theresa Jarvis Eliasen

coreographer,The Royal Ballet School

Theresa Jarvis Eliasen is the day-to-day manager of Holstebro Ballet Academy. Theresa graduated from the 'Arts Educational School' in London from 1980-1983. She then became a professional ballet dancer in Lisbon, at 'The National Ballet of Portugal'. Since then, Theresa has danced as a soloist at the 'English National Ballet', the 'Berlin Ballet' and the 'Det Kongelige Teater' in Copenhagen. In 2002, Theresa moved to Holstebro, and has since been ballet director/teacher at the Royal Theater department here in the city.

Theresa teaches the ballet school's ballet line (grades 1-6), as well as the oldest students at the ballet academy, where she offers lessons in toe-pointing.

Every year, Jarvis presents a lively and beautiful choreography for the Klassische Dage soloists' performance at Sigurd Barrett's big children's concert in Musikteatret, Holstebro.

Aleksei Zaitsev


Aleksei Zaitsev (b. 1995) is one of the most promising pianists to emerge from Finland. His most important teachers in the Sibelius Academy in Finland include Irina Zahharenkova, Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna and Teppo Koivisto. Currently, Aleksei is pursuing his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Marianna Shirinyan’s class.

As a versatile pianist whose range of repertoire covers music from the early Baroque era to the newest contemporary music Aleksei has performed in numerous festivals in Finland, the Baltic countries, Scandinavia, Japan and the USA.
Zaitsev has won the 1. prize in the Yamaha Music Foundation’s Piano Competition 2020 and has also received a finalist and honorary prize in the VII Vigo International Piano Competition 2023. In the fall of 2022 Aleksei was the only Finnish pianist who reached the semi-finals of the Maj Lind International Piano Competition in Helsinki and received great reviews by Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. As YLE Finnish broadcasting company described: “Zaitsev's playing is gripping. His musicianship is intense, and the level of skill is astonishing...”

Aleksei has been awarded scholarships and grants for outstanding achievements by:
ProMusica Foundation, The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Karen & Arthur Feldthusen’s foundation among others.

Michael Berkeley


Michael Berkeley is the eldest son of the composer Sir Lennox Berkeley and a godson of Benjamin Britten. As a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, singing naturally played an important part in his early education.

He studied composition, singing, and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, but it was not until his late twenties, when he went to study with Richard Rodney Bennett, that Berkeley began to concentrate exclusively on composing. In 1977 he was awarded the Guinness Prize for Composition; two years later he was appointed Associate Composer to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Since then Berkeley’s music has been played all over the globe and by some of the world’s finest musicians.

Michael was made a CBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012. He was appointed a non-party political member of the House of Lords in 2013.

Søren Schauser

philosopher, lecturer in music history

Photo: Lars Gundersen.

Søren Schauser is a philosopher, a lecturer in music history, the author of numerous books and reviews, and nationally recognized as a participant in "Den Klassiske Musikquiz" on DR2.

Søren Schauser will deliver a speech at the opening concert.