Norway's Christian Ihle Hadland has been one of his country's fast-rising stars of the piano in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has several acclaimed recordings on the Norwegian label Simax to his credit.
Hadland was born in 1983 in Stavanger, Norway. He took up the piano at eight, and at 11 he entered the Rogaland Music Conservatory (now part of Stavanger University College), studying with Erling Ragnar. At 15 he made his concerto debut with the Norwegian radio orchestra KORK, and he already had several orchestral appearances under his belt when he began lessons in 1999 with Jiří Hlinka; he later worked with Hlinka at the Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo. Hadland appeared over the next decade with all the major Scandinavian orchestras, making his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic in 2005 and accompanying soprano Renée Fleming at an appearance at the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony. He also began a chamber music career, collaborating with such musicians as Janine Jansen, Truls Mørk, and Henning Kraggerud, and he joined violinist Annar Follesø and clarinetist Björn Nyman for a recording of chamber works by Bartók in 2005. In 2009, he and Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst became co-directors of the Stavanger Chamber Music Festival. Major breakthroughs came with a million-kroner (about $116,000) scholarship from the Norwegian energy company Statoil (now Equinor), covering the period 2010-2013, and then his designation as a BBC New Generation Artist in 2011. That honor led to multiple appearances with top British orchestras, including one at the BBC Proms, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19, with conductor Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic. Hadland made his solo recording debut on Simax in 2010 with an album devoted to Chopin and Schumann; he has also issued an album of Mozart piano concertos and a thematic album, The Lark (2016). He has remained in demand for chamber collaborations and joined violist Natalie Clein for an album of sonatas by Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, and Rebecca Clarke on the Hyperion label in 2018.