Background and studies:
Kristina O. Vårlid (b. 1994) from Stavanger, Norway graduated with the highest mark and cum laude from the Prince Claus Conservatoire in June 2017 in Groningen, The Netherlands where she studied her bachelor degree with Sabrina Vlaskalic as her teacher. She studied her 1st year in Glasgow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with professor Allan Neave. The fall of 2017 she started her artist diploma – master of music performance (diplomstudiet i utøving) at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. She started playing the guitar at the age of 8 and at 11 she was accepted to go to a school for young music talents. While she went to the music high school in Stavanger she also studied classical guitar at the University of Agder with professor Per Kjetil Farstad in Kristiansand, Norway. Besides playing the classical guitar she also plays jazz piano, church organ and vocal.
Competitions and Prizes:
- 1st prize in Antwerpen International Guitar Competition 2017.
- Winner of Grachtenfestival Conservatorium Concours 2017:
- The best music student at the Dutch Conservatories in 2017, and Kristina is the first classical guitarist who has won this competition.
- Finalist in the24th Koblenz International Guitar Competition 2016, Germany:
- One of the largest and most prestigious international guitar competitions
- Finalist in Nordhorn International Guitar Competition 2016, Germany
- 2nd prize in Egta-Guitar Competition 2015, Netherlands
- Sandnes Sparebanks Music Prize 2014, Norway
- 1st prize in the Norwegian Music Competition for Youth (UMM) 2014, Norway
- Shell reisestipend 2013, Norway
- North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society Award 2013, Scotland
- 1st prize and inspiration prize as a soloist and chamber musician in the Norwegian Music Competition for Youth (UMM) 2012, Norway
- Grachtenfestival Amsterdam 2017
- Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kleine Zaal (Lunch concert) 2017
- Kilden Concert House (foyer concert), Kristiansand, Norway 2017
- Stavanger Concert Hall (foyer concerts 2015 and 2016), Norway
- The Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway (2016)
- The University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway (2014 and 2016)
- Gitaarsalon in Enkhuizen, The Netherlands (2015)
- Enkhuizen Gitaarfestival, The Netherlands (2015, 2016 and 2017)
- North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society, Aberdeen (2014)
- “Ze speelde heel sensitief, heel gevoelig en liet op een heel mooie manier de gitaar horen.” (“Her play was very sensitive, very tender, and she made the guitar sound so beautiful”) – Chairman of the Jury in Grachtenfestival Conservatorium Concours 2017, Remy van Kersteren.
- ”Sandnes Sparebanks musikkpris for 2014 går til gitaristen Kristina O.Vårlid. Hennes gitarspill har et overbevisende musikalsk utrykk og hun viser, til tross for sin unge alder, en moden forståelse for den musikken hun formidler til oss lyttere. Juryen har tro på at Kristina kan utvikle seg til en gitarist på et høyt internasjonalt nivå.”
She has had masterclasses with among others: Leo Brouwer, Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, Nikita Koshkin, Hubert Käppel, Pavel Steidl, Marcin Dylla, Zoran Dukic, Sharon Isbin, Paolo Pegoraro, Aniello Desiderio, Costas Cotsiolis, Göran Söllcher, Paul O’Dette, Marko Socias, Giampaolo Bandini, Aleksandar Hadzi-Djordjevic, Franz Halasz, Gabriel Bianco, Rolf Lislevand.