Five Things Friday – The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (or, as we’ve shortened it here in the office, the NCO) has worked with 2012 Music Director Leif Ove Andsnes for several years, both on recording projects and at the Risør Festival in Norway. But the group is well-known and established in their own right, so for this week’s Five Things Friday, we’ve decided to see what we could learn about the NCO:

  • The group was started in 1977, bursting onto the international music scene with its acclaimed recording of Grieg’s complete works for string orchestra in 1979. The NCO has benefited from having two long-term leaders: Terje Tønnesen (1977-1981, 2010-present) and Iona Brown (1981-2001). Leif Ove Andsnes was the orchestra’s first guest leader, holding the position from 2002-2010.
  • Terje Tønnesen is active across several different genres, enjoying working in jazz, rock, and theatrical performance in addition to his work with the NCO. Here’s an incredible video of Tønnesen performing in Dance Macabre (1995), choreographed by Kjersti Alveberg.
  • The NCO is known for their dedication to developing new performance concepts and modes of presentation. Take, for example, their performance of Grieg’s In ‘Holberg’s Time’, in 2010 (wait for about 50 seconds in).
  • The NCO appeared as part of the BBC Proms in 2010, receiving almost universal praise for their (and Andnes’) performances of Grieg and Mozart’s piano concertos. But they gave another performance as well, at the much less traditional 100 Club, usually home to Jazz and rock groups. You can see a video of their sold-out performance here.
  • And speaking of unusual venues, the NCO also had a series of performances throughout the city, including in a train station. Definitely one of the times we wish we spoke Norwegian.

There are less than two months to go until the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Leif Ove Andsnes, and the rest of the 2012 artists arrive in Ojai. If you have not yet bought tickets, you can do so online at