Edward Gardner becomes new Chief Conductor of Edvard Grieg Kor

Published November 13, 2021, updated February 1, 2022.
Written by Daniela

Ed Gardner OBE (Benjamin Ealovega Photography benjaminealovega.com)

Edvard Grieg Korene A / S in collaboration with the Grieg Foundation are delighted to announce that Edward Gardner will be the new Chief Conductor for Edvard Grieg Kor for the next three seasons. Such a long-term artistic alliance between an independent professional choir and an orchestra and opera conductor at the highest international level represents something completely new in Norwegian music life.

This is a fantastically exciting development for Edvard Grieg Choir and reflects the tireless commitment and the quality of performances we have seen from the singers in recent years. For Bergen as a city of culture, this will mean another feather in the cap

Simon Kirkbride, General Director of Edvard Grieg Korene A / S

Edvard Grieg Kor (EGK) is Western Norway’s leading professional choir, consisting of the eight singers in the Edvard Grieg Vocal Ensemble, in addition to eight regular guest singers. In recent years, Edvard Grieg Kor has achieved recognition both in Norway and internationally, and performs regularly in concerts and performances for the Bergen National Opera and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

During the Pandemic, EGK performed several concerts with 16 singers, conducted by Edward Gardner, including the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra’s exceptional performances of Vaughan-Williams’ Serenade to Music and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Grieg Hall, Bergen. The high quality of these performances led directly to discussions about a closer working relationship with Edward Gardner, who had expressed a keen interest in working more regularly with EGK.

Edvard Grieg Kor is central to the music-making in Bergen; ever since I’ve been in the city I’ve been struck by the brilliance, versatility and passion of the group. It’s a great privilege to have a role with these wonderful singers, am I look very much forward to a wide-ranging exploration of choral music!

Edward Gardner

This is an exciting and unique opportunity we at the Grieg Foundation look forward to participating in. Edward Gardner is an exceptionally talented and inspiring conductor. We are sure that this initiative will not only lift Edvard Grieg’s choir to new heights. It will resonate and be a joy and inspiration for the entire music scene in Bergen.

Elna-Kathrine Grieg, Board Chair of Grieg Foundation

Edward Gardner is Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has previously been music director at both the English National Opera and the Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He is one of the most sought-after conductors of our time, with regular engagements at major opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at festivals such as the BBC Proms.

New concert series: Edvard Grieg Kors’ debut performance with the new Chief Conductor will take place on December 13th in Bergen Cathedral. Gardner will lead at least 2 concert productions each season in the period 2021-2024, where the repertoire and program will be prepared by Gardner in collaboration with EGK’s Artistic Team. Some of the concerts will be included in Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert season programming.

Grieg Foundation: This new artistic endeavour has been made possible by generous support from the Grieg Foundation of 1.5 million Norwegian Kroner over the next 3 seasons. The Grieg Foundation, in partnership with Edvard Grieg Kor, will promote choral performances of the highest quality to a much wider audience.

All of us at Edvard Grieg Korene are incredibly grateful to the Grieg foundation for their extraordinary support and shared belief in the importance of this exciting new opportunity, both for EGK and indeed for musical life here in Bergen!

Simon Kirkbride, General Director of Edvard Grieg Korene A / S