Göteborgs Konserthus Pekka Kuusisto and The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra is known for its empathetic performances, now with the charismatic Pekka Kuusisto as artistic director of the orchestra.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
380-540 SEK Student 190-270 SEK Youth up to 29 190-270 SEK

We have the pleasure of once again hosting the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, known for its soulful performances. Charismatic violinist Pekka Kuusisto is a dear guest at Gothenburg’s Konserthus and artistic director of the orchestra.  

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has established itself as one of the leading chamber orchestras on the international music scene. They are known for their refined sound and innovative concert formats. Frequently, the audience is treated to surprises, such as the ensemble playing an entire repertoire by heart. NCO consists of Norway’s best instrumentalists, including 21 core members who work together as a collective. 

Pekka Kuusisto is both a conductor and one of the Nordic region’s young violin stars. He has taken audiences by storm, not least in his performance at the BBC Proms. He is also active as a conductor and took over in 2021 as artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. The collaboration has resulted, among other things, in a recording of works by Philip Glass and Nico Muhly. 

This evening we get to hear the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra create magic from Mozart’s fantastic music. Experience the magnificent Sinfonia contertante, a half-hour long gem in the best classical style where solos from violin and viola meet in a flirtatious dance. 

In the suite from The Magic Flute, we hear beloved numbers from Mozart’s famous opera. Completely without song and words, the suite becomes a new musical story that never ceases to captivate us. 


Introduction to the concert

Take a seat in the Great Hall one hour before the concert begins and learn more about the music you will soon experience! You will get the stories behind the music, knowledge of the composers and own reflections about the classical pieces. The introduction last for about 30 minutes, it is free and free seating in the hall. Warm welcome!


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Sinfonia concertante för violin, viola and orchestra E-flat Major K 364 Allegro maestoso -Andante - Presto Just over 30 years ago, an energetic Mr. Brook counted 570 extant works by 210 composers entitled "Symphonie Concertante" or "Sinfonia Concertante." All written between 1767 and 1830. Giuseppe Cambini alone is credited with 80 pieces - though then you have to remember all those who wrote his name on all kinds of music because it sold so well. "Concertant symphony" meant concert for more than one soloist. As the public concerts for paying audiences took hold, the need for "brilliant" orchestral music in which famous soloists were showcased increased. Preferably several in the same work. Mozart wrote a Symphonie Concertante for four winds during his six months in Paris - then when the mother died over there. It does not seem to have been performed there and exists today only in a heavily edited version from the 19th century. In Paris he also wrote the concerto for flute and harp. His Concertone from 1773 also strictly speaking belongs to the genre. The Double Piano Concerto in E flat major as well. Two fragments can be found in the Köchel catalogue's 100-number long list of incomplete, abandoned works: a concerto for piano and violin (which someone seems to have tried to complete). And then one for violin, viola and cello. Sinfonia concertante in E flat major for violin and viola with orchestra, was probably written in Salzburg sometime during the summer of 1779. The original sheet music has been lost along the way. Then it becomes more difficult to time the music. The first known printed edition is from 1801. It is one of Mozart's longest concertos, just over half an hour. The viola part is notated in D major, so the musician was allowed to tune his instrument a semitone higher. The idea was perhaps to get a sharper sound so that the soloist would not be drowned out. In addition, it is supposed to be easier to play with "D major grip". Ingemar von Heijne

Intermission 25 min

In this rich suite we hear beloved numbers from Mozart's famous opera, the fairytale story of good versus evil with happy love just around the corner. Here you can find Papageno's aria, the Queen of the Night's aria and the March of the Priests in an instrumental version. The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has found an old arrangement for strings. Completely without song and words, the suite becomes a new musical story that never ceases to captivate us.

Saturday 25 November 2023: The event ends at approx. 17.00


Since its inception in 1977, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has established itself as one of the foremost chamber orchestras on the international classical music scene. They are known for their refined sound and innovative concert formats. The orchestra consists of Norway's best instrumentalists including its 21 core members who work together as a collective. The Finnish violinist and composer Pekka Kuusisto, known for his free relationship with classical repertoire, has been the orchestra's artistic director since 2021. He took over from Terje Tønnesen, who held the role since the beginning in 1977, for a long time in collaboration with Iona Brown. The orchestra has also had a number of guest conductors such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Martin Fröst and Lorenza Borrani. With just over 40 recordings, most of the repertoire for string orchestra has been recorded by the orchestra. Pekka Kuusisto's accession resulted in 2021 in the album First Light with music by the American Nico Muhly and a new arrangement of Philip Glass' third string quartet Mishima.

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto has been described as "one of a kind" and is known for his curiosity and exploration of his repertoire. He has a special feeling for conducting ensembles from his violin. Pekka Kuusisto is Artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. From and during the 2023-2024 season, he is principal guest conductor and artistic co-leader of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He is Artistic Partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony as well as Artistic Best Friend of Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in Bremen. He is an advocate of contemporary music and performed the 2021 world premiere of Bryce Dessners Violin concert with HR Sinfonieorchester. He has also premiered works of Sauli Zinovjev, Daníel Bjarnason, Anders Hillborg, Philip Venables and Andrea Tarrodi. In the 2022-2023 season, Kuusisto debuted as a soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker and performed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He returned to orchestras such as The Cleveland, Cincinnati Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Philharmonia and also visited the Gothenburg Symphony as conductor.

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