A festival in motion

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December 03, 2019

'The Bergen International Festival wishes to create artistic and emotional waves,' says CEO and Artistic Director, Anders Beyer.

The Bergen International Festival is the largest curated festival for music and performing arts in the Nordic countries, and is launching more than 30 events for the 2020 programme. 

With the arts at its core, the festival shall contribute to movement, which is this year's theme and common thread throughout its concerts, performances, talks and debates, says the director.

The programme offers a new production of the Swiss Ibsen Award-winning theatre and opera director, Christoph Marthaler, Det Norske Teateret's critically acclaimed production of the David Bowie musical Lazarus, a reunion with diva Ute Lemper, a contemporary circus from Quebec and a meta-comedy from the 17th century.

Among the events that are now being launched are significant parts of the classical programme, with everything from chamber concerts at Troldhaugen to large orchestral productions in Grieghallen. The programme includes a portrait concert by and with German composer Jörg Widmann, who is this year's Festival composer, early music expert William Christie and his ensemble Les Arts Florissants, and the exciting pianists Isata Kanneh-Mason and Víkingur Ólafsson. The closing concert will be held by Leif Ove Andsnes and the Oslo Philharmonic. Via the Crescendo mentoring programme, the festival also continues its tradition of bringing younger and more experienced performers together on stage.

The Bergen International Festival programme is often the subject of debate, and the festival director welcomes the exchange of views. Last year, Grieg's share of the programme was heatedly debated. 

The festival and all artistic expressions can stand to be examined from every angle, to be turned on their heads, to be loved, disliked and discussed. Indifference and passivity are the only real enemies of culture, says Beyer.

The full 2020 Bergen International Festival programme will be launched in January.

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