About us

The Swedish Duo Carr Quennerstedt consists of violinist Elna Carr and pianist Håkan Quennerstedt. They first met in 2005 at the Falun Conservatory of Music and have been playing together ever since. They are currently living in Malmö, Sweden. At the 2011 edition of the Swedish chamber music biennial ”Ung & Lovande” (”Young & Promising”) they were elected the winners and subsequently went on a grand tour across Sweden.

The Duo have recorded a CD containing their showpieces; Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata and Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata no. 1. The record can be purchased here.

Elna Carr (b. 1988) was brought up in a family of folk musicians in Hjärnarp, Scania province in southern Sweden. She has been playing the violin since childhood, both classical and folk music. Elna has studied with Gunnar Crantz, prof. Ulf Wallin, prof. Terje Moe Hansen, prof. Yuri Zhislin and finally the Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen under prof. Alexandre Zapolski where she took her Diploma in 2012. Elna is frequently engaged as both a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral musician, and she is since August 2015 third concert master in the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Elna Carr has been selected to participate in the Swedish soloist competition "Solistpriset 2016" and will in the finals perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
List of scholarships and awards
Scholarships and awards
2014 Årets Bruksstipendiat vid Furudals Bruk
2014 Konstnärsnämndens arbetsstipendium
2014 Sten K Johnsons Stiftelses stipendium
2014 Hedersmedlem i Alice Tegnér-sällskapet i Karlshamn
2013 Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, Leijonmarck
2013 1:a pris i VM i träskofiolspel
2013 Konstnärsnämndens arbetsstipendium
2011 Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, Kyndel/Leijonmark
2011 Vinnare av Ung & Lovande med Duo Carr Quennerstedt
2010 Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, Leijonmarck/Springer-Nissvandt
2010 Familjen John Anderssons i Anderslöv Stiftelses stipendium
2009 Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, Wachtmeisterstipendiat
2009 Fredrika Bremersällskapets musikstipendium
2007 Lilly och Henry Sandbergs Stipendium för Unga Musiker
2007 1:a pris i Öresundssolist
2007 Årets Skånska Stjärnskott
2007 Turnépriset i Musik Direkt med folkmusikduo
2005 Tilldelades som folkmusiker Zornmärket och titeln Riksspelman
2005 1:a pris i Öresundssolist, samt ”publikens favorit”
2005 Hugo Alfvénstipendiet
2005 1:a pris i RUM:s solisttävling
2005 1:a pris i RUM:s kammarmusiktävling
2001 Par Bricole stipendiat
1999 Årets Skånska Stjärnskott

Håkan Quennerstedt(b. 1985) was born and raised in Uppsala, Sweden. He first studied at the Falun Conservatory of Music under Bengt Andersson, and then at the Malmö Academy of Music with prof. Hans Pålsson. Håkan has a solid experience of performing in concert, and has f.e. played ”The Carnival of the Animals” by Saint-Saëns with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. Håkan is also the founder of the piano school Slottsstadens Pianoskola, which he runs together with pianist colleague Johan Reis.

List of scholarships and awards

Scholarships and awards
2014 Konstnärsnämndens arbetsstipendium
2014 Sten K Johnsons Stiftelses stipendium
2014 Hedersmedlem i Alice Tegnér-sällskapet i Karlshamn
2013 Konstnärsnämndens arbetsstipendium
2011 Vinnare av Ung & Lovande med Duo Carr Quennerstedt
2010 Musikens Hus Vänners i Uppsala stipendium
2010 Fam. John Anderssons i Anderslöv Stiftelses stip.
2010 Uppsala Kammarmusikförenings Musikstipendiat
2009 Gottfrid Boon-stipendiat
2005 Hugo Alfvénstipendiet
2005 1:a pris i RUM:s solisttävling
2005 1:a pris i RUM:s kammarmusiktävling


”It was no mere violin soloist with accompanist who were playing, but rather an artistically full-fledged ensemble. Carr and Quennerstedt were consistent not only in terms of rhythm, timbre, phrasing and so on, but also on a more profound level. Both seemed genuinely interested in compositions. Pieces of music can be used as a platform for one’s own artistry, but Carr and Quennerstedt seemed determined on finding the nature and meaning of each composition and making it become sound. And not in any kind of standard way.”

Tobias Lund, Sydsvenskan

Crowded in church when Duo performed

”Some 200 years ago when you had witnessed the violin master Paganini play and impress you with his technical virtuosity, you’d say that he had to have been in liaison with the devil. Carr-Quennerstedt appeared to have a more divine inspiration and connection. Carr has a downright magical tone, and Quennerstedt has a set of powerful fingers and a musically elevated adherence. Together they showcase technical exuberance, but even more essential is their intensely expressive playing, setting its mark on matchless phrasing, nuances and timing. And reinvigorates all listening souls.”

P-G Bergfors, Lerums tidning

Chamber music at a high level

”Carr and Quennerstedt, who have been playing together since 2005, showcased a delightful teamwork where they both listened closely to each other, accompanying each other at the different shiftings of tempo and dynamics. These were no individual virtuosos just assembling temporarily for a one-off performance, but rather a real team - something that takes a long-term partnership to establish. Especially striking was the violinist Elna Carr’s intensive playing and warm tone, and the pianist Håkan Quennerstedt’s outstanding ability to respond in incredibly difficult piano harmonies. The two musicians kept the tension high throughout the entire performance. Although the two great musicians did deserve a significantly larger audience than they received.”

Bernt Ortner, Lysekilsposten

Solid musicality by young Duo

”Carr Quennerstedt performs a program that is impressive in its concentration and its tension. Their solid delivery, their great musical insight, it leads you to reflect on the tagline for the evening - Ung och lovande (Young and promising) and realise that the ”promising” part was ages ago. The youth is still there, but the expression is already mature.”

Jan-Olov Nyström, Hudiksvalls Tidning, Ljusnan, Söderhamns-Kuriren och Ljusdals-Posten

Brilliant festivities of sound in Borås

"This year they won the competition 'Ung & Lovande' ('Young & Promising') and today they performed the best concert in Borås in years. /.../ The opening piece, Praeludium & Allegro by Fritz Kreisler, skyrocketed on the violin, and was followed by the best performance of Beethoven’s sonata in C minor (op. 30:2) I have heard since Wolfgang Schneiderhan and Carl Seeman in the 50's, with the same rugged expressiveness from the piano against the violin's light lark song and a drama comparable to that of the Kreutzer sonata. These young musicians are no longer just promising; they are already masters."

Rolf Haglund, Borås Tidning

An enchanting atmosphere

"We were all instantly enchanted by Elna's forceful, rich playing and her superb technique and feeling. The interaction was splendid. /.../ It was a miracle. 'Young and promising' - and more: Though they may still be young they are mature enough musically to take on as hard a piece as the Kreutzer sonata. Truly incredible. /.../ For me, as I believe for many with me, this concert was a unique and often deeply moving experience. In this duo’s company, time passed quickly. Bliss is short."

P-G Bergfors, Smålandsposten

"IMPRESSING YOUTHFUL VIRTUOSITY - In the Kreutzer sonata by Beethoven the duo showed interplay so perfect that I am convinced they spend every waking hour rehearsing together. /.../ This was one of the best performances of the Kreutzer sonata I have ever heard - and this by two adolescents with a combined age of less than 50 years!"

Per A F Åberg, Upsala Nya Tidning

"The musicians had an exceptional interplay and performed with an impressive confidence; technically as well as musically."

Lage Olsson, Barometern

"With reassuring technical mastery through all the dramatic musical passages, the duo gave a highly convincing interpretation and the genius of Beethoven shined through their well-developed interplay. When the jubilant presto finale comes charging from the hands of this young duo you feel 'Hallelujah! I'm alive!'"

Ingvar Wickander, Ystad Allehanda

"The duo conveyed verve and elegance with powerful expression and visual style. /.../ An eruptive interpretation with tremendous synchronization between the instruments."

Bernt Carlsson, Östersundsposten

”SUPER TALENTS WELL IN SYNC - Considering their youth and the musical maturity they already possess, the years to come should open many a stage for Elna and Håkan."

Bernt Karlsson, Tranåsposten

Is music a language? Maybe not a clearly defined one, but certainly a form of communication between people sharing their experiences to others. A composer mediates his thoughts and feelings through the sheets of music and the interpreter tries to understand them and give them life through the instrument. There are certain musicians who have the unique ability to give life. By their brain’s analysis of the notation and a rich emotional life, the piece of music may come across as if it just came into being in that particular moment. That kind of rare talent is bestowed upon the Duo Carr Quennerstedt. Their inspiration and insight in the music they perform is both chastised and controlled, yet at the same time it can be ruthlessly untamed. Elna Carr and Håkan Quennerstedt contrast against each other in terms of personality, but are at the same time constructing an entirety by a mutual experience of the music and the world surrounding it. At times when the temperament of their performance would seemingly make everything founder, their control of the musical drama gives the listener comfort and trust in their technical proficiency. This may explain their success at the concert podium as well as in competitions. Their brilliance does not conceal the content, and the character of the music is not distorted by any unconsidered sentiment. Elna Carr and Håkan Quennerstedt are admirable in their personal warmth, humour and firm belief in the healing power of music. Without this belief no form of musical communication would be possible and no musician would be able to give life.

Hans Pålsson
pianist, professor

Contact us

Email: kontakt@carrquennerstedt.se

Elna Carr
Phone: +46 73-151 97 88

Håkan Quennerstedt
Phone: +46 70-540 77 08

Carr & Quennerstedt HB
Org.nr. 969751-3720

Nordlinds väg 95
217 73 Malmö