Edward Gardner, music director of English National Opera, has just been named chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, in succession to Andrew Litton who becomes the orchestra's conductor laureate. Gardner assumes his new role in 2015. 'I have been thrilled with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from the very first time I worked with them,' said Gardner. 'They have such an unique quality of sound and a hunger for new experiences and ways of making music. The orchestra plays with the energy of a team of chamber musicians wanting to explore the symphonic repertoire with passion and commitment.'
Gardner has often conducted the Bergen orchestra, and his record company, Chandos, plans to work with Gardner at his new home. 'Edward is a rising star in today's conducting world and the signing to the Bergen Philharmonic (an orchestra that is also rising internationally through its tours and recordings) will take its performances to the highest level, both in the concert hall and recording studio. We look forward in the years to come to a fruitful and rewarding relationship with Edward and the Bergen Philharmonic, an orchestra we love to work with,' Ralph Couzens, Chandos's MD said.
The Bergen Philharmonic is one of Europe's oldest ensembles and can trace its history back to 1765, making 2015 its 250th anniversary year. Edvard Grieg served as artistic director in the 1880s. Under Andrew Litton the Bergen PO has recorded 18 CDs for BIS, Chandos and Hyperion and they will continue to record together, including the Prokofiev symphony cycle currently under way from BIS.