MICHAEL SÜSSMANN started to play the violin at the age of 5, and made his first public performance at the age of 7 as soloist with orchestra in Bergen, Norway. Later, he studied with Ernst Glaser and Karsten Andersen, the latter also the chief conductor at Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1972, Süssmann attended the master class at the Royal Conservatoire de Musique in Brussels, where he studied with Andrè Gertler and Leon Ara. He graduated with a first prize in 1976, whereupon he continued studies with Ricardo Odnopossoff at the Zürich Musikhochschule.
In 1977, Süssmann became a member of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway, and was at the same time dedicated to chamber music with numerous performances. He made his public debut in Oslo in 1979 and was met with very enthusiastic critics, which in turn were awarded with several scholarships.
In 1980 he became the concert master of Tromsø Symphony Orchestra, and also the director of the string section at Tromsø Music School. Some years later, Süssmann's solo carreer made it possible for him to be a full time freelancer, combined with a teaching position in Os Music School near Bergen, Norway.
In 1997, he entered the position as the Artistic Director of MusicaNord, a concert society who produces approximately 130 concerts every year through different concert series. Süssmann has also founded the Bergen International Chamber Music Festival. Süssmann has performed in the USA and Asia, in addition to many concerts in European countries.
His schedule this year includes tours in Russia, Austria, Serbia, Italy, Spain, Slovenia and Germany. and several other concerts in Europe. Süssmann has devoted significant amount of his time to help young and talented artists to have the opportunity to perform in a professional environment. He is also the chairman for the annual Ole Bull Prize.
Michael Süssmann plays a Michelangelo Bergonzi violin, Cremona.
TOR ERIK SEIME PETTERSEN studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen, the University of Stavanger, and the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, with the pianists Audun Kayser, Håkon Austbø and Staffan Scheja among his teachers.
He has been a prizewinner in several national competitions, and has appeared as a soloist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and several of the leading Norwegian wind and brass bands.
He has also performed at festivals such as the Bergen International Festival, the Church Music Festival in Kristiansand, and – for almost a decade – the Grieg in Bergen Festival.
Tor Erik is an active chamber musician and accompanist, with regular concert appearances both in Norway and in many European countries.
In addition to a busy career as a freelance pianist, he is working as a piano teacher and accompanist at the Grieg Academy and various music schools in Bergen.