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European Orchestra Festival


European Orchestra Festival will fill Bergen with music! 25 orchestras from all over Europe gathers in Bergen i May. More than 1000 musicians will perform in Bergen during these four days.

Orchestras from all over Europe will gather in Bergen May 10th-13th, for performances and workshops.

More than 1000 musicians will attend the festival as performers. In addition to 11 concerts, the orchestra musicians will participate in workshops and lectures organized by the Festival.
During the Festival you will hear a diverse range of music: classics like Beethoven and Mozart, Norwegian composers like Grieg and Halvorsen, film scores and contemporary music from different countries, and more. The Festival will conclude with the world premiere of a work written especially for the festival: Primavera by the native Bergen composer Ketil Hvoslef.

All concerts are free to attend.

The opening performance will be given by the Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BFUng). Led by conductor Kjell Seim, BFUng is perhaps the most prominent youth symphonic orchestra in Norway. According to Seim, the impact of this orchestra on the development of young musicians has been enormous.

«When the orchestra started in 1997, the string playing community in the Bergen area was miniscule. During the 20 years that have passed, we have seen an enormous growth of the string community. The existence of a full-sized symphonic orchestra is an important inspiration for young musicians, and a pathway into the music schools and conservatories», Seim says.


BFUng will perform Fest-Polonaise by Johan Svendsen and Furer by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen.
The European Orchestra Festival is an expression of a more internationalized music community, both for amateurs and professionals, according to festival director Terje Winther.

«Many orchestras travel abroad, both individuals attending courses and entire ensembles going to play in other countries. We have noticed that many European orchestras are interested in playing in Norway. International projects have been an important part of our activities over the last years, and the European Orchestra Festival is a result of this», Winther says.

All the participating orchestras will perform its own repertoire. In addition, musicians from different orchestras will come together in workshops, and will rehearse and perform new music during the festival.

«I look forward to hearing how musicians from different countries, with different musical traditions, will cooperate to perform the music», Winther says.

During the Festival, the audience will experience orchestral music in a way that might be slightly different from what they are used to.

«The concerts will be much broader in their scope than what is usual for classical concerts. In the course of one concert there will be several ensembles performing works in different genres. Each of the participating orchestras play a short repertoire, so the variation will be great. As a concert-goer you will be enriched, because you will get to experience the music in a context that will bring forth new aspects of the music.»

About the festival
The European Orchestra Festival is organized every third year by the European Orchestra Federation (OEFed). Each festival is hosted in a new country by one of the national organizations affiliated with EOFed.

Previous Festivals have been organized in Cremona, Italy (2015); Tallinn, Estonia (2012), and Dalfsen, the Netherlands (2009).

This year, the Festival will be hosted by the Norwegian Youth Orchestra Association (UNOF) and the Norwegian Symphonic Orchestra Association (NASOL), in Bergen May 10-13.

There will be 11 concerts in the course of the Festival, with the Grieg Hall and the Church of the Cross as the main venues.

Musicians from 25 European orchestras will participate, in total more than 1000 people.

  • Last Updated: 04/09/2018
  • Source: Bergen Reiselivslag

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