Lars Anders Tomter is one of today’s most outstanding violists. The Giant of the Nordic Viola (The Strad) was born at Hamar, Norway. He began to play the violin at the age of eight and also took up the viola. Both instruments he studied with Professor Leif Jørgensen at the Oslo Music Conservatory and the Norwegian State Academy. He then continued his studies with Professor Max Rostal and with Sándor Vegh. He was awarded a special prize for his interpretation of Bartók’s Viola Concerto at the International Viola Competition in Budapest in 1984 and then went on to win the Maurice Vieux International Competition in Lille in 1986.
The seasons 2008/09 and 2009/10 included the world premiere of four concertos which have been written for Lars Anders Tomter. In July 2008, the world premiere of the viola concerto by Ragnar Söderlind took place, and in October 2008, Lars Anders Tomter played the world premiere of a new viola concerto, written by the renowned Estonian Composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. The Tüür Concerto “Illuminatio” is a joint European commission of the the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover and the Orchestre National de Lille with support of Norsk Kulturråd. In June 2009, a new piece for viola and strings by Rolf Wallin was premiered within the Risør Chamber Music Festival, and in November 2009, a double concerto for violin and viola by Anders Eliasson will be premiered at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.
Lars Anders Tomter’s international solo career started in 1987/88 when he toured extensively in the United States and Germany with the prestigious Norwegian Chamber Orchestra under its director Iona Brown. Since then his appearances as a viola soloist has been greeted with the highest public and critical acclaim throughout Europe and the United States, such as Vienna Musikverein, New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin and the Kölner Philharmonie.
Lars Anders Tomter has performed with orchestras such as BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, RSO Frankfurt, NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover, Gürzenich-Orchestra Cologne, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Danish National Radio Symphony. Conductors with whom he has worked together include among others Marc Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sylvain Cambreling, Dennis Russell Davies, Olari Elts, Daniele Gatti, Manfred Honeck, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Juha Kangas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Okko Kamu, Arvid Jansons, Dmitri Kitaenko, Ken-Ishiro Kobayashi, Ervin Lukács, Nello Santi, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Ulf Schirmer, John Storgårds, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Muhai Tang and Hans Vonk. In addition, Lars Anders Tomter collaborates frequently with internationally renowned musicians in chamber music projects.
Lars Anders Tomter is a regular guest at important festivals such as BBC Proms, Lockenhaus, Kissingen Summer, Mondseetage, Schleswig-Holstein, Schwetzingen, Styriarte, Verbier as well as at a number of festivals in Scandinavia. In addition, he is joint artistic director of the Norwegian Risør Chamber Music Festival. His large repertoire includes all major contemporary works, and he has recorded for Simax, Naxos, Virgin Classics, NMC, Somm and Chandos.
Lars Anders Tomter is a Professor at the State Academy in Oslo, supervising a number of Norway’s most talented string players. He plays a Gasparo da Salo viola dated from 1590.