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Opening Ceremony

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Past events:
  • Free

​The festival is turning 70, and you are invited to the opening party! You can also watch the ceremony online. 

Welcome to the 70th Bergen International Festival! The festival starts right in the heart of the city, at Torgallmenningen, and you can also click here to watch the ceremony online. 

The opening ceremony is an annual celebration in which several thousand people gather to mark the beginning of the festival. The programme contains artistic elements, speeches and the traditional sing-along of Bergen's anthem, Nystemten, and the Norwegian national anthem, Ja, vi elsker

This year's presenter is none other than pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. Joining him on stage are the artist-in-residence Kronos Quartet, conductor Edward GardnerBergen Philharmonic Youth OrchestraEdvard Grieg Youth Choir, dancers from På tå hev and the Norwegian National Ballet, and cellist Amalie Stalheim. Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway will be in attendance and Norway's prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Bergen's mayor Rune Bakervik will speak. 

Read the full programme here (pdf).

The opening ceremony is free and for everyone. Welcome to the festival's big birthday party, and the beginning of 15 days of festivities, foundations and friction!

Photo: Thor Brødreskift


Watch the Opening ceremony here.

A limited number of seats are available. We recommend that you arrive early. The area opens at 11:45.

We ask that everyone be considerate. Leave large bags at home, and use rain clothes instead of an umbrella.

Watch the live recording of the opening ceremony. Available until 25 August 2022.



​1 h




    • Leif Ove Andsnes host
    • Edward Gardner conductor

    • Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
    • Andreas Block Laberg concertmaster

    • Edvard Grieg Youth Choir

    • Kronos Quartet
    • David Harrington violin
    • John Sherba violin
    • Hank Dutt viola
    • Sunny Yang cello

    • På tå hev with Guro Arnetvedt Tvedt, Marie Gudmundsen Loodtz dance
    • Balder Brudeseth Holmedal piano

    • Amalie Stalheim cello 
    • Marcelina Dabek harp

    • Melissa Hough soloist, The Norwegian National Ballet

    • Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre
    • Mayor Rune Bakervik

Music by

    • Copland
    • Sæverud
    • Gordon
    • Mortensen
    • Nordraak
    • Brun
    • Chopin
    • Saint-Saëns
    • Silvestrov
    • Grieg 

Supported by

Grieg FoundationThe Savings Bank Foundation DNB – Dextra Musica and The GC Rieber Foundations



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