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Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

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.