Friday, 18 October 2019

Celebrating 100 years: the Oslo Philharmonic's centenary tour concludes at the Barbican

The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra performing in Oslo University's Aula in the 1950s
The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra performing in Oslo University's Aula in the 1950s
The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra is 70 this year, and the orchestra's concert at the Barbican on Tuesday 22 October 2019 with its chief conductor Vasily Petrenko is the final one of a celebratory eight-concert six-country European tour. The programme celebrates with one of the most famous of all Norwegian classical works, Grieg's Piano Concerto in which they are joined by Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. The orchestra also looks back to its first subscription concert in 1919 with Strauss’s tone poem Don Juan, and completes the programme with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10.

In fact, the orchestras roots go all the way back to 1879 when composers Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen founded the Christiania Musikerforening (Christiania Musical Association) - Oslo was then known as Christiania and the country was ruled by the Kings of Sweden. When the National Theatre opened in 1899, the orchestra provided music for the new theatre, and symphony concerts for the Music Society. A dispute between the orchestra and the theatre led to the collapse of the concert series. In 1919, the orchestra was reformed as the Filharmonisk Selskaps Orkester (Orchestra of the Philharmonic Company). Since 1977 the orchestra has given its concerts in Oslo Concert Hall. Vasily Petrenko has been the orchestra's music director since 2013, and in 2020 the role is taken over by Klaus Mäkelä.

Full details from the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra's website and the Barbican website.

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