"What every harpist wants to do with their strings.The effects are stunning, the resolution is a breath of fresh air."
Uno Alexander Vesje (1989) is an award-winning Norwegian harpist and composer. Uno studied harp performance at the Norwegian Academy of Music (Masters Degree) and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2017, Uno earned a Masters Degree in Composition at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Uno has won a number of prizes and scholarships for his harp compositions as well as his performances on the instrument. His accolades include first prize at the World Harp Competition (2021), silver medal at the 5th Manhattan International Music Competition (2020), third prize in the Harp Column New Music Contest (2020), Winner of the 6th USA International Harp Competition Composition Contest (2019) and third prize in the International Edvard Grieg Composition Contest (2014). His international debut as performer/composer took place at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2016.
Uno has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta, The Norwegian Winds Ensemble and performed the world premiere of his own harp concerto with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra & Opera. Uno has performed as a soloist of his own compositions and projects in venues around the world including Carnegie Hall in New York City (USA), Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (NL), TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht (NL), Richard Burton Theatre in Cardiff (UK), Dora Stoutzker Hall in Cardiff (UK), the Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheater (HK), the Helsinki Music Centre (FL), the Gothenburg Concert Hall (SV), De Geerhallen in Norrköping (SV), Oslo Concerts Hall (NO), University Aula in Oslo (NO), Olavshallen in Trondheim (NO) og Grieghallen in Bergen (NO). In festivals like The World Harp Congress, the Dutch Harp Festival, Helsinki Harp Festival, Pretté International Harp Festival, Gothenburg Harp Festival, Young Nordic Music.
Since 2019, Uno has worked on political composition and performance projects to highlight important social issues. The project OUR PLANET, OUR FUTURE is a 45-minute solo work for harp and electronic elements that explore the ever-growing climate crisis. In the project 736 MILLION WOMEN for women's choir and harp Uno deals with the hard-hitting statistics on violence against women and domestic violence. And the chamber music work FORBIDDEN LOVE is about queer sexuality in the Muslim immigration community.
Uno has contributed to a number of recordings as both a harpist and composer. After winning the Gold prize in Audio Engineering Society Recording Competition in Berlin (2014) with the soprano Margrethe Fredheim for the The Exquisite Hour (EP), Uno released his first solo album Poems From a City (Sweet Sound Records 2014). In November 2017 Uno released his second album, Oslo(ve) (Audio Records AS) with his own compositions for harp, strings and flute, receiving great reviews from international press.
As an orchestral musician, Uno serves as a stand-in harpist in a number of professional orchestras. Uno has performed in concerts, recorded CD’s and performed at television and radio broadcasts with orchestras like The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, The Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra & Opera and The Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra.
Uno's compositions are published by Lyon & Healy Inc. in Chicago.