The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra dates back to 1765 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2015. Edvard Grieg had a close relationship with the orchestra and was its artistic director during the years 1880–82. From 2003 to 2015 Andrew Litton was the orchestra’s music director. Under his direction the orchestra increased its international activities by means of touring and recording projects. Edward Gardner took over as chief conductor in 2015, and has further strengthened the orchestra’s international profile.
The orchestra, with the status of a Norwegian National Orchestra, consists of 101 players. Touring regularly, it has during the last few seasons performed in the Concertgebouw, Royal Albert Hall, the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, the Gasteig Philharmonie in Munich, Carnegie Hall in New York, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin. Bergenphilive, a free streaming service was established in 2015 and is available as an app. In the same year, Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was established.
The orchestra records extensively for BIS and in 2007 received a special award for its recording of all Grieg’s orchestral music from the Grieg Society of Great Britain. With Andrew Litton, the orchestra has released a number of acclaimed discs which have received distinctions including Spellemannsprisen (the ‘Norwegian Grammy’), BBC Music Magazine Award, Diapason d’Or de l’année, Clef d’or (ResMusica) and Empfehlung des Monats (Fono Forum), as well as being shortlisted for a Gramophone Award. In 2016, the team’s recording of piano concertos by Scriabin and Medtner, with soloist Yevgeny Sudbin, was the winner in the concerto category of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA), chosen by a jury of music critics from thirteen countries.
For further information, please visit the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra website.