Get ready for this summer’s star-studded Bergen International Festival
This year’s Bergen International Festival takes place between 26 May and 9 June – enjoy the fantastic music, theatre and dance in person, or online with a special festival pass
Situated on Norway’s rugged west coast, the spectacular port city of Bergen rightly calls itself ‘The Gateway to the Fjords’, a place where traders, seafarers and adventurers once made their home. No wonder – it doesn’t matter where you stand, Norway’s second largest city is a feast for the eyes. Make your way to the central Festplassen and you’ll see Mount Fløyen rise up in front you, its slopes covered in colourful wooden houses. Or take a stroll down to the famous Bryggen wharf and marvel at its stunning 18th-century merchant houses. With narrow cobblestone streets and a vibrant fish market, too, Bergen is endlessly charming and full of historical interest.
Down in the city centre, you’ll find statues of composer Edward Grieg (whose house museum at Troldhaugen is just five miles away) and virtuoso violinist Ole Bull. These two 19th-century musical heroes are at the heart of Bergen’s rich musical heritage, which today includes the internationally acclaimed Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, enjoying continued success under its current principal conductor Edward Gardner.
For two weeks in May and June each year, the Bergen Philharmonic plays a major part the Bergen International Festival, two weeks of exceptional music-making, courtesy of the finest talent from Norway and beyond. It’s Norway’s largest celebration of music, theatre and dance and has been resounding through the cities many venues for over 70 years. This year, the festival is inviting music-lovers to make the journey to Bergen, but will also be filming much of its programme for you to stream for the comfort of your own home.
And what a programme! Whether you are there in person on enjoying the festival live online, there are too many highlights to mention, but here are just a few of the riches on offer.