Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2019

Play music, have fun and enjoy!
Clarinettist Louise Anine Kempf Mogensen is from Hedehusene. Flutist Michaela Hansen is from Malmö. They met at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and, one day in 2017, Michaela called Louise and suggested that they formed a duo and entered a competition in Japan. And so they did, and the duo Venus was born.

“We had a teacher who, right before we went to Japan, told us that we had to remember to play music, enjoy and have fun!”. And they embraced this advice and made it their mantra of which they remind each other before they go on stage.

And the part about having fun does not seem to be a problem because most of the time at rehearsals they laugh. “We come from very different backgrounds, but have similar philosophies and the same sense of humour. We have fun – and it is important for us to have fun”.

A family business

Before the trip to Japan, the newly established duo had to decide on the repertoire. And as it is not that easy to find music written for their combination of instruments, they had to make re-arrangements, and, with a short deadline, they decided on a composition for flute and bassoon by Villa-Lobos. “After the first time, we both thought: why did we spend half an hour on this?” And they then called Michaela’s father, who is a composer.

Since then, he has, very willingly, both composed and arranged music to the two wind players, but the support from the family does not end there. Michaela’s brother is a photographer, and he often takes photos or records video, and her boyfriend also helps composing and arranging. “And those who cannot compose, they cheer – and they cheer very well!”.

“And then we have these!”, Louise says referring to the pearl bracelets on their arms. Michaela’s younger sister contributes to the project with home-made merchandise, which has turned out to be a kind of lucky charm. “It is very important that we bring these along because they bring good luck to Venus.”

Want to do something for other people

The productive duo’s future will bring more music competitions and concerts, but they are also passionate about projects that are not about their own egos. “We like playing at competitions and concerts, but we would also like to make a difference”, they secretively say. “So, we are working very hard on that – being able to make a difference.“

Louise and Michaela want to do something for other people and arrange charities for the purpose of promoting the knowledge of classical music to a group of people that would otherwise not listen to this kind of music. “We want to use our skills to give something back to others”.

First of all, you can enjoy what they already give to those who are lucky enough to experience the duo Ventus when it interprets music of all kinds. Because they are not afraid of breaking all norms when somebody tries to pigeonhole them: “We then go online all night trying to find something which will make us think: this does not at all fit into our combination of instruments – let’s do that!”

Ventus in brief

Duo consisting of clarinettist Louise Anine Kempf and flutist Michaela Hansen.
Formed in 2017 in connection with a music competition in Osaka, Japan.
In the finals of international competitions concerning chamber music in e.g. Berlin, South Korea and Italy.
Tour in China in 2018.
In 2019, they won the first prize at the International Music Competition London Grand Prize Virtuoso. The prize is a concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 16 April 2019.

The scholarship from the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation

Louise and Michaela will spend the scholarship from the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation on travel expenses in connection with competitions abroad.

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