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26 May - 09 June 2021

Edvard Grieg Kor

Five elements

Music Digital
World premiere
Past events:
  • Event finished
  • Event finished

​World premiere of the elements of nature.

The four classical elements from ancient Greece – fire, earth, air and water – along with a fifth element – wood – from Chinese philosophy, are the basis of this concert in Håkonshallen. 

Five elements is a work commissioned by Edvard Grieg Kor to be premiered at the 2021 Bergen International Festival. It is composed by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, who is based in the west of Norway, to words by Malin Kjelsrud. Having grown up close to the ocean on the Lofoten islands, the composer is not unfamiliar with the elements of nature as a source of inspiration. 

The rest of the programme is also related to the five elements, encompassing 17th century madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schütz and music by contemporary American composers Caroline Shaw, David Lang and Frank Ticheli. 

In the madrigals the elements are often metaphors for the transience of love, but in this concert there is also music depicting the destruction of paradise. David Lang's work By Fire, which is rarely performed, combines an interview with an unnamed CIA analyst about a nuclear test on a Pacific atoll with an excerpt from Sun Tzu's The Art of War on the use of fire. 

Edvard Grieg Kor is ensemble in residence at Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg. The choir has achieved status as a leading eight-member a cappella ensemble. International recognition of the choir includes a Grammy nomination in 2017. 

Photo: Edvard Grieg Kor


The event is filmed. Cameras can be an inconvenience to the audience at the venue. No admittance after the doors close, 5 mins before the event begins. Any distribution, copying and downloading of video content is strictly forbidden. 

The Bergen International Festival is carried out in accordance with the government's and local authorities' current requirements and guidelines for COVID-19. Read more here.

Digital pass or ticket holder? Watch the event here.



​1 h


At the venue
Standard: 490
Senior: 441
Under 30/student: 190
BT Fordel: 367

Digital event
Standard: 250
Under 30/Student: 150
BT Fordel: 180
Household: 400

Digital pass or ticket holder? Watch the event here.


    • ​Edvard Grieg Kor

Music by

    • Monteverdi
    • Jersild
    • Tormis
    • Aagaard-Nilsen
    • Shaw
    • Lang
    • Poulenc
    • Ticheli
    • Takemitsu
    • Schütz


    • Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)
      Io mi son giovinetta
      Ch'io t'ami e t'ami piú
      A un giro sol

    • Jørgen Jersild (1913–2004)
      Min yndlingsdal

    • Veljo Tormis (1913–2017)
      Tuul Könnumaa Kohal

    • Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen (1964–)
      Fem Elementer (World Premiére)
      1. Ild
      2. Jord
      3. Luft
      4. Vann
      5. Tre

    • Caroline Shaw (1982–)
      And the shallow

    • David Lang (1957–)
      By Fire
    • Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
      Bois meurtri fra Un Soir de Neige
    • Frank Ticheli (1958–)
      Earth Song
    • Tóru Takemitsu (1930–1996)
      Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)

    • Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672)
      Selve beate
      Ride la primavera

Supported by

​The Savings Bank Foundation DNB – Dextra Musica


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