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Renewed sponsor agreement with the Oslo Philharmonic

May 2, 2006, 01:30 CEST

The Oslo Philharmonic can celebrate its contract with Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Hydro has renewed its extensive sole sponsor agreement with the world-famous orchestra.

"Cooperation for a five-year period is an eternity in the concert world. The fact that our new Principal Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste has entered into a five-year contract of this kind also shows the faith he has in the Oslo Philharmonic."

To say the least, it was an enthusiastic CEO of the Oslo Philharmonic, Morten Walderhaug, who introduced the orchestra's new conductor to the press with this statement on Friday. Finnish Jukka-Pekka Saraste was in town to conduct two concerts this week, but it is not until August/September that he will assume his place on the podium in earnest for the concert-going public.

"We are in no doubt that we have found the right man for the job. Saraste is an artist with fantastic integrity, energy and authority. And we are convinced that the cooperation with him will be extremely fruitful. That is why it is a happy day for the orchestra and all its friends and supporters when we can welcome him as our conductor," Walderhaug emphasized.

Hydro renews its agreement

Among the orchestra's supporters, Walderhaug highlighted Hydro in particular, which has now renewed its sole sponsor agreement with the orchestra for a five year period. Annually, Hydro's contributions total NOK eight million. The agreement with Hydro includes a stated desire to use the orchestra more frequently at special outdoor events for Oslo's inhabitants.

"It is exceptional that we have cooperated with Hydro since 1990. Hydro means a great deal to us. Without Hydro, we would never have managed to carry out the many concert tours and recordings we have done. The new sponsorship agreement will also make our planning more predictable, and we are delighted about that," Walderhaug stressed.

Emphasis on quality

Saraste, in his greeting, pointed out that he has known the Oslo orchestra since the 1980s, and has noticed its constant aspirations as far as quality is concerned.

"I know that the Oslo Philharmonic has lot to say and a huge amount to give, and I am greatly looking forward to working closely with the orchestra," Saraste commented, while promising new and exciting repertoire when he takes over as conductor in the seasons ahead.

"Any orchestra that is not in touch with contemporary music loses a lot of its legitimacy, but I won't bombard my audience with difficult music. As far as classical concerts are concerned, I am convinced that they will continue to have relevance and an audience, but it will be a challenge to attract more young people to the concerts."

Not least, Saraste is looking forward to being able to introduce more Sibelius to his Norwegian audience, but next season's concert programme will first and foremost be coloured by the fact that it is 100 years ago this year since Dmitry Shostakovich was born. In addition, music by the Norwegian contemporary composer Rolf Wallin will be a recurring theme on the programme.