Though not completely unknown—she has several albums and collaborations with artists like Tan Dun on her CV—Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing is a new face on the New York scene. Her recital Wednesday night in the Bruno Walter Auditorium had the satisfaction of hearing a fine, new artistic voice in full maturity.
The concert was presented by the National Music and Global Culture Society, an organization that brings together music from differing backgrounds around the world. Hemsing played with Azerbaijani pianist Nargiz Aliyarova, the organization’s founder and president, performed two standard violin sonatas from and, befitting the NMGCS mission, nationalist music from their respective countries of origin.
Thus, the program began with Prokofiev and ended with Grieg, with mostly obscure names (Bjarne Brustad, Franghiz Alizadeh, Gara Garayev, and Arif Melikov) in the middle. One could hear the concert as a sandwich with more bread than meat—substantial and delicious bread to be sure, but also some substance in the middle pieces, primarily in the solo music for each instrument.