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Oslo International Church Music Festival

Spring: 11 - 19 March & Autumn: 2 - 10 September 2023, Oslo, Norway

Oslo International Church Music Festival is held for 10 days each March. The festival's concerts are held in the churches of Norway's capital city, with Oslo Cathedral as the main venue. The festival programme is announced on 1st of December each year. 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.

2023 marks the twenty third Oslo International Church Music Festival and we can now look back on 22 festivals. We are an inclusive forum for church musicians, choirs, orchestras and ensembles, and for people regardless of their affiliation or belief. The festival is a central institution in the development of church music in Norway, and makes a major contribution to Oslo's recognition as an international music capital in Europe. The festival is Norway's largest exhibition of early music and associated international specialist performers, while we garner considerable international attention in our efforts 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. The church music festival consistently works to develop projects that move the church music genre forward. We focus on the diversity of church music as a historical genre and we both preserve the tradition and develop it further. The festival's roots in Oslo, combined with the depth of our international performers, make us the leading presenter of church music in Norway and ensures a high level of professional excellence. The festival is organized as a private foundation with Oslo's bishop as the chairman of the board. The foundation's board also includes representatives from Norway's church, music, cultural and business communities. In addition, the festival has an artistic council consisting of prominent members of the Norwegian music scene.

About the festival

The festival is Norway's largest exhibition of church music and early music and associated international specialist performers. Every year world renowned ensembles, soloists, choirs and conductors visit our festival


The concerts are performed at different churches in downtown Oslo.

Accommodation and food & drink

Oslo offers a wide selection of hotels, as well as a great selection of restaurants close to the concert venues. 

How to get there?

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen is easily accessible by Airport Express Train. The cost of the journey is about GBP 17 and it lasts approximately 23 minutes.

What to visit nearby?

Oslo is a trendy and sophisticated metropolis. The city has large and varied number of cultural attractions, which include the artwork by Edvard Munch, the Frogner Park, the Fram Museum, Vikingskiphuset and the Kon-Tiki Museum. Oslo is a great city for cycling and walking with modest distances between major hubs and attractions. Nature is everywhere in Oslo, as the fjord is right in the city’s backyard and you’re never more than a bus ride away from untamed forest and walking trails by the water and mountains.