Guest artist from Norway to perform in this year's Octubafest Celebration

If a prize were given for the guest artist who will travel the farthest to perform in this year’s Octubafest celebration at Tennessee Tech University, it would go to tuba soloist Oystein Baadsvik and accompanying pianist Jorgen Larsen, both of Norway.

The pair will present a recital at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, in the Wattenbarger Auditorium of the Bryan Fine Arts Building. A Center Stage event, the concert is one of about 20 scheduled for TTU’s Octubafest, which is set for the final week of the month this year, and all of those shows are free and open to the public.

Baadsvik is unique because he is a full-time tuba soloist. His first solo CD was released in the early 1990s, and American Record Guide said, “This spectacular recording establishes Baadsvik as one of the best tuba soloists in the world.”

He began playing the tuba at the age of 15 and soon decided to explore the tuba’s possibilities as a solo instrument, winning first prize in a Norwegian national competition for soloists when he was 18.

Within the next two years, Baadsvik had made his own programs for Norwegian radio and had performed as a soloist with most of Norway’s professional symphony orchestras.

In a desire to communicate with his audience, he’s even developed new tuba-playing techniques that have been used in a number of recent works for the instrument.

His latest CD, “Tuba Carnival,” was released on the BSI label in 40 countries in September 2003 and its first edition sold out in six days, leading the recording company to offer Baadsvik an exclusive contract.

Larsen is an assistant professor at the Music Conservatory of Trondheim, Norway, and he has performed with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra frequently since 1977.

He’s also a member of the Trondheim Quartet, which recently issued a CD of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartets in g-minor and c-minor, and Larsen has also recorded his first solo CD, which contains various 20th century masterpieces.

For more information about this or other Octubafest events, check out the TTU tuba and euphonium website at http://orgs.tntech.edu/tuba/index.html.