Describing his own approach to playing cello as one that focuses on bringing out the highest quality of sound, Truls Mørk is noted as a cellist who has created a mark for his romantic and emotional approach to playing and has left him as a large force in shaping Norway as a notable country for creating string players.
Mørk’s father was a cellist and mother a pianist, both of whom taught him their respective instruments but never pushed him to become a musician. His love of the cello and admiration of Mstislav Rostropovich were the defining factors that have contributed to his success.
Truls Mørk studied at the music school of the Swedish National Radio which was housed at Edsberg Castle and in later years he studied with Heinrich Schiff, perfecting his talent. He would go on to receive prizes at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1982, the Cassado Competition in Florence in 1983, and in New York at the Naumburg Competition in 1986.
Truls Mørk has travelled and performed with renowned groups across the world and performs recitals in top concert halls. His New York Recital debut was in 1986 and two years later in 1988 he gave his London debut recital. Mørk often performs and records with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for whom he served as Artist in Residence, the first in their history. He debuted with them at the BBC Proms in 1989. He is a champion of new music and has premiered over 30 new works.
In 1989, Truls Mørk completed his very first concert tour with many professional European orchestras and in 1994 finished a tour across the United States with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, providing him with his debuts at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Boston Symphony Hall, and Chicago Orchestra Hall.
Mørk is the founder of Stavanger Chamber Music Festival. His cello is by Domenico Montagnana with the scroll made by Stradivarius, originating in Venice in 1723.
His recordings are always met with praise and include the Elgar concerto with Sir Simon Rattle and Britten cello suites, Shostakovich concertos with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, cello and orchestral works by Massenet with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Saint Saens concertos with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He has recorded on labels including Virgin Classics, harmonia mundi, and BIS.
Truls Mørk was nominated for a Grammy for his recording of Shostakovich Concertos No. 1 and 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
He holds professorship at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway.
Images by Johs Boe