Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger began studying trumpet at age eight with Bo Nilsson in his native Malmö; later studies included stints with Pierre Thibaud in Paris and Thomas Stevens in Los Angeles.
Hardenberger commenced his recording career with the Swedish BIS label in 1984 and since then has recorded recital discs, or has been featured as soloist, for most of the major labels, including Sony Classical, Philips, EMI, Decca, and Deutsche Grammophon; he returned to BIS in 2006. He has commissioned a number of notable works from living composers and his partnerships with German composer Heinz Karl Gruber has attracted particular attention through pieces such as the trumpet concerto Aerial (1999), the solo piece Exposed Throat (2000), and Three MOB Pieces (2004). Hardenberger has also worked with composers Sally Beamish, Toru Takemitsu, Arvo Pärt, and Hans Werner Henze. In addition to touring worldwide, Hardenberger teaches trumpet at the University of Malmö; he is frequently cited as being one of the top exponents of his instrument.