Founded in 1765, it's one of the oldest orchestras in the world — and it's the hometown band of Edvard Grieg, who was its music director for two seasons. The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, headquartered in the beautiful old city on Norway's west coast, has just begun its first tour of the United States in 41 years with a concert yesterday afternoon in Fairfax, Virginia.
Under the baton of its current music director, Andrew Litton (who is also music director emeritus of the Dallas Symphony), the Bergen Philharmonic is performing in a dozen cities on this tour, from New England to Florida. One highlight will no doubt be tomorrow evening's concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. André Watts will join Litton and the orchestra to play Grieg's own piano concerto; the program also includes Shostakovich's Festive Overture and Fifth Symphony as well as the New York premiere of the 2005 work Tjat ("Chatter") by Norwegian composer Knut Vaage.
Other works in the Bergen Philharmonic's repertoire for this tour include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, a suite from Prokofiev's ballet score for Romeo and Juliet and the Hymn of Revolt by Bergen composer Harald Sæverud. A complete tour schedule is below.
Sunday, Nov. 4 - George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA