As a Norwegian national I have always lived close to nature, and I love spending my spare time in these environments. When hearing music, I see nature; when seeing nature, I hear symphonic music. Gustav Mahler said once that “a Symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.” It is perhaps Mahler’s ideas of music in this way that makes him one of my favourite composers. I met his world for the first time in 2006 when I played his 5th Symphony with the Norwegian Youth Orchestra. This was the experience that made me convinced that I wanted to become a professional orchestral musician, a dream I have pursued ever since. The previous year I became student at the Norwegian Academy of Music Junior School in Oslo where I later would do my undergraduate. Towards the end of my degree I got to play with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and once I moved to Stavanger for a master’s degree in 2015, with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra too.

I moved to Manchester for an Erasmus at the Royal Northern College of Music with Philip Higham where I was introduced to the English musical life and culture. I returned to England in 2017 for a MMus degree at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London with Jakob Kullberg, supported by the Anglo-Norse Society. These years were invaluable for my development in cello technique and stylistic knowledge, chamber music and orchestral playing, research skills and composition. Since my enrolment at the RCM, Kullberg has assigned me to be his teaching assistant, and teaching has become one of my great passions.

I have always had an interest in history and archaeology, and these interests are perhaps what have made me look to performance history in order to find greater variations in music performance. I studied baroque cello with Richard Tunnicliffe at the RCM. I soon took an active part within the Historical Performance department and got to perform on stages such as Cadogan Hall, Queens Gallery Buckingham Palace, St. Georges Hannover Square, and Royal Festival Hall with the Florilegium Ensemble. I focused on early 20th century performance practice as my research project at the RCM which ended in a lecture recital where I, with orchestra, performed and discussed a movement from Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto. After my graduation in July 2019, I am still developing this research and will record and present the entire concerto at the RCM in late February 2020.


Royal College of Music
London, UK

University of Stavanger
Stavanger, Norway

Norwegian Academy of Music
Oslo, Norway

Quickfire Questions

What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
I enjoy long walks and jogs, photographing, travel, reading crime books or novels with an historical and/or philosophical approach. I watch documentaries about history, archaeology, theology and science.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I bake delicious cinnamon buns and enjoy eating them whilst laughing at British comedy shows.

Erlend is a member of the 2020-2021 fellowship.