Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the world’s oldest orchestras, dates back to 1765 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2015. Edvard Grieg had a close relationship with the Orchestra, serving as its artistic director during the years 1880-1882.   The one-hundred-and-one strong orchestra has status of Norwegian national orchestra.  Edward Gardner is Chief Conductor. The Orchestra enjoys a high international standing through recordings, extensive touring and international commissions, and was nominated Orchestra of the Year by Gramophone in 2020.

During the last few seasons the orchestra has played in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, at the BBC Proms, Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, New York, and the Philharmonie, Berlin.  The orchestra and Edward Gardner appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival with their critically acclaimed production of Peter Grimes in August 2017. In 2018 the Orchestra re-visited the Concertgebouw, BBC Proms and played in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg as the first Scandinavian orchestra. In January 2019 the orchestra returned to Salzburg giving three concerts at the Haus für Mozart, and toured France, Germany and Netherlands later in the spring. In November 2019 the orchestra was invited to Royal Festival Hall in London to perform Benjamin Brittens opera Peter Grimes, a performance which was hailed as one of the classical highlights in the UK in 2019.

In 2015 the orchestra established its own free live stream service,, which offers a fine selection of works performed by the orchestra and a range of conductors and soloists. Highlights include Schoenberg’s GurreLieder and Verdi’s Requiem.  A youth ensemble - Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, was also established, and gives four to six concerts per year.

The Orchestra has an active recording schedule, currently releasing four CDs every year. Critics worldwide applaud the energetic playing style and the full-bodied string sound.  Recent and ongoing recording projects include a series of orchestral works by Janáček, Messiaen’s Turangalîla, ballets by Stravinsky, and the complete symphonies, ballet suites, 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, Stuart Skelton, Alban Gerhardt, Vadim Gluzman, Stephen Hough, Freddy Kempf, Truls Mørk, Steven Osborne and Lawrence Power, among others.

The orchestra has recorded Tchaikovsky’s three great ballets and two critically acclaimed series of works by Johan Halvorsen and Johan Svendsen with Neeme Järvi, orchestral works by Rimsky-Korsakov with Dmitri Kitayenko and with Sir Andrew Davis the Orchestra has recorded music by Berlioz, Delius, Elgar, Sibelius and Vaughan Williams. With Thomas Dausgaard the orchestra is recording a series of Bruckner-symphonies.

Edward Gardner and the Orchestra has already released a series of recordings: A critically acclaimed series devoted to orchestral works by Janáček, including a Grammy-nominated recording of his Glagolitic Mass, Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, songs by Sibelius with Gerald Finley as soloist, Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Incidental music to Peer Gynt, featuring Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Ann-Helen Moen and Lise Davidsen, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Rhapsodies with James Ehnes, Bartoks Bluebeard’s Castle with John Relyea and Michelle DeYoung, Brahms symphonies Nos 1 and 3, Sibelius' Luonnotar and other works with Lise Davidsen and Britten's Peter Grimes.

Board of Directors

Audun Hasti, Chair
Anders Nome Lepsøe, Vice Chair
Harpreet Bansal
Arne Tveit Faannessen
Jeffrey Marquardt
Vidar Nordli
Elin Inderjit Sarai
Ivar Chelsom Vogt

Deputy members
Liv E. Nordskog
Karoline Skuseth
Sigvald Sveinbjørnsson
Bjarne Sælensminde
Oddmund Økland

Chief Conductor Edward Gardner

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Edward Gardner is Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, a position he has held since
October 2015. Hewill begin his tenure as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in
September 2021.

During the 2021/22 season Edward will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in eleven concerts
at the Royal Festival Hall, including five UK premieres. He opens the season on 25 September 2021 with
a concert performance of Tippett The Midsummer Marriage, for which the London Philharmonic Choir
is joined by the English National Opera Chorus. Other programmes during the season include Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique, Bartók Bluebeard’s Castle and Mahler Das Lied von der Erde. Edward and the
LPO will also take part in the Enescu Festival in Bucharest and perform for the 60th anniversary of Hong
Kong City Hall, as well as undertaking an extensive tour of Germany.

Edward opened the Bergen Philharmonic season with a performance of Adams Harmonium. Further
highlights include an all-Stravinsky programme and new commissions by Thomas Larcher, Ryan
Wigglesworth and Rebecka Ahvenniemi. Following recent tours to Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam and at
the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival, the orchestra will perform in Barcelona and Paris this season. In demand as a guest conductor, the previous two seasons saw Edward debut with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, RundfunkSinfonieorchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Wiener Symphoniker; while returns included engagements with theGewandhausorchester Leipzig, Montreal Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano. He also continued his longstanding collaborations with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where he was Principal Guest Conductor from 2010-16, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, whom he has conducted at both the Firstand Last Night of the BBC Proms. 

Edward Gardner has an exclusive contract with Chandos and has released a range of acclaimed cds. With the Bergen Philharmonic he has recorded many: Orchestral Realisations with music by Luciano Berio, a series of 3 highly acclaimed cds with music by Leos Janacek, Arnold Schoenberg's GurreLieder. Other recordings include Bartok's Bluebeard, Brahms' Symphonies Nos  1 and 3, Grieg's A-minor Concerto with Jean'Efflam Bavouzet, Sibelius' Luonnotar with Lise Davidsen and Britten's Peter Grimes.

Gardner has led the Bergen Philharmonic on several successful international tours, including Sweden, germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and England (BBC Proms in 2018) and Edinburgh International Festival with a performance of Peter Grimes in 2017. Gardner and the Orchestra returned to England and Royal Festival Hall in London with Peter Grimes in 2019,a performance which was hailed as one of the most important cultural events in Great Britain in 2019.

Music Director of English National Opera for ten years (2006-15), Edward has an ongoing relationship with New York’s Metropolitan Opera where he has conducted productions of La damnation de Faust, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier and Werther. In London he has future plans with the Royal Opera House where he made his debut in 2019 in a new production of Káťa Kabanová and returned for Werther the following season. The 2021/22 season will see Edward make his debut with Bayerische Staatsoper in a new production of Peter Grimes. Elsewhere, he has conducted at La Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, Den Norske Opera and Ballet, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opéra National de Paris.

A passionate supporter of young talent, Edward founded the Hallé Youth Orchestra in 2002 and regularly conducts the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He has a close relationship with the Juilliard School of Music, and with the Royal Academy of Music who appointed him their inaugural Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Chair in 2014. 

Born in Gloucester in 1974, Edward was educated at Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. He went on to become Assistant Conductor of The Hallé and Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera. His many accolades include being named Royal Philharmonic Society Award Conductor of the Year (2008), an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera (2009) and receiving an OBE for Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2012).


Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is Eco-Lighthouse certified and classified as Eco-Lighthouse in 2022. This means that we and our partners must comply with strict criteria to be able to run our concert- and production activities, which we aim to be as sustainable as possible. Our sustainable measures are embodied in our action plans, and we keep climate accounting
in accordance with the standard set by Eco-Lighthouse. Several of our measures are included in our collaboration with Grieghallen, which is Eco-Lighthouse and Klimapartner certified. This means that all stages in our productions are to be as sustainable as possible.

We inform our audience about our environmental measures through our own channels. All employees and partners have been supplied with the required information about our certification.

Transport and travel routines
We facilitate environment friendly transport, and we encourage our substitutes, visiting musicians and audience to choose environment friendly transport options when possible. Grieghallen is close to public transport and has facilities for bicycle parking and City bikes available for our audience as well as for our employees.

Energy-saving measures
We have, in collaboration with Grieghallen, focus on energy-saving measures such as heating and sustainable technical solutions.

All our main partners and suppliers are environmentally certified.

Disposable items
The use of disposable items is reduced to a minimum.

We have, in collaboration with Grieghallen, an efficient system for source sorting and waste stations are easily available throughout the building.

Catering for our audience is organized and executed by De bergenske, hired by Grieghallen. In our own canteen there is focus on reducing food waste.

Sound level
We have focus on safety for our employees and our audience. We do therefore have hearing protection easily available for employees and audience in productions making noise over 92 decibels.