April 6, 2005

Bergen Philharmonic Names Andrew Litton Music Director

Bergen, April 7, 2005

Lorentz Reitan, Managing Director the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, announced today that Andrew Litton has been appointed Music Director to serve through the 2008/2009 Season. New Yorker Litton previously had been the Bergen Philharmonic's Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, the first American so associated with one of the world's longest operating orchestras, founded in 1765. Edvard Grieg, a native of Bergen, was one of Mr. Litton's predecessors.

Mr. Reitan reported that following Mr. Litton's highly successful first two seasons with the Orchestra, including major tours of Spain last year and a European tour this year with three concerts in Vienna, the musicians, administration, and Board unanimously wished to assure Mr. Litton's continued closer association with the Orchestra. As Music Director, Mr. Litton will conduct a minimum of 10 weeks of concerts and will be actively involved in programming, long term-planning, and fund-raising. Mr. Reitan said, "Andrew Litton has an extraordinary rapport with our musicians and audiences and is contributing significantly to the Orchestra's artistic development. We are delighted that he now becomes our Music Director."

Mr. Litton, also Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the past eleven years, as well as Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra's "Sommerfest", said: "The Bergen Philharmonic is one of Norway's unique cultural treasures. The level of musicianship and dedication is prodigious. I cannot overstate my joy in working with such colleagues in such a wonderful environment."

The Orchestra marks its 240th Anniversary in the 2005/2006 Season with special programming, including a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Bergen International Festival and various recording projects, including Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" for BIS, two Norwegian piano concertos (by Alnaes and Sinding) for Hyperion, as well as celebratory concerts in Oslo and elsewhere. 

The orchestra is planning major international touring for later announcement.

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