Strong focus on Norwegian music in Prague

Late March/early April sees a strong focus on Norwegian music during the festival Prague Premiers 2007 which under the banner “…heading North” features no less than seven Norwegian composers.

Rolf Wallin

“Prague Premiers”, which runs from 24 March to 1 April is initiated by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic. All concerts featured in the strong programme are held at Prague’s distinguished concert hall, the Rudolfinum. The group of performers includes no less than nine to-notch Czech orchestras in addition to soloists, ensembles and conductors.

Prague Premiers 2007’s “…heading North” focus includes selected contemporary works by Danish, Faroese, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish composers. The Norwegian contingent features a deft mix of both icons and up-and-coming composers: Ørjan Matre, Rolf Wallin, Arne Nordheim, Eivind Buene, Lasse Thoresen, Marja Ratkje and Nils Henrik Asheim. Featured works include such strong outings as Nordheim’s “Fonos. Three memorables for trombone and orchestra”, Thoresen’s “The Descent of Luminous Waters for violin”, Maja Ratkje’s “Gagaku variations for accordion and string quartet” and Wallin’s “Appearances for large ensemble”.

Over the last three years, The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra has staged a contemporary music festival which focuses on Prague premieres of works composed within the last five years. While last year’s festival was dedicated to domestic composers this year it is Nordic music that gets the full attention from the highly respected orchestra.

During a visit to the Music Information Centre Norway’s Oslo office last year, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra’s director Vaclav Riedlbauch personally selected the Norwegian works all of which date from 2001 to 2006. It is MICs hope and ambition that the upcoming Prague events will lead to increased exposure and interest in Norwegian contemporary music in the Czech Republic.

More info on Prague Premieres 2007 and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra here.

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