Eva Knardahl – radio recordings never released before
Eva Knardahl was one of the most significant Norwegian musicians, ever since the end of the Second World War. She spoke clearly about her opinions and was much regarded both by her colleagues and students, and had a broad appeal to the audiences. Knardahl was a sensation even at her debut concert; giving a brilliant performance of three piano concertos at the age of eleven.
USA and Norway
Eva Knardahl lived for a long period in the USA. She left Norway in 1947, only twenty years old, and settled in Minneapolis. There she worked as a concert pianist for the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra until 1965. During her 18 year long stay Knardahl became an important part of the musical life of Minneapolis, and her concert performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto at the National Day of Norway (May 17th) every year was an institution. Eventually she moved back to Norway – persuaded by Norwegian friends that the music scene had expanded back during her stay and that now it was possible to make a good career as a solo musician.
A life on the podium
Knardahl was embraced on her return to the home country. She performed all over Norway. She also made a strong effort to present contemporary music to the audience, and gave first performances of the works of many young composers. She appeared frequently on television and played in the radio, and all the time with that particular musical temperament that made everybody love her. Her repertoire was extensive and she had an enormous learning capacity.
In 1984, Eva Knardahl was appointed the first professorship in chamber music ever at the Norwegian Academy of Music. She gathered the instrumentalists and singers around her and helped them organize concerts, played with them and was most concerned about giving them as much experience on the podium as they could get. Her immense and wide knowledge of repertoire, her inspiring abilities, the devotion to her subject and a burning wish that they all would succeed made her a great teacher, and she called upon her students and colleagues at all hours, every day of the week. The most important for Eva Knardahl was the music, and she knew that real brilliance only could be acquired through hard work and firm dedication.
Eva Knardahl withdrew from her professorship when she was 67, but continued to give performances all her life. She died in September 2006, about half a year before she would have turned eighty.