Norway: Queen Sonja attends Olso Philharmonic Orchestra concert

NordenBladet – On Wednesday evening, Queen Sonja of Norway participated in her first official engagement after her summer holiday when she was present at the opening concert of the Norwegian Philharmonic Orchestra.

It was a great event when Klaus Mäkelä, for the first time, led the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in the Oslo Concert Hall as chief conductor. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway, there was only an opportunity for 200 guests to attend the performance, and tickets for the concert were sold out in record time. Under normal conditions, Oslo Concert Hall has the ability to seat 1,400 people.

Her Majesty also met the new conductor, Klaus Mäkelä. Klaus Mäkelä is a Finnish conductor who has been a guest conductor at the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra since 2018 and was appointed as the new chief conductor beginning in 2020. He was born in 1996 and is, therefore, the youngest chief conductor of a European philharmonic orchestra.

Finnish Sauli Zinoviev has distinguished himself over the last decade as an orchestral composer of international format. The concert opened with his new orchestral work, commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

During the concert, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 was also played. The symphony is a celebration of playing together and the perfect work to begin a musical collaboration. Mahler did something completely new with the symphony format. He drew inspiration from poetry and folk poetry and embraced popular cultural sources of inspiration such as military music, yodelling and children’s songs.

Queen Sonja loves classical music. Her Majesty is usually present several times a year at various concerts that the orchestra holds. It has also been customary every August for the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra to hold a large free concert outside of the Royal Palace. However, this cannot be done this year due to the pandemic.

Last year, the Queen was a guest of honour when the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated its 100th anniversary. Then, Queen Sonja gave a speech in which she said: “An anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the past but also to look ahead. Classical music is about tradition but also about innovation. It is about renewing to preserve.”

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