Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
The Bergen Philharmonic, a Norwegian national orchestra, is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1765. Edvard Grieg served as its artistic director from 1880 to 1882. Edward Gardner is Chief Conductor. Sir Mark Elder is Principal Guest Conductor from 2022. Assistant conductor is Ingunn Korsgård Hagen. The Orchestra, enjoys a high international standing through recordings, touring and international commissions, and was nominated Orchestra of the Year 2020 by Gramophone, and won two Gramophone Classical Music Awards in 2021; Recording of the Year and Opera Award Winner for the recording of Britten’s Peter Grimes.
During the last few seasons the orchestra has played in the Concertgebouw, at the BBC Proms, Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, New York, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the Philharmonie, Berlin. The Orchestra and Edward Gardner appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival (2017) and Royal Festival Hall (2019) with their critically acclaimed production of Peter Grimes. In 2022 the orchestra’s production of Richard Strauss’ Salome was hailed as an artistic highlight at the Edinburgh International Festival.
The orchestra offers a free streaming service, Bergenphilive.no, with a fine selection of works performed by the orchestra and a range of conductors and soloists.
The Orchestra has an active recording schedule. Projects include Messiaen’s Turangalîla, ballets by Stravinsky, and the complete symphonies, ballet suites, concertos by Prokofiev, Bruckner symphonies, Mendelssohn symphonies and the complete orchestral music of Edvard Grieg.
Edward Gardner and the Orchestra have released a series of recordings: orchestral works by Janáček, including a Grammy-nominated recording of his Glagolitic Mass, Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, songs by Sibelius, Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Incidental music to Peer Gynt, featuring Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Ann-Helen Moen and Lise Davidsen, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Rhapsodies with James Ehnes, Bartóks Bluebeard’s Castle, Brahms symphonies Nos 1 and 3, Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Pelleas und Melisande, Britten’s Peter Grimes with Stuart Skelton and Erin Wall, songs by Britten and Canteloube with soprano Mari Eriksmoen, a cd with saxophonist Marius Neset, The Tempest by Arne Nordheim and a cd with Carl Nielsen’s Violin Concerto (James Ehnes) and Symphony No. 4.
Edward Gardner is Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, a position he will relinquish at the end of the 2023/24 season, and Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. From August 2024 Edward will undertake the Music Directorship of the Norwegian Opera and Ballet (DNO&B), commencing the role of Artistic Advisor in February 2022.
Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000, and became Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2022 for three years. His engagement is prolonged to August 2027. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979-1993), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992 – 1995) and Music Director of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, USA (1989 – 1994). He has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
Jan Willem de Vriend is Principal Conductor of the Wiener KammerOrchester, Principal Guest conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor designate of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. He makes regular guest appearances with such ensembles as the Belgian National, Bergen Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Melbourne Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Warsaw Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony.
De Vriend first established an international reputation as artistic director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he established in 1982 and led from the violin until 2015. In the field of opera, de Vriend and Combattimento Consort Amsterdam gave performances, of works by Monteverdi, Haydn, Handel, Telemann, and J.S. Bach all in stagings by the director Eva Buchmann. Operas by such composers as Mozart, Verdi and Cherubini featured in his seasons with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, again directed by Eva Buchmann. De Vriend has also conducted opera in Amsterdam (Nederlandse Reisopera), Barcelona, Strasbourg, Luzern, Schwetzingen and Bergen.
In the Netherlands he has presented several television series, and in 2012 he received a prize from the national station NPO Radio 4 for his creative contribution to classical music.
Ingunn Korsgård Hagen is a Norwegian conductor, experienced in a wide variety of ensembles and repertoire. As of February 2023, she holds the position of assistant conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with chief conductor Edward Gardner. She earned this position after a successful audition in which the whole orchestra and Gardner voted on their preferred candidate.
Prior to this role, she served as the assistant conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, which she secured in a live-streamed competition organized by Talent Norway and Dirigentløftet. In addition, she was selected as a member of Dirigentforum for two years through the same competition.