Norwegian Bergen Philharmonic Plays at Center for the Arts

Posted: October 12, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

This season, American audiences will have the opportunity to experience the renowned 242-year-old Norwegian Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra as it makes its first U.S. tour. Led by principal conductor Andrew Litton and featuring celebrated pianist André Watts, the orchestra will perform at Mason’s Center for the Arts on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m.

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Concert Hall’s Grand Tier III.

Andre watts
Renowned pianist André Watts will join the orchestra for the Center for the Arts performance.

Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg had close ties to the orchestra and served as artistic director during 1880-82. The Bergen Philharmonic frequently performs Grieg’s compositions and recently recorded his complete orchestral works. For this performance, the orchestra will accompany Watts in Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Also included on the program is Knut Vaage’s “Chatter” and Shostakovich’s monumental Symphony No. 5 and Festive Overture, Op. 96.

Since fall 2003, the orchestra has been under the direction of American conductor Andrew Litton, who also serves as artistic director with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra Summerfest. Litton, who has appeared as a guest conductor with more than 110 of the world’s top orchestras and opera companies, is the first American to lead one of Europe’s oldest orchestras.

At age 16, André Watts was selected by Leonard Bernstein to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic on the televised “Young People’s Concerts.” His career was truly launched two weeks later when the New York Philharmonic asked him to fill in for Glenn Gould. More than 45 years later, Watts is celebrated worldwide, performing with the world’s great orchestras and selling out recitals and appearances at International festivals.

He has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and symphonies across the United States. Watts has had numerous programs on PBS, the BBC and A&E; and his 1976 New York recital, on the program “Live from Lincoln Center,” was the first full-length recital broadcast in the history of television. Watts was also nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance at the 38th Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and has numerous recordings on the Sony Classical label.

Tickets are $56, $48 and $28. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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