Looking for sacred moments and great music experiences? Oslo International Church Music Festival offers international performers in unique venues such as the medieval church Gamle Aker and other beautiful churches in the capital of Norway. Oslo International Church Music Festival 2019 starts on Friday 22 March.
The festival is held annually over the course of ten days in March. This year, it’s 22–31 March. The string of concerts is held in the capital’s churches, with Oslo Cathedral as the main arena.
Related: Norwegian Stave Churches
Oslo International Church Music Festival was founded in 2000 by artistic and festival director Bente Johnsrud, who took the initiative and developed the concept for the festival. Thus, 2019 marks the nineteenth festival with over 600 projects of which 90 have been world premieres of new works.
Some of this year’s highlights:
Dunedin Consort: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor, BWV 232
Die Kölner Akademie: Ernst Wilhelm Wolf’s Passion oratorio Jesu, deine Passion will ich jetzt bedenken
KORK & the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir: Haydn, Strauss and Bruckner
BL!NDMAN [sax]: Bach’s organ works on five saxophones
Voces Suaves: Roma, città sacra
More than church music
Although ‘church music’ may sound like a narrow genre, it has much more to offer than organ music and choirs singing hymns. This is a festival for different people regardless of affiliation or belief. It is a central institution in the development of church music nationwide, and an important player when it comes to mark Oslo as an international music capital of the European format.
Oslo International Church Music Festival
The festival is Norway’s largest exhibition of early music and associated international specialist performers, but the aim is also to make contemporary music more visible and accessible through development efforts and educational initiatives. Oslo International Church Music Festival proves that contemporary music is very much alive in Norway.
Feature image (on top): Photo: Lars Flydal
Oslo International Church Music Festival, compiled by Tor Kjolberg