English National Opera’s acclaimed Music Director, is appointed the new Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He will start his three-year tenure on 8 October 2015, during which time the orchestra celebrates its 250th anniversary as one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Europe. Gardner will be appointed Principal Guest Conductor from August 2013 (succeeding Juanjo Mena). Andrew Litton, the Orchestra’s current Music Director, will be appointed Music Director Laureate. Edward Gardner will continue as ENO’s Music Director.

“This appointment represents an important and exciting step in our ambition to secure a place among the top orchestras in Europe, building on the immense work done by Andrew Litton.” says CEO Bernt E. Bauge. “Edward Gardner fulfills all our future demands and expectations - the chemistry between him and the musicians is excellent. We are also very proud and thankful to Yvonne and Bjarne Rieber for their very generous economic contribution which has made it possible to bring Gardner to Bergen.”

“I have been thrilled with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from the very first time I worked with them.” says Gardner. “They have such an unique quality of sound and a hunger for new experiences and ways of making music. The orchestra plays with the energy of a team of chamber musicians wanting to explore the symphonic repertoire with passion and commitment. I am particularly grateful to Mrs. and Mr. Rieber for their generous support of my new role with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and hugely look forward to continuing Andrew's wonderful work in developing the orchestra's growing international profile over the next few years.”

Edward Gardner has been a popular and inspiring guest conductor for the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra during the last few seasons, and he will build on Andrew Litton’s impressive work to establish the orchestra in the top echelon of European orchestras. Gardner, with his love of music from the Classical period and 20th century will add new dimensions to the Bergen Philharmonic’s repertoire. He is also keen to learn Norwegian music, and has already conducted the Norwegian composer Ketil Hvoslef’s Piano Concerto with Leif Ove Andsnes and the orchestra.

“Chandos is proud to learn that its exclusive artist Edward Gardner is to be appointed Chief Conductor of one of the finest orchestras in Europe”, says Ralph Couzens, Managing Director of Chandos Records Ltd. “Edward is a rising star in today's conducting world and the signing to the Bergen Philharmonic (an orchestra that is also rising internationally through its tours and recordings) will take its performances to the highest level, both in the concert hall and recording studio. We look forward in the years to come to a fruitful and rewarding relationship with Edward and the Bergen Philharmonic, an orchestra we love to work with.”

Andrew Litton has been Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra since 2003 and has been an invaluable force in bringing the orchestra to the highest international artistic level. To date Litton and the orchestra have released 18 CDs on the BIS, Chandos and Hyperion labels and undertaken 13 international tours with a total of 70 concerts in venues which include Carnegie Hall, New York, Philharmonie, Berlin, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall, Gasteig in Munich and Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra’s long-standing cooperation with Andrew Litton will continue after 2015. As Music Director Laureate he will conduct the orchestra regularly, and continue the relationship with BIS with a range of recording projects, including an already initiated cycle of Prokofiev’s symphonies.

“The Bergen Philharmonic and I recently completed a triumphant tour throughout the United Kingdom where we made many new great friends who eagerly await the orchestra's return. It is fitting and appropriate that Edward Gardner will be at the helm when the Bergen Philharmonic visits the United Kingdom and the other European nations who have grown to admire us. I wish him all the success and artistic satisfaction I have enjoyed for the last decade leading this magnificent orchestra. I look forward to maintaining my close ties with the Bergen Philharmonic as its Music Director Laureate and will joyfully watch it prosper and thrive”, says Andrew Litton.

“Edward Gardner and Andrew Litton are outstanding conductors who complement each other. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to working with both of them in the future”, says musician Oddmund Økland on behalf of the orchestra’s Program Committee.


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