The Norwegian violist, Lars Anders Tomter, began to play the violin at the age of 8 and also took up the viola. He studied both instruments with Professor Leif Jørgensen at the Oslo Music Conservatory and the Norwegian State Academy. He then continued his studies with Professor Max Rostal and with Sándor Vegh. He was awarded a special prize for his interpretation of Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto at the International Viola Competition in Budapest in 1984 and then went on to win the Maurice Vieux International Competition in Lille in 1986.
Lars Anders Tomter’s international solo career started in 1987-1988 when he toured extensively in the USA and Germany with the prestigious Norwegian Chamber Orchestra under its director Iona Brown. Since then his appearances as a viola soloist has been greeted with the highest public and critical acclaim throughout Europe and the USA, such as Vienna Musikverein, New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin and the Kölner Philharmonie.
Lars Anders Tomter is one of today’s most outstanding violists. The “Giant of the Nordic Viola” (The Strad) He has performed with orchestras such as BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic and Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has worked together include among others Marc Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sylvain Cambreling, Dennis Russell Davies, Olari Elts, Daniele Gatti, Manfred Honeck, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Juha Kangas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Okko Kamu, Arvid Jansons, Dmitri Kitaenko, Ken-Ishiro Kobayashi, Ervin Lukács, Nello Santi, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Ulf Schirmer, John Storgårds, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Muhai Tang and Hans Vonk. In addition, Tomter collaborates frequently with internationally renowned musicians in chamber music projects.
Lars Anders Tomter is a regular guest at important festivals such as BBC Proms, Lockenhaus, Kissingen Summer, Mondseetage, Schleswig-Holstein, Schwetzingen, Styriarte, Verbier as well as at a number of festivals in Scandinavia. In addition, he is joint artistic director of the Norwegian Risør Chamber Music Festival. His large repertoire includes all major contemporary works, and he has recorded for Simax, Naxos, Virgin Classics, NMC, Somm and Chandos.
The 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons included the world premiere of four concertos written for Lars Anders Tomter. In July 2008, the world premiere of the viola concerto by Ragnar Söderlind took place, and in October 2008, Tomter played the world premiere of a new viola concerto by the renowned Estonian Composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. The Tüür Concerto Illuminatio is a joint European commission of the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover and the Orchestre National de Lille with support of Norsk Kulturråd. In June 2009, a new piece for viola and strings by Rolf Wallin was premiered within the Risør Chamber Music Festival, and in November 2009, a double concerto for violin and viola by Anders Eliasson was premiered at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.
Lars Anders Tomter is a Professor at the State Academy in Oslo, supervising a number of Norway’s most talented string players. He plays a Gasparo da Salo viola dated 1590.