October 21, 2001

Andrew Litton becomes the first American to serve in Bergen, Norway

Conductor Andrew Litton - who recently renewed his contract as musical director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra - was named principal conductor and artistic adviser of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway today.The appointment takes effect in the fall of 2003. Litton is one of the few natives to head a major US symphony and becomes the latest American to lead a European orchestra.

Founded in 1765, the Bergen Philharmonic is one of the oldest European Orchestras. Edvard Grieg, a Bergen native, was one of Mr Litton's predecessors. Leopold Stokowski, Ernest Ansermet, Pierre Monteux, Sir Thomas Beecham, and Sir John Barbirolli have all conducted the orchestra, which has an active recording and touring program.

Litton - who first guest conducted the Bergen ensemble three years ago - was the "unanimous choice of the musicians and the Board for the post," Bergen Philharmonic managing director Lorentz Reitan said. "At age 42, Mr Litton's accomplishments rank him as a leading conductor of his generation. We look forward to an exciting period of artistic growth."

"I am thrilled that in being named the first American principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Bergen Philharmonic, I will serve as a musical ambassador of the United States in Norway," Litton said in a press statement. "My home and prime responsibilities remain in Dallas, but I'll be a very frequent visitor to Bergen and look forward to greeting old Texas friends there."