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- March 1, 2018
- by Andrew Naumann
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Trombone, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo: Trygve Indrelid / Oslo Philharmonic
Thorbjørn Lønmo grew up on Nøtterøy in Vestfold, where he still lives today. He had some critical musical experiences when he as a teenager took part in a series of summer courses for band musicians in Vestfold.
The teaching staff there included the Annapolis Brass Quintet, at that time the USA’s only full-time professional brass quintet. They were an enormous source of inspiration, both as teachers and through their eminent playing. I was lucky to find like-minded people on the course, and we created a brass quintet where we played together for a few years. Although I had to travel a long way to get there, it was worth it − I gained some substantial experience in chamber music. Many of us in the local brass quintet are still musicians.
Later on, trombone teacher Ingemar Roos at Norges Musikkhøgskole was the one who played the most significant role for Thorbjørn as a musician.
He helped me make some important choices along the way, in difficult times during my study period when I was about to give up my whole career as a musician.
He was engaged by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992, and feels privileged to work in an orchestra with so many dedicated colleagues:
I’m grateful to be able to work with a bunch of musicians like this. There is an atmosphere where everyone is working hard and continuously on improving themselves and the collective group. Quality is the key word, and since I started here in 1983 as a substitute and extra musician, it´s only gone one way. The orchestra is better than never before.
The trombone player very much enjoys the daily life in the orchestra:
Just think, in our daily work we have the chance to experience something which represents the very best in its field in the whole world – I’m thinking of the soloists and conductors we work with, and the music we perform, which is of the highest level within our art form which humanity has produced. And of course I am also thinking of our orchestra which has really found its place on the international scene.
He finds it difficult to rank the best concert experiences he has had with the orchestra:
You go so fully and wholly into the music you are playing that the material you are working with in the present becomes the most interesting. Very often the framework around the concert can be very significant for how the music is experienced. If I have to mention one concert which I remember especially well, I would mention a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth symphony with André Previn in Munich in 2004. I really had a feeling then of being part of something great.
Johannes Brahms’ symphonies form part of the music closest to his heart:
It’s firstly about their formal structure, and secondly about the emotional expression behind it. It’s a perfect combination.
As a listener, an open attitude to the experience is the most important thing, he thinks.
One has to put oneself in a state where one is open to everything. For a musician like me, I have a tendency to use my analytical abilities. It’s important to free oneself from this, to train oneself to disregard methodical weaknesses and to receive the music in the way in which it is being communicated.
When he isn’t playing, Thorbjørn likes to do kayaking in Nøtterøy’s archipelago, or go walking on the richly developed paths in the area.
Text: Fred-Olav Vatne / Oslo Philharmonic
Oslo Philharmonic: www.ofo.no
- GB4-1G Tenor Trombone
- w/ Gold Brass Tuning Slide & Nickel Silver Handslide