Bergen, Norway, 16. November 2011 – Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen enters three individual sponsorship agreements worth NOK 19 million (2.4 million euros) with the Bergen Philharmonic, Leif Ove Andsnes and the Bergen International Festival.

The support from the Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen – which marks the first occasion of the foundation’s sponsorship of the arts - is divided as follows;

  • NOK 12.1 million to the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • NOK 3.6 million to Leif Ove Andsnes’ «Beethoven - A Journey»
  • NOK 3 million to The Bergen International Festival for project support which includes the annual presentation of «Beethoven - A Journey» from 2012 – 2014

    “This sponsorship represents an important boost for the arts community in Bergen and will contribute to strengthening Norway’s international reputation for classical music” commented the recipients.

    Research and art on a top international level
    Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen was established in 2009 to honour the memory of Kristian Gerhard Jebsen and his contribution to the Norwegian and international shipping and business. The foundation’s largest asset is an eight per cent shareholding in KGJS. Its capital - which at the turn of 2010 / 2011 totaled NOK 900 million - permits substantial donations to various purposes with a wide-ranging object clause overseen by Aud Jebsen and her three sons.

    “Since its creation Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen has concentrated its support on projects within the fields of medical and maritime research and is now, for the first time, reaching out to the arts” commented Hans Peter Jebsen, Chairman of the Board. “A common denominator for its engagement is a vision of contributing to the realization of projects on the highest international level. The cooperation we instigate in the field of arts is an important part of this. Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen is happy to be able to contribute to a comprehensive commitment to the performing arts.”

    Grand Piano and Digital Concert Hall to the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
    The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra receives NOK 12.1 million for artistic development and outreach for the period leading up to its 250th anniversary in 2015. The support makes it possible to engage the most distinguished guest conductors and soloists; finance a new position in the orchestra (Solo Cellist) for four years; arrange a concert celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution in 2014; participate in an upcoming London Proms season; acquire a new grand piano; and invest in a ‘digital concert hall’, making it possible to share concerts with audiences worldwide. “Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen has extended an extremely valuable hand to the oldest and foremost music institution in Bergen for which we are very grateful. ” commented Bernt E.Bauge, CEO of the Bergen Philharmonic, “This support will be an important contribution to the further development and strengthening of the orchestra as a leading and modern symphony orchestra.”

    «Beethoven - A Journey» Recording and Touring – Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra
    Leif OveAndsnesreceives NOK 3.6 million over three years to assist in covering the costs of «Beethoven - A Journey» - his major upcoming collaborationwith the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a first class orchestra consisting of approximately 40 musicians from across 20 countries. The journey of recording all five of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos begins in Prague in May 2012. In addition to the recordings, which will be released on Sony Classical, the Beethoven journey will include an extensive tour in North-America, Europe and Asia.

    “I am very grateful to Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen for their generous support in sponsoring «Beethoven - A Journey» - without doubt the most important project I have embarked on to date” said Leif Ove Andsnes. ” I look forward to performing Beethoven both at home and abroad and to sharing this wonderful music with audiences across the world.”

    «Beethoven – A Journey» at the Bergen International Festival
    When Leif Ove Andsnes began his musical studies in Bergen, he immediately registered as a guide for the Bergen Festival. Just one year later, aged 18, he made his debut as the youngest soloist ever performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Two years later he was performing in North America, his international career already well underway. In spite of extensive international touring throughout the year, Andsnes continues to contribute to the Bergen Festival on an almost annual basis. A theme for the Festival program for 2012 is to present Norwegian artists and their international collaborations.

    “We are looking forward to experiencing Andsnes with the great Mahler Chamber Orchestra during the festival, and we are proud to present the project «Beethoven - A Journey»over the next three years” said Per Boye Hansen, Director of the Bergen International Festival. “We are very grateful for the support from Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen which enables us to present this project. It is fantastic that Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen is making such a major investment in the arts.”

    “We are very proud to be able to contribute to Andsnes’ Beethoven journey” commented Kåre Rommetveit, representative for Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen. “Due to his relationship with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bergen International Festival, Leif Ove Andsnes and his Beethoven project is very important for the foundation’s integral engagement with the arts. At the same time he is the foremost exponent of what the foundation wishes to achieve with its cultural engagement. With local roots and a continuous search for excellence, he has succeeded in establishing himself at the highest international level possible.”

    Kristian Gerhard Jebsen
    Kristian Gerhard Jebsen was born in Bergen in 1927 and worked as a shipbroker in New York, Paris and London until he joined the family shipping company, Kristian Jebsens Rederi AS, in 1953. He made a major contribution to its modernisation, and played a key role in the development of bulk carriers. After starting on his own in 1967 with KGJS, he built up a worldwide business which today includes the ownership and operation of 110 ships. His unique knowledge of international shipping, combined with his visionary talents, great capacity for work and ability to motivate and lead, allowed Jebsen to build up a business which ranks today as a world leader in its fields.
 He is remembered as a distinctive and innovative player in the development of the shipping industry from the 1950s and until his death in London in 2004.

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