Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen will release a brand new solo album called Nordic Noir on 15th September on Decca Classics. It showcases her passion for contemporary music and celebrates her native culture.
For the album, Mari commissioned new music from a host of composers – many of whom have written scores for TV and film – including Frans Bak (The Killing), Uno Helmersson and Johan Söderqvist (The Bridge). The new recording also includes original compositions and arrangements by Arvo Pärt and Ólafur Arnalds, evoking the mood now recognised around the world as ‘Nordic Noir’.
Mari was closely involved in the writing process of these new compositions – the sound of her violin plays a fundamental part of bringing these new works to life and creating the album’s musical landscape.
Mari Samuelsen says: “This music is very dear to my heart – it’s travelled from Norway and Scandinavia around the world through TV and film, and I’m thrilled to be recording these pieces on my new album. It’s also wonderful to have the opportunity to work closely with such outstanding composers to create new works.”
Originally from Hamar in Norway, Mari and her brother Håkon Samuelsen have played together since they were children, and have gone on to achieve international recognition. In 2015, Mari and Håkon worked closely with Oscar-winning composer James Horner (Braveheart, Titanic, Avatar) on the double concerto ‘Pas de Deux’ especially written for them – Horner’s first concert work in over 30 years. The album reached No.1 in the Norwegian album chart, becoming the first classical release to top the charts in 20 years.
Mari Samuelsen has built a strong reputation for championing new music, her concert repertoire including, among others, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Pēteris Vasks and for reaching new listeners through her performances with Max Richter. She’s also collaborating with Grammy-award winning electronica artist and DJ Dubfire, exploring common threads between neoclassical and electronic music. She premiered music from the Nordic Noir album in two recent concerts at London’s Barbican Centre in May 2017 as part of the Sound Unbound Festival.