The Bergen International Festival signature work and Adagio for strings.
Grieg's A minor Piano Concerto, which has been called both the sound of Norway and the signature tune of national romanticism, has been on the Bergen International Festival programme practically every year since it started in 1953. That is fortunately also the case in pandemic year 2021, though it did not look that way at first.
The pianist is Håvard Gimse, who was also the soloist when the Bergen Philharmonic performed the work during the 2018 live broadcast Grieg minute for minute. Håvard Gimse is in great demand as a soloist and chamber musician in Norway and abroad and is especially fond of Scandinavian – particularly Norwegian – classical music.
Adagio for Strings by the American composer Samuel Barber is, in common with the A minor concerto, one of the world's most recognisable pieces of classical music. Played at the funerals of presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F Kennedy and after 11 September, the work may almost be considered the official mourning music of the United States. It has been used in several films, including Platoon from 1986, and may also be found in numerous electronic remixes for club and dance floor.
James Gaffigan conducts the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, a Norwegian national orchestra and one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world, dating as it does from 1765. Edvard Grieg had a close connection to the orchestra, and was its artistic director from 1880 to 1882. During the 2021 festival members of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra perform – in various constellations – in no fewer than seven concerts. As a highly recognised conductor for both symphony orchestras and opera, the American conductor James Gaffigan has worked with several of the leading concert and opera houses of the world. He is the Chief Conductor for the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, and he has made a significant impact on the orchestra's profile, with many successful tours and recordings. This year Gaffigan was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra & Opera.
The concert begins with a work for piano and electronics, written and performed by festival composer Missy Mazzoli.
Photo: Thor Brødreskift
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