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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Norwegian Festival Special

festival. For 2016 the festival theme is ‘Beyond Horizons’, and this theme will set the atmosphere of the concerts. Composers like Beethoven, Stravinsky and Messiaen, who were composing music ahead of their time, will be important composers in the 2016 edition of the festival. We are also happy to welcome some of the world’s most celebrated classical musicians, such as Ukrainian violist Maxim Rysanov, Armenian pianist Marianna Shirinyan and Hungarian cellist István Várdai.”

From park to gala The festival takes place over ten days, from 24 June to 4 July, and offers two or three concerts each day. Some are ticketed while others are free of charge. The concerts range from outdoor taster sessions to night concerts in the bar at Thon Hotel Fagernes, in addition to more conventional classical concerts in Valdres’ many beautiful churches. At the gala concert, accompanied by a three-course gourmet dinner with local food from the heart of Norway, the festival presents the Norwegian multiinstrumentalist Stian Carstensen, who always surprises and impresses his audiences with his banjo, accordion, harmonica and sense of humour. While each of the festival’s ten days offers classical music experiences of high international standards, Kleven Hagen points out that it is also possible to purchase festival packages for certain days and concerts, which also include transportation from Oslo to Valdres.

Concerts are being held in Valdres’ beautiful churches.

Young talents Many of the summer students also participate as festival musicians by giving small campus concerts, while the older and more experienced students participate in the larger concert venues. “We have brilliant festival musicians from all walks of life, from six years and upwards,” Kraggerud smiles. Applicants auditioned before Christmas, and acceptance letters are currently being sent out to those selected to play in the first edition of Valdres Sommersymfoni’s very own youth philharmonic orchestra. These future stars will hold their own concert at Fagernes culture house on 29 June.

The project enjoys support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as some of Norway’s most esteemed orchestras, such as the Oslo Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Through its many projects, Valdres Sommersymfoni has managed to turn one of Norway’s most picturesque regions into an international meeting place for classical music aficionados and musicians to teach and inspire each other. For more information, please visit:

Playing for a future But it is not just the local community that benefits from Valdres Sommersymfoni’s work. Through its project ‘Playing for a Future’, youngsters from South Africa, Bolivia and the Middle East get the opportunity to come to Norway and participate in the festival’s summer school. Norwegian students and teachers also get to go abroad to learn and be inspired by other cultures.

Armenian pianist Marianna Shirinyan. Photo: Valdres Sommersymfoni

Moreover, Valdres Sommersymfoni makes sure to give back to the community by arranging school concerts for the local students ahead of the festival, as well as putting on shows at retirement homes in the area. “One of our new ideas is the home concert, where a Valdres inhabitant has applied for and won a concert held in their home,” Kleven Hagen says. “By playing at schools, retirement homes and even at people’s homes, the artists meet the audiences in their familiar surroundings and are able to create closer relationships to the local community.” Issue 84 | January 2016 | 63

Profile for Scan Group

Scan Magazine, Issue 84, January 2016  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Ace Wilder.

Scan Magazine, Issue 84, January 2016  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Ace Wilder.