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Magnificent farewell concert with Mariss Jansons

May 28, 2002, 01:00 CEST

On Tuesday evening the Oslo Philharmonic and main sponsor Norsk Hydro invited special guests to a farewell concert in Oslo to pay tribute to a conductor who has developed the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra over the last 23 years to become one of the world's leading orchestras. The king and queen joined in the thunderous applause for Mariss Jansons.

Mariss Jansons has laid his baton to rest as music director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. At the end of May this visionary director conducted his last concerts in Oslo with the Oslo Philharmonic.

Since 1979, Mariss Jansons has led the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra to become one of the orchestras in greatest demand at the most prominent musical arenas in the world and in the international recorded music market.

The sponsorship collaboration with Hydro has provided the financial backing for the realization of the orchestra's increasing artistic potential. Through the sole sponsorship agreement with Hydro since 1990, the orchestra's international status has made a great contribution to promoting Norwegian business interests all over the world, and has boosted Norway's prestige in many areas.

Tuesday's concert was an outstanding experience, not least as King Harald and Queen Sonja attended to honor the eminent conductor. Among the other prominent guests were representatives for the Government with the Minister for Cultural Affairs, Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, at the forefront, the president of the Storting and several members of the Storting, the mayor of Oslo and a number of prominent representatives of Norwegian society and culture.

Hydro's president and CEO Eivind Reiten was one of many speakers who thanked Mariss Jansons at the end of the concert for his achievements. In an emotional speech of thanks, Jansons described the Oslo Philharmonic as a national treasure, and pointed out that it would not have been possible to achieve such international recognition without the support of a sole sponsor of Hydro's format.

The concert program was the same as Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic will perform at their 14th concert in Vienna's Musikverein in June - Jean Sibelius' Symphony no. 2, Albert Roussel's Symphony no. 3, and Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloé", suite no. 2. The applause went on for ever.

As soon as the farewell concerts are over in Oslo, Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra will make their last tour together. They will visit Prague and Ljubljana for the first time, and then will end the tour in Vienna with two concerts at the Musikverein, in the "golden" hall where Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic have been warmly received since 1985.

Hydro has invited a number of its contacts and business connections to the concerts in both Prague and Vienna.

"Magic moments with Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic"

"Throughout the 12 years Hydro has been sole sponsor of the Oslo Philharmonic, I have, together with many of the company's customers and contacts, had the pleasure of attending numerous concerts with Mariss Jansons and the orchestra in Norway and abroad. They have all given Hydro's guests, and me personally, exceptional musical experiences. We have also experienced the admiration Mariss Jansons and his orchestra have earned at the world's most prominent musical arenas," writes Hydro's president and CEO Eivind Reiten in the special program for the farewell concerts.

"At the time Hydro became the Oslo Philharmonic's sole sponsor, the orchestra had already won a good international reputation, but this clearly did not satisfy Mariss Jansons. He held onto his vision of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra one day becoming one of the world's leading symphony orchestras. His artistic ability, unique engagement and eminent leadership skills ensured that this vision also became the main source of inspiration and the guiding star of the orchestra members.

"Today the Oslo Philharmonic is one of the orchestras in greatest demand at the world's most prominent musical arenas and in the international music recording market. And Hydro is still the sole sponsor. Why? Wherever in the world we invite guests to a concert with the Oslo Philharmonic, we know they will have a musical experience outside of the ordinary - at an exceptionally high artistic level. The top quality Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra represent is the same quality Hydro strives to achieve, and is delighted to be associated with," said Reiten.

"It is with great gratitude, but also regret, that we in Hydro say farewell to Mariss Jansons. We do, however, believe that the strong links between him and his orchestra will remain, and we hope, therefore, that also in the future we will be able to experience the magic moments that Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic have created so many of in the important era of Norwegian music that now comes to an end."

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