Biography >
Repertoire 2003
British-born husband and wife team THORSON & THURBER began their duo partnership at the Royal College of Music, London. Both prize-winning students, their paths diverged as they pursued post-graduate studies. Julian Thurber with Tatiana Nikolaeva at the Moscow Conservatory on a Soviet State scholarship, followed by a further year at the Liszt Academy in Budapest with professor Zemplene, and finally masterclasses with Julius Katchen, Nadia Boulanger, Edith Vogel and Baremboim. Ingryd Thorson with Edith Vogel at the Guildhall School of Music, followed by 2 years in Warsaw with Maria Wilkomirska on a Chopin Fellowship.

Their early careers were as soloists, but when they resumed their partnership in 1976 and settled in Denmark they began to focus more and more on duo playing, largely because they discovered an unusual freedom of expression.... ("That one is so violently due to this duo's almost telepathic partnership and their uncanny ability to reveal the inner core of the music." - Modspil "Ingryd Thorson and Julian Thurber have the same sort of close rapport as Igor and his son Soulima presumably achieved at the first performance of this concerto. It was a vivid and colourful performance, with that taut rhythm which lies at the heart of all good Stravinski performances." - Guardian "These two pianists delivered perfectly synchronised ensemble-playing. The pianos were transformed into a single orchestral instrument." - Politiken )

Their very first recording, a double disc of Rachmaninov's complete works for 2 pianos and 4 hands was selected by Gramophone's Critics' Choice. (Recently re-issued by Paula, Denmark).This was followed by a double CD of Ravel, also mentioned in Critics' Choice, and the complete 4-hand works of Dvorak, on 2 CDs. New York Times critic Barrymore L. Scherer describes these Dvorak performances as "sparkling with colour, clarity and verve." and American Music Review writes "Their job is to put the music across and they do it better than anyone else. This is the version of choice!" Similar enthousiasm greeted their complete recordings of Poulenc, Kim Helweg and Bartok. (See Discography for more details)

Composers who have written works for them include Vagn Holmboe ("Epos" for 2 pianos and percussion), Adrian Jack (works for 2 pianos, and 2 pianos and percussion) and Kim Helweg. Most recently, in 2001, they premiered Helweg's 2-piano concerto "Paganini 2000 and two" at the Radio House with Collegium Musicum under Bo Holten.

Neglected masterpieces, curiosities, as well as scores with ink still wet on the page, rub shoulders with established works in their programmes, giving a unique flavour to their recitals. One such programme was voted most memorable event of the year by Independent critic Nicholas Williams in 1993. And the danish critic Jan Jacoby wrote of one Tivoli recital "the programme itself was already a work of art." At the other end of the spectrum Thorson & Thurber often present one-composer programmes, but with the same aim - to put the music itself in the spotlight. (see suggested recital programmes for the coming season).