Ultima 2004

Norway’s most central contemporary music event, the Ultima Festival is in full swing with a strong programme that features Dutch composer Louis Andriessen as the chief attraction.

Louis Andriessen

“The power of expression” is the motto for the 2004 Ultima festival. The main programme events run from 7 – 17 October.

For the 2004 festival, Ultima have chosen to focus on the music of a composer who ranks as one of the leading names in contemporary music today, the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. Andriessen has also been the motivating factor for this year’s festival motto”The Power of Expression”. States the Ultima programme: “Not only is his music powerful and to the point, its intellectual attitude and content also demonstrate the continuing importance of the artist’s role.”

Says Ultima Festival Director Geir Johnson on this year’s composer: “Louis Andriessen’s music is undogmatic and to the point; well may it require brilliant wind players and excellent singers, and often calls for a line-up far removed from that of the traditional symphony orchestra, but in combination with the electrified idiom of popular and improvised music it inhabits a bold and engaging sound-world of its own. He has composed much music for unusual ensemble line-ups, a fact this year’s opening concert bears witness to. For the first time this concert will not be given by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, but is a collaboration between the Norwegian Defence Forces Staff Band, Oslo Sinfonietta, and the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, under the leadership of the Dutch conductor Kasper de Roo.”

This years’s programme boasts a large number of stage productions – ten in all, including four operas, four performance/theatre productions and two dance productions. Two highlights of Ultima this year are performances of new works by the French composer Philippe Hurel, and the festival’s final concert Via Kabul, a concert of thirty musicians performing traditional music from their respective native Central Asian countries. In the course of a two-hour musical expedition the audience will be treated to what the Ultima crew hopes will be an unforgettable encounter with music cultures of which we know very little, from a region of Asia which is seldom represented in concert programmes in Europe.

The Ultima programme can be found here.

An overview of the festival’s composers, performers and ensembles is available here.

Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival is Scandinavia's largest contemporary music festival. The festival consists of eighteen institutions and organisations which contribute to the festival programme by placing their resources at the service of the festival.

In addition to the contributing efforts of the associated organisations and institutions, Ultima receives annual financial support from The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, The Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Municipality of Oslo, as well as from many other sources.

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