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Norwegian Chamber Orchestra

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, an independent foundation with federal and private funding, is one of Norway’s cultural mainstays. Formed by the violinist Bjarne Fiskum at a summer course for young string talents, it achieved spontaneous artistic recognition with its debut concert a few years later (autumn 1977) and made its international breakthrough with the release of a recording of the complete works for string orchestra by Grieg. Terje Tønnessen has been the leader of the Orchestra since its inception and, together with Iona Brown of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the artistic director from 1981 to 2001, has secured the Orchestra continuity and great artistic growth. The Orchestra has performed at distinguished concert halls throughout Europe with such renowned guest artists as Maurice André, Leif Ove Andsnes, Joshua Bell, James Galway, Radu Lupu, Joanna MacGregor, Angela Hewitt, Andrew Manze, Truls Mørk and Thomas Zehetmair. A particularly close collaboration with Mstislav Rostropovich was instrumental in opening the doors to venues such as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Royal Albert Hall in London and Hôtel de Ville in Paris. At home, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has performed in every county before audiences varying in size from a dozen to thousands; it initiated the biennial Winter Nights Festival in Oslo in 1995, and in 2001 was the resident artists at the Bergen International Festival.

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