MGP winners deny they’re copycats

They’re bound for the Eurovision Song Contest, while fending off charges that their winning number in Norway’s Eurovison preliminary Melodi Grand Prix (MGP) sounded similar to other songs. The three members of the Norwegian-Sami group KEiiNO deny any plagiarism, and have won support in high places. “There are a lot of pop songs that have elements […]

NRK reverses its Jackson music ban

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has backed down on its controversial decision to remove the late Michael Jackson’s music from its play lists. NRK still plans to air a documentary about Jackson’s alleged sexual assaults on boys, but claims it is listening to its critics. NRK announced on Monday that it would not be playing any of […]

‘Norwegian Wood’ cancelled again

The once-thriving outdoor Norwegian Wood music festival in Oslo has been cancelled again for 2019. The festival that was held in the Frogner Park for many years was slimmed down to just one day in 2016 and never fully recovered. Financial problems and late bookings are behind its latest cancellation. New owner Henning Thoresen told […]

‘Culture shapes a democracy’

Norway’s government minister in charge of culture, Trine Skei Grande, said she felt like it was her birthday, Christmas and the 17th of May (Norway’s national day) all at once: For the first time in 15 years, she’d be presenting the framework for national cultural policy for the future, and set off debate at the […]

Black metal band rejects ‘nazi’ label

Norway has produced a lot of internationally successful black metal bands, but now one of them has caused problems for a popular concert venue in Oslo. An American rapper abruptly cancelled a concert there this week, to protest the music hall’s earlier booking of the band he branded as “nazi.” Newspaper Dagsavisen was among Norwegian […]

Violin sale led to big tax bill

It was no surprise that Norwegian performing artists like Kygo, Alan Walker and members of the legendary band a-ha would show up on the latest tax lists with substantial fortunes. The biggest fortune of them all, however, was held by 81-year-old violinist Arve Tellefsen. “I sold my violin for 80 million kroner,” Tellefsen explained to […]

Pop singer Aurora strikes a chord

SPECIAL FEATURE: Aurora Aksnes is a 22-year-old Norwegian pop singer who’s been steadily gaining international popularity in recent years. Calla Duffield is a 14-year-old fan and aspiring journalist from College Station, Texas, who got a chance to interview the singer known simply as “Aurora” before a concert in Liverpool this summer. Here’s the unabashedly starstruck […]

‘Øya’ festival struck harmony with fund

Hopes for strength and a more harmonic future were largely behind the decision by leaders of Norway’s largest music festival, “Øya,” to let a large US investment fund take it over. The acquisition offers more proof that festivals have become big business. News of the acquisition was released just as Øya was opening for its […]

Festival summer hot and challenging

Norway’s summer music festival season was reaching its crescendo this week. From “OverOslo” in June to the country’s largest festival “Øya,” which opens this week in Oslo, the festivals represent multi-million-kroner business but are also under pressure, from the high compensation demanded by performers to the neighbours who don’t like seeing their local parks and […]

Marathon music marked Grieg gala

Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg, was being celebrated on the 175th anniversary of his birth Friday with a marathon program on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) due to run into the weekend. A large collection of his unpublished letters were also being released as the country hailed the man who helped put Norwegian music on the […]