St. Martin-in-the-Fields cathedral is yet again the stage for the Norwegian London Embassy’s pre-Christmas gift. On Friday 6th of December Bergen’s BIT 20 and Bergen Vocal Ensemble present a programme that’s bound to set the Londoners in the right Christmas mood.
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BIT 20 and Bergen Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Ricardo Odriozola, will on Friday 6th of December concentrate on Bergen composer Ketil Hvoslef and his major work Concerto for Choir and Chamber Orchestra. The programme also includes excerpts from Antonio Bibalo’s Autunnale and Sir Peter Maxwell’ Davies’ Veni Sancte – Veni Creator Spiritus. BIT 20 and Bergen Vocal Ensemble will also present more traditional Christmas carols arranged by central figures of the Norwegian music scene: the ancient folk tune Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker, the well-known cradle song from Grieg’s piano piece Gjendines bånlåt as well as Trygve Hoff’s psalm Den store Stjerna.
BIT 20 ensemble was founded in Bergen in 1989, and international presence and profiling has been one of the main aims of its artistic leader Sein Olav Henrichsen. Increased exchange between diverse cultural groups and people is another of the ensemble’s stated aims. Since its conception, BIT 20 has established itself as one of Scandinavia’s leading contemporary ensembles, and their acclaimed performances have led to increased international concert activity both in Norway and abroad. One of 2002’s most profiled performances included the opening ceremony at the Norwegian-designed library of Alexandria, Egypt.
Bergen Vocal Ensemble is a recently established professional vocal ensemble. Most of the ensemble’s singers have a background from the Bergen University’s respected Grieg Academy of Music. Bergen Vocal Ensemble’s repertoire is rich and spans from renaissance to contemporary compositions. 2003 will see the release of the ensemble’s first record – a collaboration with BIT 20 in recording Ketil Hvoslef’s Concerto for Choir and Chamber Orchestra.
More information on Norwegian cultural events in UK can be found at the Norwegian Embassy’s site www.norway.org.uk