One of Norway’s foremost double bass players, Knut Erik Sundquist was a member of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years and now performs regularly with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Norwegian Baroque Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado. He has performed with such artists as Leif Ove Andsnes and the Orion String Quartet.
Mr. Sundquist also plays with the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany, a group which performs the most important contemporary music. When he is at home in Harstad in northern Norway, he is the double bass musician in the Division Music Corps there.
A former soccer player, Mr. Sundquist gave up the sport to study music, beginning his studies on a home-made double bass constructed from a tabletop and the neck of his father’s guitar. He first started playing jazz, then joined the orchestra in his hometown of Tromsø. He fondly recalls that “the Mozart Requiem awakened life in me.” He went on to study in Vienna for several years.
Mr. Sundquist’s recitals are applauded both at home in Norway and abroad. He was honored recently with the jury prize at the Northern Lights Festival, an award that recognizes his achievements throughout his musical career. He has been praised for his “sovereign control over the double bass, both musically and technically” and for coaxing elegantly clean and beautiful sounds from its strings.