The Norwegian ambassador, Mr. Rolf Trolle Andersen, also attended the grand opening, along with other dignitaries from both musical and political spheres. Crown Prince Haakon gave an enthusiastic opening speech at the Palais des Festivals on the 20th of January, and commented on the rising star of Norwegian music in general:
- These are truly exciting times for the Norwegian music scene. So many things are currently happening inside rock, hip hop, jazz and electronic music in Norway. The whole scene is constantly expanding and broadening its impact. Some quarters even claim that Norwegian music is the very future.
As mentioned, a wide range of Norwegian artists seized the opportunity to represent themselves in the best possible way, both at the opening party and through out the MIDEM. Playing at such venues as the Ambassadeurs, Club Mediterraneé and the Martinez Ballroom, Cato Salsa Experience, Sondre Lerche, Briskeby, Bugge Wesseltoft, Furia, Krøyt, Midnight Choir, Big Bang, Illumination, DJ Doc L Junior, DJ Annie & DJ Mikal Tellé, Bjørn Torske and Xploding Plastix all became the very embodiment of what’s currently going on in Norwegian music. All provided snappy, personal answers to the main question: “What’s all this fuzz about Norway, then?”
The Norwegian presence at MIDEM also embraced classical music, with outstanding cellist Truls Mørk scoping up a Cannes Classical Award for his recording of Benjamin Britten’s cello suites – an album which one month later also earned him one of the most coveted music prizes in the world – a Grammy award. The Stavanger Symphony Orchestra were also rewarded at Cannes for their interpretation of Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt. The internationally lauded Vertavo String Quartet also gave a well received performance, showing their mastery of Bela Bartok’s string quartets.
Apart from hosting the opening of MIDEM 2002, Music Export Norway also produced two promotional discs especially for this event. One CD offering close to forty tracks by contemporary Norwegian acts, and one DVD consisting of around fifty high class videos with such internationally renowned acts as Röyksopp, a-Ha, Kings Of Convenience and Lene Marlin. Several Norwegian companies struck important business deals and contacts during this years’ MIDEM event. sd
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