Ingfrid Breie Nyhus (b 1978) is a Norwegian pianist and composer. Her work focuses on contemporary and compositional/improvisational practices, often intertwining elements from folk, contemporary and classical traditions.
She grew up in a folk music family, with the pols tradition from her father Sven Nyhus, and she made classical piano studies in Norway, Finland and Germany. The first years after studies, she worked extensively with classical and contemporary solo and chamber music. For the last 10-15 years, her work involves mainly compositional and improvisational processes, solo and in groups, putting her different musical backgrounds into play. In her music Slåttepiano, she recreates the sounds and forms of Norwegian slått traditions into a pianistic improvisatory world, a project that has received international acclaim.
Critics early described her as «a virtuoso of timbre», with «luscious touch and rich nuances», being among the new generation of pianists «who really have something on their heart». She has received several prizes for her performances and recordings, such as The Norwegian Soloist Prize 2005. The recording ‘Grieg Peasant Dances op.72’ was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Spellemannprisen and awarded «Record of the Year» by the Great Britain Grieg Society in 2007, the album «Hardanger Fiddle in Art Music» was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy 2016. The albums «Slåttepiano» and «Slåttepiano II« were both nominated for the Norwegian folk music award Folkelarmprisen (2016 and 2021), and for the album “Slåttepiano II” she was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Composer Award. «Slåttepiano II» was awarded “Work of the Year” from the Norwegian Society of Composers 2022. The album «Unamna» (with Anne Hytta and Unni Løvlid) won the Norwegian Grammy 2022 for contemporary music.
Ingfrid Breie Nyhus regularly performs at folk, classical, contemporary and jazz festivals and scenes internationally. Visited venues include the Bergen International Festival, Risør Chamber Music Festival, Ultima Festival, Punkt Festival, FolkBaltica Festival (DK/DE), Førde International Folk Festival, Donaueschinger Festspiele (DE), Dark Music Days Reykjavik (IS), Umeå Jazz festival (SE), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (DK), ParmaJazz Frontiere Festival (IT), AngelicA Festival (IT), Lillenorge Berlin (DE), King’s Place London (GB), Meidään Festivaali (FI), Bebersee Soireen (DE), Nordic Music Festival (DE), Theater am Spittelberg Wien (AU), the Hardanger Festival, Ilios Festival, Grønland Chamber Music Festival, Avgarde, Sandvika Master Series, Arctic Arts Festival, and many more. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Trondheim Soloists, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and more, in classical and contemporary works.
Ingfrid Breie Nyhus has been Deputy Director of CEMPE (Centre for Excellence in Music Performance Education) at the Norwegian Academy of Music 2018-2023. She was artistic director of the Winter Chamber Music Festival in Røros 2015-2016, and she has led the record company LabLabel since 2014. She holds a Ph. D in artistic research (“A Play with Traditions, interpreting and performing between folk and pianism” 2011-2016), and together with Live Maria Roggen she leads the artistic research project (un)Romantic – Improvising interpretation (2021-2024).