Concerts Norway is Norway’s largest communicator of live music, and owned by the Ministry of Culture. Our primary target groups are children and young people, and each we organise some 9000 school concerts in Norway, in close cooperation with Norway’s county municipalities and The Cultural Rucksack.
We are engaged in a number of collaborations with partners in Africa, The Middle East, Asia and South America, on assignment from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The collaborations include exchange of live musical expressions, network building, and enhancement and exchange of knowledge, competence and cultures.
History and Background
Concerts Norway was founded in 1967, and started up its touring concerts in January 1968, in Hammerfest, the most northern city in Norway (and the first city in Northern Europe to have street lights, 1891). Audiences in all parts of Northern Norway went through snow storms and viciously low temperatures to experience live some of Norway’s grand names in classical music: the pianists Liv Glaser, Eva Knardahl, Kjell Bækkelund, and Robert Levin, violinist Arve Tellefsen and opera singer Aase Nordmo Løvberg.
September the same year, Concerts Norway started up what was going to be the school concert scheme, covering all Norwegian communities. It started up as a huge concert in a gymnasium in the city of Sandnes (Rogaland county), where all 9th-graders in the area were gathered to see live the Rogaland Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Central Choir of Stavanger, Ganddal Girls’ Choir, and folk musician Egil Storbekken.
The main purpose of Concerts Norway, as described in the governmental authorization of 1967, was “to make music of high artistic quality accessible to people all over the country”.
This is still our superstructural aim, but during the years, our authorization and social task has been altered. Today, Concerts Norway focuses on producing and communicating live music to audiences off the live arenas, such as schools, pre-schools, work places, and institutions. All concert activities are non-commercial.