The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Much of the orchestra's continuity and artistic growth has come as the result of good leadership. Terje Tønnessen was engaged as the orchestra´s artistic director from the very beginning; Iona Brown held this position from 1981 to 2001. Leif Ove Andsnes has been the orchestra's first guest leader from 2002 - 2010, and still play regularly with the orchestra, now presenting the complete series of Beethoven's piano concertos. Tønnesen is still the artistic director og the orchestra, a contract he helds until 2015.
The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has guested many of the world´s most distinguished concert halls, often together with some of the world´s most renowned musicians. Guest artists have included Maurice André, Leif Ove Andsnes, Joshua Bell, James Galway, Radu Lupu, Joanna MacGregor, Angela Hewitt, Andrew Manze, Truls Mørk and Thomas Zehetmair.
The collaboration with the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich has perhaps been the most significant. Through his characterization of the orchestra as one of the best chamber orchestra in the world, he helped open doors to venues such as La Scala in Milan, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Royal Albert Hall in London and Hôtel de Ville in Paris. In the Fall of 1995 the orchestra performed in the first concert ever held at the English House of Lords.
Many of our recordings have been awarded prizes, both nationally and internationally. This includes 2000 Gramophone award for the Haydn piano concertos recording with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. This recording was also nominated for a Grammy Award in two categories, and received the Norwegian Musician Prize for best classical music recording. The collaboration with Andsnes has resulted in several new recordings for EMI, Mozart's concertos number 9 and 18 was released in 2004; the recording of concertos number 17 and 20 was released February 2008.
Touring includes Japan, Korea, USA, UK and Germany. In June 2012 the Orchestra will visit the Ojai Festival in Los Angeles and Ojai North in San Fransisco. Further tour planning include Spain and UK. The orchestra often also tours Norway, and act as the Festival orchestra at Risør Chamber Music Festival.
The orchestra is an independent foundation with federal and private funding.