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Celebrating peace at Nobel concert

December 13, 2001, 00:00 CET

Hydro showed good form at the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo on Tuesday evening. Some 250 company personnel and guests attended the Hydro co-sponsored affair, which featured 2001 Peace Prize winner UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Sir Paul McCartney, and others onstage with props built by Hydro Aluminium Profiles, in Raufoss, Norway.

Hosted by US actress Meryl Streep and Irish actor Liam Neeson, the show's highlight was undoubtedly the finale when McCartney, who dedicated two previous tunes to the September 11th attack victims and "my friend George," was joined on stage by all the concert performers in singing "Let it be."

Other entertainers included Norwegian pop group A-ha, US pop singer Anastacia, guest conductor Paul Bateman and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Sengalese musician Youssou N’Dour, Norwegian jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek and young singer Peter Hoglinger, US opera singer Barbara Hendricks, Australian pop singer Natalie Imbruglia, US pop singer Wyclef Jean, Japanese percussion ensemble Kodo, Brazilian pop singer Daniela Mercury and UK opera singer Russell Watson.

The International Centipede Children for Peace choir, comprising some 25 kids from around the world, also performed after an introduction by Streep who mused "here in Oslo, you see a lot of children... healthy, happy children on their way to and from school." She described stark contrasts elsewhere in the world.

N'Dour alternately pointed to the kid's choir and to Annan while singing the chorus of his tune "My hope is in you." Annan, who shares this year's Peace Prize with the United Nations itself, pronounced the world "needs more music" and urged everyone to help make the UN "a true instrument of peace for the 21st Century." He cited the environment as a particular challenge and stressed the importance to think sustainably.

An aluminium globe, surrounding mesh and other onstage props were built and mounted by Hydro, and designed by Peter Bingamann, from London, UK, said Hydro Aluminium Profiles (HAP) project manager Johnny Tollefsbøl. "The most important construction aspects were design, forming, welding and mounting," he added.

"We were pleased aluminium was selected. It's appropriate. It rendered the construction two and half times lighter than steel. From an operational perspective, this project gave us the chance to demonstrate that we can manufacture special products for our customers."

Corporate sponsors of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize concert, attended by some 6,000 people, included Hydro, Cisco Systems, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Volvo. It was organized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in cooperation with Norway's national broadcast network NRK, management company IMG and Oslo-based advertising and PR firm Dinamo.

"We're really very proud to support the concert," said Hydro information manager Tove Veierød, in charge of cultural events and corporate sponsorships. "The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the world's most prestigious entities and represents everything Hydro emulates - quality, sustainability and international presence."

The 2001 Peace Prize marks the 100th anniversary of the award, established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, along with annual prizes given for global achievements in science, literature, physics and other fields of endeavor.