Photo: Bård Gundersen
Since its formation in 1977, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has established itself as one of the foremost chamber orchestras on the international classical music scene. Renowned for its refined sound and innovative approach to concert presentation, the NCO is made up of Norway’s finest instrumentalists including its 21 core members who work together as a collective, thereby developing its distinctive performing style and dynamic culture.
With the inspirational artistic director Pekka Kuusisto at the helm, the NCO continues to push the boundaries of play-directed performance to new heights. The Orchestra's founder Terje Tønnesen served as artistic director of the NCO since its inception until August 2021 when he was succeeded by Kuusisto and became leader laureate in recognition of his visionary leadership and impact on the Orchestra during his 44 year-long tenure. The Orchestra has also explored artistic partnerships with guest directors and leaders including Iona Brown, Leif Ove Andsnes, Martin Fröst, Steven Isserlis, Anthony Marwood, François Leleux, Pekka Kuusisto and Lorenza Borrani.
Sharing the transformative power of music with audiences has always been at the heart of the NCO, by delivering exceptional musical performances with a strong commitment to renew the classical concert format. Recent flagship projects include memorized performance of Grieg’s Holberg Suite with choreography, Janáček’s Kretuzer Sonata with the dramatic readings
from Tolstoy’s novella of the same name and Gates of Hell, a musical exhibition with the performance of Strauss’ Metamorphosen by heart.
In addition to its core repertoire of symphonic and chamber orchestral works, the NCO is dedicated to bringing new music closer to the wider audience. Recent seasons have featured commissioned works by composers including Nico Muhly, Julian Anderson, Bent Sørensen, Bryce Dessner, Olav Anton Thommessen and Synne Skouen.
As essential part of Norway’s cultural landscape, the NCO currently presents concert series at the University Aula and Sentralen in Oslo and regularly performs in venues across the country. The orchestra’s international tours to Europe, Asia and North America have received outstanding reviews at many of the world’s prestigious concert halls and festivals.