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Bergen filharmoniske orkester

Founded in 1765, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is a Norwegian orchestra based in the city of Bergen. Originally called the Det Musikalske Selskab (the Music Society), their first conductor was Samuel Lind (1765-1769). They later changed their name to Musikelskabet Harmonien before opting for the Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester (Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra). The oldest of the Scandinavian orchestral orchestras, it has included Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in its repertoire since 1804, during the composer's lifetime. After the leadership of conductor Hermann Levi (1879-1880), the orchestra was conducted from 1880 to 1882 by composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), performing many established favorites such as Peer Gynt. Several more famous conductors followed, in particular composer Johan Halvorsen (1893-1898), while Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen conducted their own works in the 1920s. Over the years, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra invited guests to perform with them including Karol Szymanowski (1934), Leopold Stokowski (1953), Eugene Ormandy (1954-1955) and Aaron Copland ( 1975). In 1978, during Karsten Andersen's long and prolific tenure (1964-1985), the orchestra moved to a new venue called Grieg Hall. In 1980, Witold Lutoslawski and the following year, Krzysztof Penderecki, each conducted their own compositions. They were followed by Italy’s Aldo Ceccato (1985-1990), Russia’s Dmitri Kitajenko (1990-1998), Australia’s Simone Young (1998-2002) and American Andrew Litton (2003-2015). British conductor Edward Gardner began conducting in 2015 and is under contract until 2024. During its existence, the orchestra has released numerous albums including the 2015 three CD compilation Harmonien i Fire Satser (Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester 1765-2015), which features recordings spanning over 50 years and several conductors.


©Copyright Music Story Stephen Schnee 2021
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