Program 2014

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 program is announced on 1 December each year. Oslo International Church Music Festival was founded in 2000 by Bente Johnsrud who took the initiative and developed the concept for the festival. Today she is artistic and festival director.

Future festival dates:
6 to 15 March 2015
4 to 13 March 2016

What the media say about the festival

"Nederlands Kamerkoor was at the centre of attention together with a first class orchestra, Le Concert Lorrain. An unusually skilled group of soloists topped the team with names such as Andreas Scholl, Ruth Ziesak, Yorck-Felix Speer and last but not least James Gilchrist as the evangelist in a class by himself. However, the performance was more than just the sum of single achievements. Christoph Prégardien tied it all together from the conductor's podium with a deep understanding of Bach's masterpiece. It was exquisite, nothing less, and a grand finale of this year's Church Music Festival."
(Ståle Wikshåland, Dagbladet, 19.03.12, St. John's Passion - Festival's Closing Concert)

"This year's focus is the Passion. Bach's great works form the framework, and many new works complete the program. The presentation has a solid core and a broad artistic span. This kind of programmatic statement is, in my opinion, one of the finest a festival can create. "
(Ida Habbestad, Aftenposten, 13.03.12)

"Oslo International Church Music Festival's program has been solid and impressive for many years, and reminds us that there are few publicly funded cultural events that give so large a return as the festivals." (Ingrid Røynesdal, Aftenposten, 28.03.11)

That such a broad festival deliberately exposes contemporary music as an important part of its programme is remarkable and will hopefully contribute to open new ears and doors to the newest music. (Ingrid Røynesdal, Aftenposten, 28.03.11) 

From our cultural ancestry we do not find one source but an intertwined network… We were reminded of this yesterday evening during Música Antigua’s concert in Gamle Aker church, brought to us by Oslo International Church Music Festival… The musician’s performance was outstanding… it was a meeting with a foreign mother tongue enriched by the fact that this is a central yet different part of European tradition. It is good to be reminded of this in such a delightful way. (Ståle Wikshåland, Dagbladet, 29.03.11)  

"When the soul feels dead and the world is like a jungle, when words are many, the heart hard and the brain empty after a long and dirty winter, Oslo International Church Music Festival arrives as sure as the swallows." (Olav Egil Aune, Vårt Land, 10.03.08)

2014 marks the fourteenth Oslo International Church Music Festival. 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 (Astrid Kvalbein, Aftenposten), 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. It is not only accepted, but listened to, and not only by experts. The festival presents classics such as Charpentier's "Te Deum" and Händel's "Messiah," but what makes this festival so interesting are the works of contemporary composers. The concerts of their works were as well attended as those of their late colleagues. (Thomas Migge, Westdeutscher Rundfunk WDR)
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 person responsible for taking the initiative for the festival and developing the concept is artistic and festival director Bente Johnsrud . 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.

• to present the diversity of church music - from medieval to modern times - at a high quality level and to the widest possible audience
• to stimulate innovation, renewal and recruitment in the field of church music
• to use and explore the church as a venue for the presentation of music and art
• to build bridges by facilitating collaborations across institutions, art forms and cultural and religious boundaries
• to be an inspiring meeting place for the national and international church music community
• to present projects where the cultural heritage of the church is passed on to children and young people
• to commission and premiere new works of church music

The King's Consort, The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Latvia Radio Choir, Trio Mediaeval, Netherland Kamerkoor, Monteverdi Choir, Swedish Radio Choir, Theatre of Voices, Oslo Chamber Choir, RIAS Kammerchor, Collegium Vocale Gent, Ensemble 96, Oslo Cathedral Choir, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Copenhagen Drengekor , Nidaros Cathedral Boys Choir, The Tallis Scholars, Svenska Kammarkören, London Handel Orchestra, Sølvguttene, Ars Nova Copenhagen and Dresdner Kammerchor

Orchestras and ensembles: 
English Baroque Soloists, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Accademia Bizzantina, Le Concert Lorrain, Concerto Copenhagen, London Baroque, Musica Antigua, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Pygmalion, Oslo Philharmonic, Leipzig String Quartet, Trondheim Soloists and The Norwegian Wind Ensemble

Robert King, Marcus Creed, Laurence Cummings, Lorenzo Ghielmi, Grete Pedersen, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Eric Ericson, Paul Hillier, Marcus Creed, Peter Szilvay, Simon Phipps, Christoph Prégardien, Daniel Reuss, Paul McCreesh, Peter Neumann, Reinbert de Leeuw and Hans Christoph Rademann

Sonia Prina, Carlos Mena, Olivier Latry, Maria Keohane, Håkon Austbø, Terje Rydal, Dame Gillian Weir, Laurence Cummings, Marianne Beate Kielland, James Bowman, Emma Kirkby, Andreas Scholl, James Gilchrist, Bugge Wesseltoft, Sinikka Langeland, Henning Kraggerud, Arianna Savall, James Gilchrist, Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin

By the numbers
190 000 visitors over 13 years
13 000 performers over 13 years
15 000 visitors annually
1 000 performers annually
30 performances annually
35 partners
There have been 13 festivals completed
Three full-time positions

Oslo International Church Music Festival is a private, non-profit 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.
Artistic and festival director:
Bente Johnsrud


Festival director and artistic leader: Bente Johnsrud

Administration and marketing coordinator: Ole Albrekt Nedrelid
Administration and text coordinator: Peter S. Stordahl  

Temporary workers and volunteers are involved when the festival is running.

Board of Directors:
Bishop Ole Christian Kvarme (Chairman), Cathedral Dean Olav Dag Hauge, attorney Aslak Aslaksen, investor Ola Mæle, business economist Christian G. Brøvig, cathedral organist Kåre Nordstoga and cantor Inger-Lise Ulsrud

Artistic council:
Cathedral organist Kåre Nordstoga
Oboist Johan Nicolai Mohn
Cantor Inger-Lise Ulsrud
Artistic director: Bente Johnsrud

English translator: Glen Farley
fredag 21. mars
Åpne prøver for studenter og spesielt interesserte

Jephtha av G. F. Händel

lørdag 22. mars
Bach for barn

Bach for barn

Nye verk av Buene & Kverndokk

søndag 23. mars
Festivalhøymesse i Oslo Domkirke

Festivalhøymesse i Frogner kirke

Festivalhøymesse i Svenska Margaretakyrkan

Offer – Foredragsserie

Sønner av Norge, barn av Europa - Markering av grunnlovsjubileet

Musikk fra 1200-tallets Spania

mandag 24. mars
Romantikk og eksil

tirsdag 25. mars
Vesper op. 37 av Rakhmaninov

onsdag 26. mars
L'Armonia Sonora

torsdag 27. mars
Mesterklasse med Leo van Doeselaar

Religiøse folketoner

Leo van Doeselaar

fredag 28. mars
No stig vår song

Jeg er Ikaros – Urfremføring

lørdag 29. mars
Orgelsonate nr. 2 av Wolfgang Plagge – Urfremføring - Nytt orgel i Sofienberg kirke

Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam

Kirkemusikk fra Danmark og Norge

søndag 30. mars
Festivalhøymesse i Oslo domkirke

Festivalhøymesse i Østre Aker kirke

Festivalhøymesse i Sagene kirke

Offer – Foredragsserie

C. P. E. Bach i møte med religiøs folkemusikk

Konsert på Norsk Folkemuseum

RIAS Kammerchor & Concerto Köln