Historic home finally gets some help

The elaborate and historic home of Norway’s famed violinist Ole Bull has been suffering from a lack of serious maintenance for years. Finally, after desperate pleas for renovation from contemporary violinist Arve Tellefsen among others, the government has come up with some funding to keep Bull’s villa from literally falling apart. “Ole Bull is one […]

Norway’s Elvis relishes record

Kjell Henning Bjørnestad, better known as “Kjell Elvis,” was relishing his latest victory this week after setting a new world record for singing songs by his late idol, Elvis Presley, non-stop for more than 50 hours last weekend. “I’ll never do this again,” the conservative Bjørnestad said when it was all over. Now age 52, […]

Sports and summer festivals cancelled

No Norway Cup in Oslo. No “Festspillene” in Bergen. No “Øyafestivalen,” billed as one of the most highly acclaimed musical gatherings in Northern Europe. All festivals, sporting and other events drawing more than 500 people will continue to be halted in Norway at least until September 1, ruining summer for lots of music and sports […]

Philharmonic tunes up again, online

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 […]

Curtain falls for Eurovision entry

Ulrikke Brandstorp was supposed to be Norway’s entry in this year’s annual Eurovision song contest that was cancelled  because of the Corona virus threat. State broadcaster NRK has decided to mount a whole new qualifying round for next year’s Eurovision and offered Brandstorp a spot in its final, but Bransdstorp has turned it down. “As […]

Norway loses a ‘national treasure’

Jahn Teigen was mostly known as a pop singer, perhaps even a laughable one at that, not least when he dressed up in skeleton costumes or green tights. He became all but immortal for scoring zero points when representing Norway at a Eurovision Song Contest, but that only made him even more endearing at home. […]

Aurora song wins Oscar nomination

Disney’s “Frozen” films (called Frost in Norwegian) attract lots of tourists to Norway, because of all their ties to Norwegian landscapes, history and also Sami culture. Now the latest may grab more ears for Norwegian music as well. A song by Norwegian pop artist Aurora Aksnes emerged this week as Norway’s only hope at this […]

Philharmonic mourns Jansons

Music lovers and members of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra were mourning the death over the weekend of former conductor Mariss Jansons. He led the orchestra to international fame but left Norway bitter over Norwegian politicians’ failure to build a new concert house. “He was one of the leading conductors in the world, no doubt about […]

Aurora bashed for concerts in Israel

UPDATED: Norwegian pop singer Aurora Aksnes has promoted harmony in the world, but she’s struck decidedly sour notes over her plans for two upcoming contests in Israel. What’s really irritated fellow artists is her organization’s attempt to conceal them, while both criticism and support poured in overnight. Oslo newspaper Klassekampen reported this week that Aurora’s […]

Oslo Philharmonic marks first century

Norway’s leading orchestra is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, highlighted by special “birthday concerts” this weekend. Now the Oslo Philharmonic hopes it may get a new concert hall as the ultimate birthday present, while a new book delves into the orchestra’s often turbulent history. Oslo Konserthus was sold out for Saturday’s concert featuring such […]