The Carl Nielsen Quintet
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We are the Carl Nielsen Quintet, a wind quintet formed through close friendship and a shared love for music. The quintet was founded in 2006, with deep roots in Tivoli Gardens, where four of us discovered our musical passion and talent. Since 2006, we have performed numerous concerts and music festivals in Denmark and abroad, becoming one of the leading wind quintets in the Nordic region.
In our daily lives, we work in various symphony orchestras in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, but we gladly use our scarce free time to play together. Our ensemble’s collaboration over the years has developed into the distinctive ensemble sound we have, creating an incredibly charismatic and audience-engaging atmosphere, which has become our strongest characteristic.
In 2014, we were awarded the second place in P2’s Chamber Music Competition, and in 2015, we won the first place and the prize for the best performance of Carl Nielsen’s Wind Quintet in the prestigious Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition.
Over the years, we have been on several international tours, including Italy, Russia, and most recently, an extensive tour to Japan in the spring of 2023, where we connected with Japanese music culture and laid the groundwork for future collaborations.
We have released several albums over the years. The latest one was released in 2022 by Dacapo Records, containing all five wind quintets by Niels Viggo Bentzon, four of which had never been recorded before. We are now aiming to record material for our next album, which we plan to release in 2024, featuring an exciting new theme and in collaboration with a beloved Danish music icon.
Our shared love for chamber music has nurtured the close bond and friendship we have built over the years. This is especially evident when we perform together, breaking through the formal barrier that can sometimes arise between musicians and the audience in the classical music scene. With a concert by the Carl Nielsen Quintet, we guarantee that both you, the audience, and us will have a rewarding concert experience and leave with a big smile on our faces.
Feel free to contact us for booking info:
Kenny Staškus Larsen
phone: (+45) 31 71 32 12
Kenny Staškus Larsen (flute) began his musical studies with five years in the Tivoli Boys Guard, his final year as conductor. He won the Gold Medal in the Berlingske Classical Music Competition in 2005. In 2007 he won first prize at the Øresund Soloist Competition and that same year third prize in the “Spil for Livet” P2 competition. He began studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2007 with Toke Lund Christiansen, earning his bachelor’s degree three years later in 2010. That same year he won a special award at the Carl Nielsen International Flute Competition in Odense. Kenny continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Linda Chesis the following year, where his wind quintet from the Manhattan School of Music won the NYFC competition and Fuchs Chamber Music competition in Connecticut. Kenny spent 2011-2012 in Geneva studying under Jacques Zoon. In the summer of 2013 he won the position of solo flutist with the Malmö Opera orchestra.
Carl Julius Lefebvre Hansen (oboe) began playing the oboe at age 9 in the Copenhagen Tivoli Boys Guard, and in 2011 he was awarded gold medal at the newspaper Berlingske’s competition for young classical musicians. He graduated from Aurehøj Gymnasium in 2014 and was subsequently admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Music in the oboe class of prof. Max Artved and principal oboist Joakim Dam Thomsen.
2016-2020 Carl Julius pursued his studies in Paris under the guidance of Jacques Tys, professor at the Paris Conservatoire.
In 2019, Carl Julius auditioned for and was admitted to two of the world’s leading orchestras for young musicians: the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.
Carl Julius has participated in masterclasses with Thomas Indermühle and Francois Leleux.
Moreover, he has played in the Staatskapelle Dresden and has been engaged by The Royal Danish Orchestra, The Royal Life Guard, The Danish Chamber Orchestra and Esbjerg Ensemble.
He is the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships.
August Finkas (clarinet) began his musical journey in The Tivoli Boys Guard – first on the marching flute and later on the clarinet. He has since studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with John Kruse, the principal clarinetist of the Royal Danish Orchestra. Following that, he pursued 2 years of studies in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California under the world-renowned clarinet educator and mentor, Yehuda Gilad.
August has worked as an alternating principal clarinetist in the DR Symphony Orchestra and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and currently holds the position of principal clarinetist in the Copenhagen Phil.
In 2019, August reached the semifinals of “The XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition” for wind instruments.
Furthermore, he has received numerous scholarships and awards, including the Carl Nielsen Talent Prize of 100,000 DKK, the Léonie Sonning Talent Prize, Victor Borge’s Music Grant, Fullbright Scholarship, among others.
Christian Vinther (horn) began playing the horn at the age of eight, when he began his training in the Tivoli
Boys Guard under Helge Nielsen. Christian attended the music conservatory preparation training
(MGK) in Ishøj, after which he was accepted at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, where he
studied under Ola Nilsson, the solo hornist in the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Since 2004 he has visited Chicago numerous times to receive training from Gale Williams, former solo hornist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Rex Martin, a professor at Northwestern University. Christian has performed under contract as “dybehornist” from 2004 to 2007 with the Danish Radio Symphony
Orchestra, and in the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, from 2007 to 2008. In the spring of 2008
Christian won a position with the Copenhagen Philharmonic as third horn.
Johannes Herjö (bassoon) has been employed as the principal bassoonist at the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra since 2023.
He studied at Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Mannheim, under Prof. Ole Kristian Dahl, and previously at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen under Audun Halvorsen and Sebastian Stevensson.
Johannes won his first position as alternating principal bassoonist in the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in 2020, where he worked for two years before moving to Stavanger.
In addition to his regular orchestra jobs, Johannes has played as a guest principal bassoonist in the Copenhagen Phil and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra for extended periods. Furthermore, he has been a substitute principal bassoonist in several leading symphony orchestras in the Nordic region, including the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and many more.
He was a member of the prestigious European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) in 2019.
Johannes plays on a Heckel 13,000 series bassoon with a CC1 XL bocal.