Marianne Thorsen has won many international competitions including, most notably, the 2003 Sion International Violin Competition, and, in 1998, she was chosen as the Norwegian Concert Institute's Young Musician of the Year. She studied with György Pauk at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded the DipRAM, the Academy's highest award for performance.
Thorsen enjoys a regular collaboration with the Trondheim Soloists, with whom she recently toured and recorded Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos 3, 4 and 5 for 2L Recordings to great critical acclaim: the disc was awarded the Norwegian Spelleman Prize. Her latest recording for 2L (Ståle Kleiberg's Violin Concerto with the Trondheim Symphony) was also received most favourably and has received a Grammy nomination for 2010. A CD of Norwegian music by Johan Halvorsen with Thorsen as soloist alongside the Bergen Philharmonic conducted by Neeme Järvi, has recently been released by Chandos, with volume 2 following later in 2010.
In 2004, Marianne Thorsen gave the world premiere, with the Trondheim Symphony, of a violin concerto dedicated to her by the Norwegian composer Ketil Hvoslef. A subsequent performance in 2005, with the Oslo Philharmonic under Vassily Sinaisky, was broadcast on national Norwegian television (NRK) - see above.
As a chamber musician, Thorsen has performed with such eminent artists as Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk, Pascal Rogé, Lars Anders Tomter, Frans Helmerson and the Norwegian pianist Håvard Gimse, with whom she recorded a CD for Simax Classics of duo recital repertoire. She was a founder member of the Leopold String Trio, with whom she has performed extensively at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and the Wigmore Hall, as well as at the Edinburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals (live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3). The Trio have recorded numerous CDs for Hyperion to great critical acclaim, including the complete Beethoven String Trios and Mozart: Divertimento K563, Schubert's 'Trout' Quintet, as well as the Mozart Piano Quartets with Paul Lewis and the complete Brahms Piano Quartets with Marc-André Hamelin.
In 2000, Marianne Thorsen was appointed Leader of the internationally-renowned Nash Ensemble of London, with whom she appears and broadcasts frequently at the major British and International music festivals, at London's South Bank Centre, the BBC Proms and as part of a regular series at the Wigmore Hall. She was also invited to become Artistic Director of the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden music festival in Røros, Norway, in 2009, and is currently looking forward to the festivals in March 2010 and 2011.
In 2006, Thorsen was appointed Professor at the Institute of Music at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and is also a Professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Marianne Thorsen plays the 'Emiliani' Stradivarius by arrangement with the Leif Hoegh Foundation of Norway.