Johan DaleneViolin Sahun Sam HongPiano

Johan Dalene

Friday, March 28, 2025 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

“He is not just a virtuoso like many others, he is a voice” (Diapason Magazine). Not yet 25 and Gramophone’s 2022 Young Artist of the Year, Johan Dalene makes his eagerly anticipated SF Performances debut. His ability to “make his Stradivarius sing like a master” (Le Monde), coupled with his refreshingly honest musicality and engagement with musicians and audiences alike, has won him countless admirers. He is accompanied by award-winning pianist Sahun Sam Hong.


R. SCHUMANN: Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105
E. RAUTAVAARA: Notturno e Danza
RAVEL: Tzigane
LUTOSLAWSKI: Partita for Violin and Piano
GRIEG: Sonata No. 2 in G Major

Performance Sponsors

James and Kathleen Leak

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

Winner of the 2019 prestigious Carl Nielsen Competition, Swedish-Norwegian violinist Johan Dalene “is not just a virtuoso like many others, he is a voice. He has a tone, a presence” (Diapason). At the age of 23, he has performed with leading orchestras and in celebrated recital halls both at home and abroad. His ability to “make his Stradivarius sing like a master” (Le Monde), coupled with his refreshingly honest musicality and engagement with musicians and audiences alike, has won him countless admirers. In 2022, he was named Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year.

In 2023–24, Johan will showcase his flair for curation as he becomes Artist-in-Residence with the Gavle Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, working with conductors such as Andrew Manze, Jaime Martin and Domingo Hindoyan, as well as presenting chamber music projects. An advocate for new music, he will also be performing a concerto written for him by Tebogo Monnakgotla, having given the world premiere with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and John Storgards in April 2023.

Johan’s other recent and forthcoming highlights include his debut at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony with Jordan de Souza; debut performances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Sakari Oramo, Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov, San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen and Spanish National and Jaime Martin; return appearances with the Swedish Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, and New Japan Philharmonic.

Johan is equally passionate about chamber music and recently made his USA recital debut, notably at New York’s Carnegie Hall and San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall. Other chamber highlights include a new collaboration with Igor Levit and Julia Hagen, for performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and the Heidelberg Festival, a collaboration with the Jussen Brothers for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommen Festival, and recitals in venues such as the Zurich Tonhalle, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Hyogo Performing Arts Centre and Oslo Opera House.

Johan was selected as a European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star, and during the 2021–22 season, performed recitals in some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls, while also engaging in Education, Learning and Participation work with diverse communities in cities across the ECHO network. Johan was also a BBC New Generation Artist from 2019–22 during which time he performed recitals, chamber music and concerti with the BBC orchestras, all broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Recording exclusively for BIS, Johan released his third album on the label in March 2022—it features the Nielsen and Sibelius Concerti, with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic with John Storgards, and garnered Johan his third coveted ‘Editor’s Choice’ from Gramophone Magazine, as well as a prestigious Swedish Grammis Award. Johan was hailed as “virtuoso in his technique, but humanly serene in his musical interpretations” (Politiken), with the Sunday Times adding that both concerti were “brought to incandescent life by [his] tantalising talent”. Johan’s first recording featured the Tchaikovsky and Barber Violin Concerti with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra—with whom he was Artist in Residence in 2018–19—which was praised by BBC Music Magazine as “one of the finest violin debuts of the last decade”. His second disc of Nordic recital music was released in Spring 2021 and received a prestigious Diapason D’Or.

Johan began playing the violin at the age of four and made his professional concerto debut three years later. In Summer 2016, he was student-in-residence at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival (where he made his performance debut in 2021) and in 2018 was accepted on to the Norwegian Crescendo program, where he worked closely with mentors Janine Jansen, Leif Ove Andsnes and Gidon Kremer. Andsnes subsequently invited Johan to play at the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival and they performed together again in May 2019 at the Bergen International Festival. In 2019 he joined Janine Jansen and other members of the Crescendo Programme for a performance at the Wigmore Hall in London, and at the International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht. During the 2020/21 season, he was Artist in Residence with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, performing concerti, recitals, and chamber music together with members of the orchestra.

Johan studied with Per Enoksson, Professor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, as well as with Janine Jansen, and has also participated in masterclasses with a number of distinguished teachers, including Dora Schwarzberg, Pamela Frank, Gerhard Schulz, and Henning Kraggerud. He has been awarded various scholarships and prizes, notably from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, The Anders Wall Giresta Scholarship, Queen Ingrid’s Honorary Scholarship, The Håkan Mogren Foundation Prize, Equinor Classical Music Award, Sixten Gemzéus Stora Musikstipendium, The G.T. Bäckmans Kulturstipendium, Norrköping Kommuns Kulturstipendium and Rolf Wirténs Kulturpris. Johan plays the 1725 ‘Duke of Cambridge’ Stradivarius, generously on loan from the Anders Sveaas’ Charitable Foundation.

Johan is managed by Enticott Music Management in association with IMG Artists.

Praised as an “artist of enormous prowess” (Verbier Festival Newsletter) with “lots of clarity, confidence, and wisdom” (New York Concert Review) and a “wide range of rich colors” (San Diego Story), pianist Sahun Sam Hong brings his colorful style and riveting energy to the solo, chamber, and concerto stage.

Hong was the winner of the 2017 Vendome Prize at Verbier and received Second Prize at the 2017 International Beethoven Competition in Vienna. He was also a recipient of a 2021 American Pianists Award.

On the roster of Young Steinway Artists since 2010, Hong has been featured as a guest soloist with orchestras including ORF-Vienna, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Camerata New York, Fort Worth, Richardson, Racine, Waco, Galveston, and Brazos Valley Symphony. He has performed in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, Église de Verbier, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center.

A sought-after interpreter of the duo and chamber repertoire, Hong has been invited to perform at major chamber music festivals, including Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Taos, and Four Seasons. He is an artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program.

In addition to performing, Hong is a prolific arranger of chamber music and orchestral works, and his innovative transcriptions are performed all over the world. He is a founding member of ensemble132, a chamber music collective that presents Hong’s transcriptions on annual tours.

At the age of 16, Hong graduated magna cum laude from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, studying with John Owings. He also studied for six years with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Hong continues his studies with Yong Hi Moon at the Peabody Institute.

Artist Videos

Johan Dalene Plays Ravel’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major (with Nicola Elmer)

Sahun Sam Hong Plays Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2 at the Vendome Prize Gala Concert