LINDA HEDLUND received her first violin lessons in Finland with the age of five. The Finnish violinist received a scholarship to study at the Tchaikovsky conservatory in Moscow with prof. Sergei Kravtchenko (1995-1996) and continued her studies at the University for Music and performing arts in Vienna with prof. Rainer Küchl. She also studied in Berlin (Hochschule der Künste) with prof. Uwe-Martin Haiberg (2001) and has participated at master classes with a.o. prof. Ana Chumachenko, prof. Mi-Kyung Lee, prof. Endre Wolf, prof. Mikhail Kopelman (Borodin Quartet), prof. Sergei Azizian and Schlomo Mintz. She also studied chamber music in Vienna with Johannes Meissl (Artis Quartet) for several years).
Linda Hedlund graduated in Vienna (University of Music and performing Arts) in 2002 (Master of Arts). She is currently continuing her studies for a doctorate degree in musical performance at the Sibelius-Academy where she also works as university assistant. Her work has been supported by a.o. Niilo Helander foundation, Svenska kulturfonden, Alfred Kordelin foundation, H&W Grönqvist foundation, Victoria foundation, Esek and the Sibelius-Academy. Linda Hedlund is also a member of EST (School of research in music and performing arts in Finland).
Linda Hedlund has appeared as concertmaster at the Pacific Music Festival Japan (1999), with Tapiola Sinfonietta (2004) and with Sinfonia da Camera Finlandia as well as the Austrian Chamber Orchestra. As chamber musician she works with musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Ensemble Wien-Helsinki) and with a.o. pianists Oliver Kern, Ilmo Ranta, Eero Heinonen, Folke Gräsbeck and cellist Seeli Toivio. She has performed succesfully at many festivals including Music Nova (Helsinki), Grafenegg Festival (Austria), Ung Nordisk Musik, Urkuyö & Aaria, Sibelius in Korpo and Music festival in Hetta (Finland). Linda also founded the Emäsalo Music Festival taking place each summer in Finland.
Linda Hedlund performes as soloist and chamber musician in Finland and abroad. In June 2008 the Finnish label Fuga released a CD with the sonatas by Franck, Saint-Saëns and Debussy performed by Linda Hedlund together with Oliver Kern. (Artist representation: AIM, inc. USA)
OLIVER KERN was born in 1970 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, and there he began studying piano at the age of 5. His artistic activity started when he was very young, and he stood out in the German musical scene for his brilliant results in international piano contests. He graduated with a first-class degree in piano, orchestra conducting and chorus conducting from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, under the guidance of Wan Ing Ong. He went on to specialize in piano with Rudolf Buchbinder and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, at the Musik-Akademie in Basel and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
He has won a great number of awards in international piano competitions: first and second prizes in the international competitions of Senigallia, Hamamatsu, Peking and Paris. He has drawn the attention of critics by winning two prestigious competitions: the “ARD” award(prize) in Munich, in 1999, and the “Beethoven” award(prize) in Vienna, in 2001, when he was the first German pianist to have won this award; in the latter he also received the special award for the best performance of Beethoven’s sonatas. He is much appreciated for his performance of Beethoven’s and Brahms’ music; the critics recognise his merit of possessing a technical virtuosity that is not an end in itself, but is oriented to a thorough research of timbre and expression. His profound interpretation has led him to the realisation of rare cultural projects such as the performance of Brahms’ complete operas for piano solo in the Classix Festival Braunschweig: “With great intensity and poetry Oliver Kern is modelling the Brahms cycle.” (Braunschweiger Zeitung).
He has performed in important festivals and in famous halls in America, Asia and Europe, and has been acclaimed by all his audiences: Musikverein Wien, Schauspielhaus Berlin, Musikhalle Hamburg, Herkulessaal Munich, Salle Gaveau Paris, Auditorium St. Cecilia Rome. He has played with famous orchestras including the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Munich, Hannover and Vienna, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, Michael Stern, Lu Jia, Marc Soustrot, Gerard Oskamp and Dmitri Yablonski. He has recorded for the German, Austrian, French, Italian and Japanese radio and television. With the label “Realsound” he has published CD’s with solo works written by Beethoven and Brahms. Besides his concert activity Oliver Kern teaches piano in International Master Classes and has often been invited as a Member of the Jury for International Piano Competitions such as the “Vianna da Motta” – Competition in Lisbon. He is professor of piano music at the University of Music in Hamburg.