After last year’s centennial celebrations with record-large audiences and revenues, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra suddenly had to cancel the rest of this season when the Corona virus crisis hit. Now they’re tuning up again, with the added advantage of having one of the world’s leading sopranos now at home in Oslo.
Lise Davidsen is among those performing live in a new string of “digital concerts” featuring small Corona-correct groups of musicians on stage at the Oslo Concert House. She’ll be singing at 8pm on Thursday next week (April 30), backed by Maria Angelika Carlsen on violin and the Philharmonic’s Cello Group. The music will be by JS Bach, Johan Svendsen, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Henry Wood and Edvard Grieg.
The digital concert series begins at 8pm on Wednesday evening (April 22) with the premiere of Koka Mikoladze’s Pandemic, described as a “new work for 100 musicians in isolation.”
That will be followed by the Philharmonic’s popular first violinist, Elise Båtnes, performing Norwegian favourites (Carl GS Olsen’s Folketone fra Lom, and Johan Halvorsen’s Air norvegienne) on Thursday April 23, also at 8pm. Båtnes told newspaper Klassekampen just after the digital concerts were announced on Monday that she’s thrilled to be able to perform again. She’ll start off playing alone and then be gradually joined by some fellow Philharmonic musicians on stage.
At 10am on Saturday, May 2 the concert series will also offer Den Lille Prinsen, billed as a family concert for all those housebound with children. The concerts, called Mellomspill – veien tilbake (Interlude – the way back) will be streamed via the orchestra’s website (external link) and via YouTube and various Norwegian media.