Stavanger opens new concert house

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Norway’s oil capital of Stavanger celebrated its new concert house over the weekend with a royal opening and gala performance that filled its roughly 4,000 seats. Now the challenge will be to keep them filled.

Stavanger's new"Konserthuset" opened in a royal gala over the weekend, after 14 years of planning and construction. PHOTO: Stavanger Konserthuset

The ambitious project cost NOK 1.23 billion with nearly 10 percent of the amount raised through private donations. It was designed by Ratio Arkitekter of Norway, which won the international competition for the project back in 2003.

The project took a total of 14 years to plan and build and now will be the home of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra on a waterfront campus that includes the Stavanger Kulturskole, the University’s Institute for Music and Dance, the Norwegian Sound Institute, various musical organizations and festivals throughout the year.

Crown Prince Haakon was on hand for the official opening, noting in his remarks that Stavanger “is a Norwegian world city with a strong international pulse. Such a city needs a state where local and international artists can meet and create art” that will appeal to the city’s diverse cultural base.

The debut performance featured the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and a long list of Norwegian performers that was later broadcast nationwide on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

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