Still the sole sponsor of the Oslo Philharmonic
Hydro has signed an agreement with the Oslo Philharmonic for a continued three-year period of cooperation. For the 11 years that have elapsed since this cooperation was initiated, Hydro has contributed nearly EUR 6 million to the Oslo Philharmonic and Norwegian music life in general. Hydro will give a further EUR 2 million up to 2004.
This is probably the longest sponsor cooperation music in Norway. It is also remarkable in that the agreements have been made directly and without the involvement of a third party. This means that all the sponsorship funds go directly to the orchestra and its artistic work.
Of great significance for the Oslo Philharmonic and Norwegian culture...
The government subsidies to the Oslo Philharmonic are not enough to cover the orchestra's international activities, which include tours and recordings. This area of the orchestra's work has benefited in particular from Hydro's sponsorship. There is no doubt that these funds have been and will continue to play an essential part in the orchestra's international status and renown. The continuation of the cooperation between Hydro and the Oslo Philharmonic will allow a considerable international operation to continue.
The agreement with Hydro also makes it possible for the Oslo Philharmonic to make long-term touring plans. For an orchestra that has a wide range of offers from abroad to chose from, this is of great importance, not least in terms of its further artistic development.
"The orchestra's many tours within Norway and abroad have had a significant effect on the artistic quality that many take for granted today," comments the orchestra's managing director, Trond Okkelmo. He refers to the fact that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are particularly interested in cooperation between culture and the business sector, with the long-lasting cooperation between Hydro and the Oslo Philharmonic standing out as a shining example.
"I have always enjoyed pointing out to Hydro's guests at our concerts abroad that Hydro is engaged in cultural foreign affairs, not only to the benefit of the orchestra, but of the whole nation," Okkelmo comments.
"The orchestra's conductor, Mariss Jansons, has been a front-line figure for Norwegian music and culture abroad. It's almost a little scary to think that Norway would have missed all this without Hydro's help. That should give our politicians food for thought," he adds.
... and of great significance for Hydro
Since Hydro became sole sponsor of the Oslo Philharmonic 11 years ago, the company has brought nearly 90,000 people to the orchestra's concerts in Norway and abroad, around 25,000 of whom abroad. Hydro concerts have been both enjoyable and useful for developing contacts with the business sector as well as with Hydro's own employees, as Henrik Andenæs, senior vice president Public Affairs in Hydro, points out.
Although it is not possible to indicate concrete economic results arising from the contacts that are made and maintained in this way, Andenæs is convinced that the company has gained and will continue to gain a great deal from being able to invite customers and other connections to performances of such a high standard.
"The associations that arise from the sponsorship cooperation with the Oslo Philharmonic are perfect for a company that strives for a position in the world class, and this is the spearhead of our promotion programme," says Andenæs.
"This collaboration and the concerts create an arena for making and maintaining useful contacts and have a natural place in Hydro's market communication and public relations. This also provides Hydro's many employees with rich opportunities for cultural inspiration and renewal - which everyone can do with. We are particularly delighted with the orchestra's ability and willingness to develop new and easily accessible forms of concert, often together with other arts such as dance, film and other musical genres."
The 2001-2004 agreement
The agreement between Hydro and the Oslo Philharmonic for the coming period will follow the same pattern as before, but there will be increased focus on cultural recharging for the employees, amongst others. One new project is lunchtime concerts in Hydro's canteen at Vækerø in Oslo with the orchestra's chamber ensemble.
Throughout the collaboration so far, the conductor Mariss Jansons has played a vital part in the ever increasing attention and status given to the orchestra outside of Norway. With André Previn as his successor for the 2002-2003 season, Hydro and the Oslo Philharmonic look forward with excitement and optimism to new opportunities in the future.
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