Next weekend sees Berlin’s Residenz Orchester and its leader Jon Bara Johansen making a time journey from Mozart’s timeless classic works to the current cutting-edge of Norwegian contemporary music.
On June 21st the renowned ensemble will perform a varied programme that includes works by Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy as well as pieces by Norwegian composers Johan Kvandal (Concert for Flute and Strings (1963)) and Eivind Buene’s ‘Langsam und schmachtend für Streicher’ (2003).
The highly respected flautist Bjørnar Habbestad is featured as soloist in Kvandal’s concerto.
The venue for the Residenz Orchester’s Berlin performance is the Kleisthaus.
Chamber orchestra the Residenz Orchester Berlin was founded by Jon Bara Johansen in 2004 and has since then focused on performing a variety of styles, ranging from classical pieces to contemporary classical works. Jon Bara Johansen studied at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in the early 70s and traveled to the Soviet Union in the early 80s to study at the St. Petersburg Music Conservatory with professors Arvid and Mariss Jansons. In the following years Johansen has conducted a wide range of European symphony orchestras and choirs. In Berlin, the respected conductor has led such top-notch ensembles as the Komische Oper orchestra, the Rundfunk Choir, the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester as well as the German Chamber Orchestra.
Eivind Buene studied pedagogics and composition at the Norwegian State Academy of Music from 1992 to 1998, and in 1999 and 2000 he was composer in residence with the Oslo Sinfonietta. Since 2000 he has been a freelance composer living and working in Oslo, writing for and collaborating with norwegian and international ensembles and orchestras. Apart from writing music for soloists, ensembles and orchestras, Buene also frequently engages in collaborations with improvising artists. Among these we find musicians like the pianist Christian Wallumrød, Duo Zach/Grydeland and the saxophone player Frode Gjerstad. For 2005 and 2006 Buene has recieved commissions from Ensemble Intercontemporain and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, as well as the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, where Buene is composer in residence in 2006 and 2007. In autumn 2005 Buene had his first perfomances with The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and with Ensemble intercontemporain, and he had his Carnegie Hall debut with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in january 2006. His debut as a stage composer came in august 2006 with the one act chamber opera September, produced by Opera West.Buene has also been active as music critic, and host for a weekly nationwide radio-show presenting contemporary and classical music. In the nineties Buene was active as guitarist and songwriter in several bands, and he still maintains songwriting and arranging for pop-recordings as a hobby.
Johan Kvandal (1919-1999) counts without doubt among Norway's most frequently performed composers. His music is annually present on the repertory of the large orchestras. He graduated as an organist and conductor from the Music Conservatory in Oslo. In addition he studied composition with Per Steenberg, Arild Sandvold and Geirr Tveitt. He continued his composition studies with Joseph Marx in Vienna, and Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Kvandal's compositions consist of almost all kinds of ensembles from solo instruments to large orchestra. A main work is the opera Mysteries, Op. 75, based on the novel by Knut Hamsun. His main orchestral works so far are Antagonia for two string orchestras and percussion, Op. 38 (1973), Violin Concerto, Op. 52 (1979), Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 77 (1994) and Piano Concerto, Op. 85 (1998). In addition can be mentioned the Symphony No. 1, Op. 18 (1959), Symphonic Epos, Op. 21 (1962), Triptychon, Op. 53 (1979) and the concertos for flute, oboe and organ.
Kvandal has a large production of works for solo voice and chorus. Of the larger vocal works one can mention the Ibsen Cantata, Op. 51, the coloratura aria Michelangelo Poem, Op. 49 and the three-part choral work The Miracle, op. 69. His large amount of church- and chamber music is Norwegian standard repertory.sd
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