Who is violinist Johan Dalene?

He won the prestigious Carl Nielsen International Competition in 2019, and has been steaming ahead ever since, despite still only being 21 years old. But who exactly is Johan Dalene? Here is everything you need to know about the Swedish violinist

Published: July 22, 2022 at 12:09 pm
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Who is Johan Dalene?

Johan Dalene is a 21-year-old Swedish violinist who made his big break in 2019, when he was awarded first prize at the prestigious Carl Nielsen International Competition. Since then he has won respect for the intelligence of his interpretations, the elegance of his tone and the spontaneity of his performances – not least from the renowned Dutch violinist Janine Jansen, with whom he has taken several classes.

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When and where was he born?

He was born in Norrköping, Sweden, on 5 August 2000.

Where has he performed?

Recently selected as a European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) Rising Star, he has performed at venues ranging from the Musikverein Wien to Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam. From 2019-21, he was also a BBC New Generation Artist, and gave performances with the BBC Orchestras, which were broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

How did he decide to take up the violin?

Born to two musicians - his mother is a pianist, and his father a cellist - Dalene initially wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and take up the cello. Keen however, that the four-year-old Dalene should tread his own path, his father encouraged him to try the violin first and to switch to the cello after a year if he didn't enjoy it. He ended up sticking with it.

What kind of music does he like to play?

Although he is well-versed in core repertoire, he has a soft spot for Scandinavian music. He was widely praised last year for his album of Nordic music for violin and piano, as well as his recording of violin concertos by Nielsen and Sibelius, which was released earlier this year.

Does he have other hobbies?

Yes, he is a keen footballer; for a while, in his early teens, Dalene was even more enthused about playing football than about playing the violin. He also describes himself as a bit of a foodie and admits that one silver lining about the lockdown was the chance to watch Netflix and learn how to cook.

When can I hear him perform?

At the BBC Proms on Tuesday 26 July, when he plays Barber's Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jordan de Souza. Later, on 16 December, he returns to London to give a recital of Brahms and Schubert at Wigmore Hall with pianist Igor Levit and cellist Julia Hagen.

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Photo: Mats Bäcker

Authors

Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.

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