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Festival: Bergen International Festival

Villa Lysøen, home of Norwegian composer Ole Bull until his death in 1880 and one of the historical venues at BIF. © Helge Hansen
Villa Lysøen, home of Norwegian composer Ole Bull until his death in 1880 and one of the historical venues at BIF.
© Helge Hansen

May 22nd – June 5th, 2019

The Bergen International Festival presents art in all its guises: music, theatre, dance, opera and visual art.

The Bergen International Festival (Festspillene i Bergen) was established in 1953 and is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries. It is the longest standing and the foremost music and theatre festival in Norway.

The CEO and artistic director of the festival is Anders Beyer, and the festival is under the Patronage of His Majesty King Harald V.

With a combination of dramatic landscapes, local colour and imaginative programming, the festival is well established as a centre for the northern European arts scene, presenting premieres and new productions in the spheres of music, opera, theatre and dance. Each year some 250 events are staged in the course of 15 days in 20 venues, including the homes of Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull.

Classical music and the theatre are cornerstones of the festival, and every year new productions are presented in collaboration with international partners. The festival also gives priority to new music, commissioning several works every year. The festival welcomes over 100.000 visitors each year and receives governmental funding on both regional and national level, in addition to corporate sponsorships.

We want to invite, inspire and challenge a large local and visiting audience. During the festival we declare a state of emergency in the city. With our partners in and outside Bergen, we offer music, theatre, dance – and much more – that reflect our lives and dreams and has unexpected effects on the way we perceive the world. The Bergen International Festival takes place in the UNESCO World Heritage City Bergen. 

For full information, visit the Bergen International Festival website. 

Latest reviewsSee more...

Tale of two concertos: Bergen Philharmonic play Gubaidulina and Grieg

Gidon Kremer © Roy Bjørge
Bergen Philharmonic’s programme of Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Gubaidulina’s violin concerto Offertorium offered fascinating insight into the relationship between orchestra and soloist.
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Nisbeth and Forsberg in Grieg’s living room

Ellen Nisbeth © Nikolaj Lund
An impressively well-planned programme of mostly viola transcriptions by Grainger, Bach, Delius, Ellington and Grieg.
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Bryn Terfel at the Bergen International Festival

Sir Bryn Terfel and Caradog Williams © Magnus Skrede
At their recital at the Bergen International Festival, Bryn Terfel and pianist Caradog Williams presented a programme of overwhelming sameness and neverending joviality.
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Upcoming eventsSee more...

BergenOpening Ceremony Free

BergenWaiting by Calixto Bieito and Karl Ove Knausgård- Dramatised ConcertWorld première

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Eivind Gullberg Jensen; Mari Eriksmoen; Edvard Grieg Choir; Calixto Bieito; Sarah Derendinger

BergenThe Brandenburg Concertos with Concerto Copenhagen

Concerto Copenhagen; Lars Ulrik Mortensen

BergenCarte Blanche: Echo Flux

Rivas, Axelrod
Alban Richard; Ayelen Parolin; Carte Blanche

BergenDrop in Concerts (Tickets at the door)