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Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

One of the world’s oldest orchestras, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, a Norwegian National Orchestra, dates back to 1765. Edvard Grieg had a close relationship with the Orchestra, serving as its artistic director from 1880 to 1882. Edward Gardner has been Chief Conductor since 2015 and has taken the Orchestra on multiple international tours. These have included appearances at the Concertgebouw, in Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie, in Hamburg, Edinburgh International Festival, Southbank Centre, and BBC Proms. Previous international tours have included performances at the Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, in New York, and Philharmonie Berlin. Sir Mark Elder is the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor.

In 2015 the Orchestra established its free streaming platform, Bergenphilive, which offers a fine selection of live streams and works. The Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was established the same year.

The Orchestra has an active recording schedule, at the moment releasing four CDs every year. Critics worldwide applaud its energetic playing style and full-bodied string sound. Recording projects include Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, ballets by Stravinsky, the symphonies, ballet suites, and concertos by Prokofiev, and the complete orchestral music of Edvard Grieg. Enjoying long-standing artistic partnerships with some of the finest musicians in the world, the Orchestra has recorded with Leif Ove Andsnes, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, James Ehnes, Gerald Finley, Alban Gerhardt, Vadim Gluzman, Stephen Hough, Sara Jakubiak, Freddy Kempf, Truls Mørk, Steven Osborne, Lawrence Power, and Stuart Skelton, among others.

The Orchestra has recorded Tchaikovsky’s ballets and critically acclaimed series of works by Johan Halvorsen and Johan Svendsen with Neeme Järvi, orchestral works by Rimsky-Korsakov with Dmitri Kitayenko, and music by Berlioz, Delius, Elgar, Sibelius, and Vaughan Williams with Sir Andrew Davis.

The first collaboration on disc between Edward Gardner and the Orchestra was a recording of orchestral realisations by Luciano Berio. Among subsequent recordings with Edward Gardner are a critically acclaimed series devoted to orchestral works by Janácek, including a Grammy-nominated recording of his Glagolitic Mass, Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder, orchestral songs by Sibelius with Gerald Finley as soloist, a disc of orchestral works by Bartók, the Piano Concerto and incidental music from Peer Gynt by Grieg, and the Grande Messe des morts by Berlioz. The latest releases by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra include recordings of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with John Relyea and Michelle DeYoung, Brahms’s Symphonies Nos 1 and 3, Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande and Erwartung with Sara Jakubiak, Britten’s Peter Grimes with, among others, Stuart Skelton and Erin Wall, tone poems and other works by Sibelius with Lise Davidsen, orchestral songs by Britten and Canteloube with Mari Eriksmoen, and MANMADE with the saxophonist Marius Neset. The Orchestra received a nomination for Orchestra of the Year at the Gramophone Awards 2020. In 2021, Peter Grimes won the Orchestra two Gramophone Classical Music Awards: Opera Recording of the Year and Recording of the Year. /


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