Thomas Tellefsen at the Trondheim Theatre
Thomas Tellefsen performed publicly for the first time in Trondheim in the first half of 1842, before leaving for Paris. That spring, he gave four concerts – all of them at the theatre. Their programmes included many virtuoso pieces popular at that time, such as a concerto by Hummel, a fantasy by Herz and Kalkbrenner’s Grand Concerto, all with orchestra. Tellefsen also played a prelude and fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as his own variations on “national themes”.
Also during his visits to his home town after 1842, Tellefsen gave the majority of his concerts at the theatre. During his first visit in Norway, in 1843, he gave a concert on 1 August with the famous violinist Ole Bull. Tellefsen played a Thalberg fantasy on themes of Rossini and Bull performed his own Polacca Guerriera. The composer and the violinist met often in Paris. In 1860, they had an argument about political issues, which brought an end to their friendship.
Tellefsen’s breakthrough in Norway came in 1855. Concerts in Trondheim were played to full houses, and the composer received accolades for his playing. In 1857, so many people wanted to attend that the audience filled the whole auditorium, including the galleries, the orchestra pit and the stage, behind the musicians.