Portrait of Anne-Marie Ørbeck

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra at Bergen International Festival

Portrait of Anne-Marie Ørbeck


A composer who was nearly forgotten.

This year's Festival composer is Anne-Marie Ørbeck, who died in Bergen in 1996. Her obituary in the main Bergen newspaper was only a small column, and there was little praise to be found elsewhere, in spite of the fact that she had been artistically active for many decades, first as an international pianist and later as a composer, and that she was the first Norwegian woman to write a symphony.

The programme for this concert consists entirely of works by Ørbeck, showing varying aspects of her symphonic music. In Håkonshallen her miniature suite Melody, two songs, Pastorale and Allegro for Flute and String Orchestra and Concertino for Piano and Orchestra will be performed. The last of these was Ørbeck's debut as an orchestral composer, and she was the piano soloist at its premiere in Berlin in 1938.

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is one of few orchestras that have focused on Ørbeck's music, and at irregular intervals. They are joined by a small group of young Norwegian soloists: Annika Synnøve Beinnes, soprano, Ingrid Søfteland Neset, flute and Kei Solvang, piano. The conductor is Anna-Maria Helsing from Finland, who is principal guest conductor with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The works will be introduced by arts journalist Marion Hestholm.

Photo: From Anne-Marie Ørbeck's collection

Works by Anne-Marie Ørbeck will also be performed in the Closing concert and at the concert with Fuko Ishii.​