When Anne-Marie Ørbeck's Symphony in D major was premiered in Bergen in 1954, it was a major historical event. Norway had its first symphony composed by a woman. 'The greatest thing about this matter is however that it is a significant symphony, in our opinion so significant that it will survive; it will be one of the Norwegian symphonies that is to be reckoned with and that people will want to listen to,' according to critic Trygve Fischer.
The reviewer was mistaken: Ørbeck's symphony is not among those to listen to and be reckoned with; it has rarely been performed since the premiere.
This year Ørbeck has been brought to the forefront as the Festival Composer of the year, and the symphony has been given a prominent place in the Closing concert. Additionally, two of her songs will be performed by Bergen Cathedral Choir.
The concert concludes with the signature work of the Bergen International Festival, Edvard Grieg's immortal Piano Concert in A minor. The soloist is the German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott, celebrated for her poetic and intense style.
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, which played the symphony at its premiere, will be conducted on this occasion by Eivind Aadland.
Image of Alice Sara Ott (photo: Pascal Albandopulos).
Works by Anne-Marie Ørbeck will also be performed in the concert entitled Portrait of Anne-Marie Ørbeck and at the concert with Fuko Ishii.