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26 May - 09 June 2021

The CEO & Artistic Director

Anders Beyer joined the Bergen International Festival in 2012 after four years as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Copenhagen Opera Festival.

Anders Beyer. Photo: Hans Jørgen Brun

Anders Beyer joined the Bergen International Festival in 2012 after four years as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Copenhagen Opera Festival.

Prior to this, the Festival's Danish director was also CEO and Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen and Athelas New Music Festival.

Beyer’s career embraces artistic leadership within all art forms. He has a solid record as a commissioner of new music, theatre and dance projects, and of developing major programming initiatives in collaboration with a number of the world’s leading artists, performing groups and arts centres.

During his time in Bergen, he has created new productions with directors and choreographers including Peter Konwitschny, Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, Vegard Vinge & Ida Müller, Sasha Waltz, Kim Brandstrup, Christoph Marthaler and Calixto Bieito.

Throughout his career, Beyer has worked closely with composers of our time and has been responsible for numerous commissions. He has achieved significant results with projects together with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, Unsuk Chin, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Sofia Gubaidulina, Per Nørgård and Kaija Saariaho.

Beyer began his professional career as a pianist, and started performing, recording and touring as a soloist and accompanist in his teens. He studied music and philosophy at the University of Copenhagen and graduated in Musical Science in 1985, after which he worked as a lecturer at the university. While teaching at the university, Beyer also worked as music editor and critic at the newspaper Dagbladet Information from 1995 to 2004. His knowledge of, and indeed his passion for, European musical culture have resulted in a large number of books, articles in international periodicals, and translations of German musicology and more.

Anders Beyer is Professor II, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen, and a member of the committee of The International Ibsen Award, Oslo.

However varied Beyer’s cultural work has been, it has always been fueled by his will to explore new ways of presenting art to audiences. According to Beyer, the ground rule for winning present-day audiences over is aiming to present the most sublime art, performed by the greatest performers. The key words are professionalism, commitment, dialogue, and challenge.

Beyer has shown that collaboration across the divides of culture and genre, as well as the establishment of networks and alliances between institutions working within the same area, can produce tremendous and significant results. His artistic reputation both nationally and internationally comes from an outstanding 30-year career that includes collaborative projects with the most prolific musicians, singers, composers, conductors, directors, and dancers in the world.

Beyer leads the Bergen International Festival into an exciting new period of international excellence, and brings a commitment to community, learning and participation to the 2021–2026 Festivals.

Pdf of Anders Beyer’s biography: Short / Long

Press photos

Read articles by Anders Beyer

Festival Directors

2012–: Anders Beyer (tenure until 2026) 
2005–2012: Per Boye Hansen
2004–2005: Erling Dahl jr.
1996–2004: Bergljót Jónsdóttir
1995: Lorentz Reitan 
1994: Ole Wiggo Bang 
1989–1993: Lorentz Reitan 
1988–1989: Birgitte Alleen
1986–1988: Daniel Bohr 
1981–1985: Knut Thomassen 
1977–1980: Sverre Bergh 
1973–1976: Sven Henning 
1967–1972: Åsmund Oftedal
1957–1966: Gunnar Arne Jensen 
1951–1956: Frank Meidell Falch*

*The first Bergen International Festival was held in 1953. Frank Meidell Falch was first hired as secretary in the new foundation, but was quickly upgraded to Festival Director.  


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