The Bergen International Festival celebrates the 250th anniversary of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015

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June 27, 2014

Next year the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates the 250th anniversary of its inception, and among its exciting projects in association with the Bergen International Festival is the festival opening concert: Porgy and Bess.

Porgy and Bess is Gershwin’s absolute masterpiece,’ says conductor Andrew Litton, who has compiled a suite from the most popular songs in the opera and the scenes in which they are sung.

‘It is fantastic to have an orchestra like this in the city. The BFO has made its mark loud and clear in the arts in Norway, so it is only natural that we should make extra room in our programme in connection with the anniversary,’ says festival director Anders Beyer.

Igudesman and Joo have taken the world by storm with their unique show, in which comedy, classical music and popular culture are jumbled up together. At the last count their YouTube clips had received 28 million hits; their dream is to bring classical music to a wider audience.

The concert opens with Jean Sibelius’s landmark final symphony, which is followed by a world premiere of Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra by Per Nørgård, the great contemporary Danish composer. It will be performed by the Norwegian violinist Peter Herresthal and the Danish cellist Jakob Kullberg, both closely associated with Nørgård. The work has been commissioned by the Bergen International Festival, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Copenhagen) and the Library of Congress, Music Division (Washington DC). The programme also includes Arne Nordheim’s work Floating.

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