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MUSICIANS 2019 / 2021 / 2022

Tanja BECKER-BENDER, fiolin
enedicte PALKO, piano


Juni-HAPPENING 9th + 10th of June 2023:

miriam HELMS ÅLIEN violin // william COLEMAN viola

øyvind GIMSE cello // luz SEDEÑO clarinet

benedicte PALKO piano // mona LEVIN journalist

runa KVENDSETH  chef // jofrid BRU STAURLAND flowers

jostein EIANE guide

Tanja Becker-Bender (1)_©NedaNavaee.jpg




Born in Stuttgart, Germany, into a family of scientists and musicians of Bohemian origin, Tanja Becker-Bender burst onto the violinists’ scene already as a young girl, winning 1st prize in Italy’s Lipizer competition at age 18, as well as top prize in the Geneva International competition shortly after. These and further prizes such as Tokyo’s renowned Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award and prizes in the international competitions of Genoa, Houston, and Chimay in Belgium, evened out her path of regular solo performances with eminent orchestras such as the Tokyo Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, and Houston Symphony, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart of the SWR, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, and the Vienna, Zurich and Prague Chamber orchestras, as well as the English Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra Leopoldinun Wroclaw. Conductors she has collaborated with include Kurt Masur, Gerd Albrecht, Peter Ruzicka, Fabio Luisi, Uriel Segal, Hartmut Haenchen, Hubert Soudant, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi and Carlos Miguel Prieto. Regular festival performances include those of Schleswig Holstein, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Rheingau, Engadin, West Cork, Chautauqua (US), and Kronberg, with chamber music partners such as Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Pergamenschikow, Péter Nagy, Ralf Gothóni, Alexander Lonquich, Eduard Brunner, Andrzej Bauer, Miguel da Silva, Lawrence Power, Claudio Bohórquez, Dimitry Ashkenazy, and many others. 


Tanja Becker-Bender has studied in Stuttgart, London, Vienna, and New York, with some of the world’s leading quartet musicians: Wilhelm Melcher (Melos Quartett), David Takeno, Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartett), Robert Mann (Juilliard String Quartet) – also finding important inspiration through Bartók’s student György Sándor in New York and through Ferenc Rados in Budapest, as well as through regular work with Eberhard Feltz in Berlin. 


Besides the core pieces of the violin repertoire, she performes a wide range of styles and genres, from Baroque period instruments to collaborations with composers of our time such as Cristóbal Halffter, Peter Ruzicka, Peteris Vasks and Michael Gielen, and first performances of works by Rolf Hempel, Alexander Goehr, Gabriel Iranyi and Benedict Mason. Performances of Concertos such as those of Max Reger, of Kurt Weill and the landmark work by Ligeti belong to her notable recent projects.


In 2009, a fruitful collaboration with the British label Hyperion began. Her recording of Paganini’s 24 Capricci was a great success right away, being praised by critics around the world and awarded the “Editor’s Choice” of both Gramophone and Classic FM magazines. Subsequently, her next recordings set out to explore lesser known repertoire: Schulhoff, Hindemith, Respighi, as well as the Violin Concertos by Reger, by Busoni and by Strauss. These have received distinctions by the “BBC Music Magazine”, the International Record Review, German “Fonoforum”, and French “Classica”. Recently, a double disc album with Bartók’s complete works for violin and piano was released by the SWR music label. A recording of the Concertos by Weill, Krenek and Rudi Stephan will be released, recorded together with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Also coming up is the release of her recording of virtuoso violin concertos by Mozart’s Mannheim School contemporary Friedrich Eck.


After having performed on generously loaned instruments of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben for many years, Tanja Becker-Bender is now happy to have found her own instruments that she performs on: a violin of Gioffredo Cappa (1685) and a violin by Patrick Robin (2013).


In 2006 she was appointed professor at the University of Music in Saarbrücken, taking the chair which Maxim Vengerov held before. Since 2009, she is professor of violin at the University for Music and Theater in Hamburg. Students of her class have become laureates at competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels, Leopold Mozart in Augsburg, Lipizer in Italy, Tonali in Hamburg, Joachim in Hannover, playing in renowned orchestras such as in Berlin, Munich, Paris, Monte-Carlo, Frankfurt, Hannover, and enjoying versatile active chamber music careers.













miriam pressefoto 7.jpeg










Foto Luz Amable Sedeño García.jpg


Photo_Benedicte Palko_Colour_Gold.jpg




©NRK fritt bruk

MONA LEVIN - journalist

Runa Kvendseth - Portretter_8_©FabelMedia.JPG



JofridBruStaurland m blomster.jpg


JOFRID BRU STAURLAND - blomsterdekortør


JOSTEIN EIANE - turguide



Praised for her "extraordinary musicality" and "maturity way beyond her years", Miriam Helms Ålien is one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from Norway in recent years. Born in Alta in Northern-Norway, she started playing the violin when she was 6 ½ years old and has, since her solo debut at 8 years old, been a soloist with many of the Norwegian orchestras as well as with orchestras in Germany, Israel, Denmark, Italy, the Czech Republic and Russia.  


Recent and upcoming highlights include performances with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Schweizer Camerata in KKL Luzern, as well as chamber music performances in the Liszt Academy (Budapest), Berlin Konzerthaus, the Intl. Bergen Festival, and the 2nd edition of FESTIVALTA - the world's northernmost chamber music festival of its kind, for which Miriam is the artistic director.


Recent seasons have included performances with orchestras like the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Arctic Philharmonic, Israeli Netanya Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, Tromsø Symphony Orchestra, Arkhangelsk Chamber Orchestra and the Oslo Camerata.


A dedicated and passionate chamber musician, Miriam has been invited to play at numerous festivals, including the Bergen International Festival, Kissinger Sommer, Beethoven-Woche Bonn, Verbier Festival & Academy, Kronberg “Chamber Music Connects the World” Festival and OCM Prussia Cove, as well as the International Chamber Music Festivals in Oslo, Trondheim and Risør. Here she has worked closely with distinguished artists like András Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Tabea Zimmermann, Radovan Vlatković and Steven Isserlis.


Since 2020 she is also the founder and artistic director of her own international chamber music festival "FESTIVALTA" in her hometown, likely making it the world's northern-most festival of its kind.  


Miriam has been invited to perform in famous halls like Wigmore Hall, KKL Luzern, Louvre Paris, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Norwegian Opera House, and she is also a regular performer on international TV and radio broadcasts.


In 2012 Miriam won the prestigious Princess Astrid Music Price. Previously she won first prize at the Kocian Violin Competition in the Czech Republic, the overall winner and recipient of the the Grand Prix Laureate, EMCY Prize and Bärenreiter Prize. She was awarded the Sparre Olsen Prize and Norwegian Music Publisher's Prize of Honour in 2009, and was named Norway’s "Young Musician of the Year 2010". She was also chosen by the Oslo Philharmonic as Norway’s representative for the Nordic Soloist Prize.


Miriam recently graduated from the Kronberg Academy where she studied with Prof. Ana Chumachenco and Tabea Zimmermann. Previously she studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, the HfM "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin and at the Barratt Due Institute for Music in Oslo. Former teachers include Ulf Wallin, Stephan Barratt-Due, Alf Richard and Henning Kraggerud. Further inspiration has come from masterclasses with artists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Ida Haendel, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Christoph Eschenbach, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Miriam Fried and Mauricio Fuks.

Miriam plays on a 1689 Stradivarius violin, generously on loan from ASAF - Anders Sveaas Almennyttige Fond.


William Coleman has made many appearances as a chamber musician and soloist, and as the violist of the acclaimed Berlin-based Kuss Quartet. His concert schedule has included concerts at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals, as well as at the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Wigmore Hall, Theatre du Chatelet Paris, Washington Library of Congress and Carnegie Hall. William studied with Thomas Riebl and Veronika Hagen at the University “Mozarteum” in Salzburg and with Kim Kashkashian at the New England Conservatory in Boston. During this time he also received regular coaching from the Hungarian pianist Ferenc Rados.

He has performed with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Christian Tetzlaff, Yuri Bashmet, Miklos Perenyi, Kim Kashkashian, Boris Pergamenschikov, Leif Ove Andsnes, Til Felner, Antje Weithaas and Clemens Hagen, as well as extensive experience working directly with contemporary composers such as Helmut Lachenmann and György Kurtag. In 2002, William joined the Kuss Quartet.

He has been invited to give masterclasses worldwide, including in the U.S., the Kronberg Academy, the Suntory Academy in Tokyo, aswell as return visits for solo concerts and masterclasses in Singapore and Australia.

The Kuss Quartet has recorded numerous CDs for Sony/BMG, ECM and Onyx. They have also been recorded worldwide for radio and television. Most recently the quartet broadcast for the BBC, live from the Frick Collection in New York.

Highlights of the coming season include return invitations to the major concert venues in Salzburg, Madrid, Florence, Stuttgart, Cologne, London, New York, Washington, Zurich and Berlin.

Since 2015 he is Professor for Viola at the Universität “Mozarteum” in Salzburg.

William Coleman plays on a Carlo Antonio Testore of 1736, once owned by the legendary violist Lionel Tertis, and plays exclusively Evah Pirazzi Gold strings.



developed through his 15 years as Artistic Director for the Trondheim Soloists (2002-2017) the orchestra to become a fully professional ensemble with great international activity. Seven GRAMMY nominations and three Spellemann awards crowned his six major recordings with the Trondheim Soloists, and the tours stretched from South America to Japan. As an orchestra leader, Øyvind has also conducted other orchestras in Norway, Spain, Lithuania, Russia and Vietnam.

Øyvind is an internationally recognized pedagogue who, in addition to his professorship at the Department of Music at NTNU, is a visiting professor at the Galamian Academy in Malaga. He is also one of the mentors in Konstknekt, a collaboration between Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden and the Berlin Philharmonic. Chamber music is close to his heart, and he has been a guest at all the major Norwegian chamber music festivals, where he has played with musicians such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Martin Frøst, Anthony Marwood and Bobby McFerrin.

Øyvind was the man behind the "Trondheimsmodellen", a unique collaboration between the Trondheim soloists and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, he was central to the development of Dokkhuset as a chamber music arena for jazz and classical music in Trondheim, he was involved in the development of the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival and he was involved in start the national talent development program "Young musicians". For his efforts in Trondheim's cultural life, he was honored with Trondheim municipality's cultural award for 2013.

Since the summer of 2015, Øyvind has been playing a Francesco Goffriller (ca. 1730) on loan from the Sparebankstiftelsen/Dextra Musica, an instrument that previously belonged to the legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré.


"He has everything it takes to be an international soloist."

(Anne-Sophie Mutter to Adresseavisen)

"perhaps the best chamber-orchestra recording ever."

(Stereophile magazine about the Trondheim soloists' recording "Reflections")

"Director Øyvind Gimse displays the vital ability to communicate his exact requirements to the players by the force of a cheerful and confident personality."

(MusicWeb March 2017)

"This clears all doubt that there is no better chamber orchestra in Norway. No one above, but maybe someone on the side - now and then."

(Ståle Wikshåland in Dagbladet August 2016 about the Trondheim Soloists' "Reflections")



Luz Sedeño starts her musical studies at the age of six in her hometown Granada, Spain. 

She obtains her Bachelor degree at Conservatory of Music of the Basque Country, San Sebastián (Musikene) with the teachers: José Luis Estellés, Antony Pay and Henri Bok (Bass Clarinet) where she finishes with High Honors in Chamber Music and Clarinet. 

Currently, Luz Sedeño does Master Soloist degree at Haute École Musique de Genève with: Romain Guyot (clarinet), Antoine Marguier (Bass clarinet) and Benoît Willmann (E flat Clarinet). 

In 2021 she wins 2nd prize at Jacques Lancelot International Competition and SACEM prize to the best performance of N. Bacri “Concerto Breve”, in 2020 1st Prize of Fondation Marescotti in Geneva, Switerland and “Prize Chamber Music Jean-François Chaponnière”, in 2018 1st prize in “Mravinsky International Competition” in Saint Petersburg and 1st prize “Miglior solista con Orchestra” in Castrocaro Terme del Sole Italy among others. 

Luz Sedeño has performed as a soloist with: St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Opera de Rouen Normandie, Paulavičius Youth Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Orchestra Haute École de musique de Genève, Granada Classic Orchestra, Musikene Symphony Orchestra, Marco Allegri Orchestra of Italy. 

Luz Sedeño has also played recitals and concerts at festivals such as: International Festival Europeans Concerts in Saint Petersburg, Puplinge Festival, AIMS festival in Barcelona, Quincena Musical Festival of San Sebastian, Radio Clásica of Spain and Fundación Juan March in Madrid. 

She has also collaborated as a guest member with the following professional orchestras: Orchestra Suisse Romande, L’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Opera de Toulon, Ensemble Contrechamps Geneve, Bilbao Orchestra, Basque National Orchestra, Orchestra City of Granada, Orchestra City of Almería, and she has been called to play with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Opera Liceu of Barcelona and Orchestra State of Athens. 


Pianist Benedicte Palko was born in Stavanger, Norway, of Norwegian-Hungarian parents, and is since 2002 permanently living in Seville, Spain. She chooses her musical projects with care, always true to her heart, and with a desire to live a profound musicianship in her relation with the audience and her musical partners. Chambermusic is her great passion.

Benedicte Palko is well known for her technical brilliance and beauty of tone and melody. Her ability of an honest and profound music-making has not gone unnoticed among audiences and press reviews wherever she performs. Chamber music is her great passion, inspired by her teacher, the legendary pianist György Sebök.

Benedicte Palko is a demanded chamber musician, and has shown herself as a highly appreciated partner for many renowned musicians. She performs in duos with violinists Philippe Graffin and Mirijam Contzen, violist William Coleman, cellists Salvador Bolón and Lluís Claret and flutist Paco Varoch. She also collaborates with violinist Esther Hoppe, as well as performing together with the young, Spanish musicians in chamber music. Giving support to the young generation of musicians is one of her main interests.

Benedicte Palko is the founder and artistic leader of the “International Chamber Music Festival Joaquín Turina”, based in Seville, Spain. Here she has performed with musicians such as Tanja Becker-Bender, Kristóf Baráti, Tobias Feldmann, Gary Hoffman, István Vardái, Julian Steckel, Torleif Thedéen, James Dunham, Yura Lee, Lise Berthaud, José Luis Estellés, Gordan Nikoliç, KUSS Quartet...

In 2020 Benedicte founded the project PALKO & Co, which unites chamber musicians at the very highest level, literature, nature and culinary art on the island of Bru just outside Stavanger, Norway, Invited musicians include Philippe Graffin, Mirijam Contzen, William Coleman, Marianne Thorsen, Lars Anders Tomter, Eivind Ringstad, Øyvind Gimse and Sandra Lied Haga.

Benedicte has given recitals, chamber music concerts and appeared as soloist with orchestra in Scandinavia, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Holland, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Spain and USA. In December 2018 Benedicte made her debut in Asia, where she was invited to perform as a Guest Leader in the chamber music series of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea. Benedicte continued her relation with South Korea in 2019 with great success, performing chamber music concerts in Daejeon, and giving masterclasses at the “Korea National University of Arts” in Seoul.

Benedicte Palko has a sincere pedagogical interest and is very active as a teacher. In Seville she has her own piano class with students from all over Spain and also abroad, and she is a professor at MUSIKENE, the superior conservatory of the Basque country, in chamber music. Her students, pianists as well as chamber music groups, are among the finest young musicians in Spain of today. She is also invited to give master classes regularly in different Universities/Superior level in Spain, Europe and Asia, latest at Mozarteum Universitetät in Salzburg. Her students, pianists as well as chamber music groups, are among the finest young musicians in Spain of today. In April 2017 she was a jury member of the renowned 59th International piano competition “PREMIO JAÉN”, and she is also invited to be the President of the jury of the annual chamber music competition “Abate Marchena” in Utrera, Spain.

Benedicte Palko studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music with prof. Einar Steen-Nökleberg. She continued her studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Prof. Jose Ribera, where she completed diploma and soloist studies with her official soloist debut in November 1998. A US-Fulbright Foundation scholarship made it possible for Benedicte Palko to study with the legendary pianist and teacher Distinguished Prof. György Sebök for 2 years at Indiana University School of Music Bloomington, USA. Here she completed the highest diploma for soloists, Artist Diploma.

Benedicte has recorded the Sonata in f-minor by Prokofieff and preludes for violin and piano by Shostakovich with violinist Sakari Tepponen, as well as she appears in numerous live recordings for the National Spanish, and Norwegian Radio.

MONA LEVIN, journalist. 

Mona Levin (1939) has been associated with Aftenposten's cultural editorial staff since 1973, specializing in classical music and theater. She has been a theater critic for over 40 years, freelance since 1995. She studied theater at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, and later "Creative writing" at the New School of Social Research in New York.


She has published a number of books, including a. five major biographies: With life in his hands (Cappelen 1984), in which she penned the memoirs of her father, Robert Levin, Wenche Foss. On the stage of life (Gyldendal 1992, as well as a new and expanded version in 2007), Arne Næss jr. – Granite and rainbow (Gyldendal 1995), Wenche! - Cappelen Damm 2012) about Wenche Myhre, and most recently the non-fiction book Mors historie – en familiesaga (Kagge 2015).


She has also written anniversary books for the Oslo Philharmonic, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Nye Teater and the Barratt Due music institute, she was program editor at Den Norske Opera, 2000-2008, and later was editor of Klassisk Musikkmagasin, now the online newspaper Mona Levin is a frequently used speaker and social debates.


Runa Kvendseth, 25, is originally from a large family in Oslo, but has lived in Stavanger in recent years. She did her apprenticeship with Bent Stiansen at Statholdergaarden and has later worked in the Speilsalen at Britannia under Christopher Davidsen and at RE-NAA in Stavanger under Sven Erik Renaa. Previously Runa was on the national chef team, and right now she works at the Restaurant Söl in Stavanger. 

JOFRID BRU STAURLAND, flowerinstallation.

Hedleshaug Facebook

Jofrid is a flower decorator, weaves everything possible in willow, and loves gardening. You can find her workshop, Hedleshaug på Bru, on Facebook and Instagram. Her impressive flower installation hovered over the audience during June HAPPENING in 2021 and 2022. We are looking forward to this year's!


Jostein Eiane is a farmer at Sokn. Together with his family, he runs Sokn Farm with dairy cows and sheep. He is engaged in nature and politics and an experienced conservationist. Jostein will be both captain and guide during this year's trip. The family also opens the doors to the unique boathouse at Soknasundet where we can enjoy the picnic of Chef Runa Kvendseth. 

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Regarding ticketsale and logistics:

Organisation number: 923 314 873
Banc account Sandnes Sparebank: 32600880585


Sponsors believing in PALKO & Co:







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