Photo: Amanda Pedersen Giske
The classical guitar is a magical treasure for the Norwegian guitarist Kristina Vårlid. Fascinated by the big variety of sound you can produce with the guitar, she likes to explore and go beyond its boundaries. As a musician, she looks at music thinking everything is possible, she loves discovering new ideas with her creative approach to the repertoire and make it her own.
Vårlid recently released a very personal album, «5 Stages of Grief», in memory of Sabrina Vlaskalic (1989-2019) with Simax Classics. «I am often moved by music, but here I am shaken in a much deeper sense than usual. It's a powerful experience.» - Ange Turell, Gitarr och Luta Magazine
Kristina's debut album "An Idea" was released in 2019 with Simax Classics. The album received excellent reviews and was named Norwegian Classical Album of the Year 2019 by Klassekampen: «This is quite a debut: Luxuriantly interpretative and varied in tone and shape, through musicianship that takes your breath away.» (Klassekampen).
Kristina is passionate about performing, in close contact with the audience. She has given solo recitals in several major halls and festivals, among others The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Universitetets Aula in Oslo and Koblenz International Guitar Festival. She has also appeared as a soloist with Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra among others. In 2022, Kristina fulfilled her dream of meeting and performing at the same concert as her idol, Kazuhito Yamashita, at Shirakawa Hall in Nagoya, Japan.
Kristina is already an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist after winning several competitions and awards. Among others she got the 1st prize in Antwerpen International Guitar Competition 2017 and was named the best music student in The Netherlands the same year when she won Grachtenfestival Conservatorium concours. In 2018 she became a part of the prestigious «Walk of Fame» at the Hanze University in Groningen and was one of the winners for «De Unges Konsert» with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
She got her first guitar when she was 6 years old, and started lessons at the age of 8. In 2013 she started her bachelor at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland studying with professor Allan Neave. The following year Kristina continued her studies with Sabrina Vlaškalić at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen, The Netherlands. She graduated her bachelor degree in 2017 with the highest mark and cum laude. She further continued her studies in Oslo with the artist diploma degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music with professor Erik Stenstadvold and professor Otto Tolonen.
Kristina teaches at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen where she became a professor of guitar at the age of 24. She is also the artistic director of the Dutch Guitar Foundation. In 2021 & 2022 Kristina received the Norwegian State Artist Work Grant for Young and Emerging Artists. Kristina plays on a guitar made by Andrés D. Marvi and has been a D'Addario artist since 2019.