He took up the trumpet at the age of eight under the tutelage of Bo Nilsson. Hardenberger pursued further studies at the Paris Conservatoire, with Pierre Thibaud, and in Los Angeles with Thomas Stevens. He quickly established a career as a virtuoso who possesses an impressive command of the classical repertoire.
He has also commissioned many new works from contemporary composers including Harrison Birtwistle, Toru Takemitsu, Hans Werner Henze, Rolf Martinsson, Mark-Anthony Turnage, HK Gruber, Tobias Broström and Arvo Pärt. Hardenberger performs with the world’s leading orchestras, including The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, The London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonie-Orchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks and NHK Kokyogakudan.
He is currently a professor at the Malmö Conservatoire and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is also Artist in Residence at the Dresdner Philharmonie; Further afield he is play/directing the Göteborgs Symfoniker (Gothenburg Symphony), the brass of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Swedish Wind Ensemble.