New Ultima festival artistic director appointed

Oslo’s renowned contemporary music festival Ultima has appointed its new artistic director: Italian composer Luca Francesconi is to take the helm of the festival in 2011.

Luca Francesconi (

Italian composer Luca Francesconi is the new artistic director for the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival from 2011. The board of the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival has appointed Italian composer Luca Francesconi new artistic director for the festival. He will be responsible for programming the festival from 2011. The board is unanimous regarding this nomination.

”The board is very pleased to secure an artistic director with the reputation and network and the unique position Luca Francesconi holds in the arts internationally,” Stein Olav Henrichsen, chairman of the Ultima board, announces.

Italian Luca Francesconi (b. 1956) is one of the most well known and most widely performed composers of contemporary music in the world today. He has created more than a hundred works, including six operas. He has also written a number of works for Norwegian ensembles and orchestras, and he is very much familiar with musical networks in Scandinavia.

Francesconi has studied with composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio, spending three years as an assistant for the latter. Apart from his position as a professor of composition at the Malmö Academy of Music, Francesconi is the artistic director of the contemporary music programme at the renowned Venice Biennal until 2011.

The committee that nominated Francesconi as Ultima’s new artistic director for the board consisted of representatives from the Ultima board in addition to two representatives from the founding members of Ultima: Asbjørn Schaathun, director of the Norwegian Society of Composers and Tom Remlov, managing director of the National Opera and Ballet.

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