By David Denton
“I cannot wait to bring the Bergen Philharmonic to Britain,” says Edward Gardner ahead of their concert in Sheffield’s City Hall on January 19, the mid-point in the orchestra’s first tour of the UK with their recently appointed English conductor.
Founded in 1765, the orchestra, which is one of the world’s oldest still in existence, celebrated its 250th anniversary in the final season with the famous American conductor, Andrew Litton, before Gardner’s arrival last year.
“We have created programmes for our visit that make big statements about the orchestra”, Gardner continues. “And I am happy we are able to share that with our audiences.
“I am particularly looking forward to performing Walton’s First Symphony, and I think people will be enchanted to hear it played with a slight Nordic accent.
“The programme also includes another great British work, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with the soloist Truls Mork, the famous Norwegian artist having enjoyed a long association with the orchestra.”
In a brief period critics have commented on the new sound Gardner has brought to the orchestra, having arrived there after eight years as music director of the English National Opera, a position he had taken following his period with the Halle as its assistant conductor.
In a change to the original advertised programme, the concert opens with Wagner’s overture to his opera, Rienzi.
Sheffield City Hall, January 19, 7.00pm. Tickets from the box office on 01142 789 789.