Concerts at the Royal Opera in Stockholm
The year 1855 brought a breakthrough in Tellefsen’s career in Norway. After three concerts in his home city, Trondheim, and two in Christiania (10 and 15 September), he travelled to Sweden, where he gave concerts in Uppsala and Stockholm. He also planned to perform in Copenhagen (on his way back to Paris), but the concert was unfortunately cancelled.
The concerts in Stockholm took place on 17 and 27 October 1855 at the opera house. Other performers included the singers of the Royal Theatre accompanied by the Royal Court Ensemble, led by their concertmaster. In Stockholm, Thomas Tellefsen became a member of the Music Academy and was granted an audience with the wife of the heir apparent, Princess Louise, whom he presented with his own Grande Polonaise, Op. 18.
On 17 October, Tellefsen performed his Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 15. The orchestra also played the overtures to Weber's opera Oberon and Donizetti's opera L'elisir d'amore. One critic wrote the following about Tellefsen’s concerto:
“This composition is written in the contemporary style, but it appeals with character, rhythm and pleasant, although not always new, melodies. The orchestration sounds well; it is not overloaded, although it does not underline the more subtle effects of instrumental combinations. On the whole, it is a quite successful attempt at combining the contemporary idiom with this seriousness which is so characteristic of the works of Mr Tellefsen (Aftonbladet, 18 October 1855).
His concert planned for 27 October almost came to nought – on his way to the Royal Opera, Tellefsen had an accident: around Mynttorget, in the Old Town, the coach traffic became very dense and Tellefsen’s carriage collided with an omnibus, rolling over. The driver was trapped under the carriage, but Tellefsen escaped with only bruises. As if nothing had happened, he made it to the concert hall and performed his programme in front of the audience, which was unaware of the incident.
This concert was a big challenge for Tellefsen. It started with the overture to Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, then he played Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor with orchestra and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for Three Pianos with quintet. The last grand piece of the evening was Tellefsen’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor. To end the programme, the soloist played a nocturne, the Andante spianato and two waltzes by Chopin. The concert garnered good reviews, especially the interpretation of the Mozart’s concerto.