The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the oldest orchestras in the world, having been founded in 1765. Edvard Grieg had a close relationship with the orchestra and was its artistic director during the years 1880-82. Edward Gardner has served as Chief Conductor since October 2015, while in November 2021 Sir Mark Elder was announced as the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, starting in 2022/23.
VBPR has worked with the Bergen Philharmonic since 2007. Numerous UK and European tours include the orchestra’s seven-concert tour of the UK in January-February 2013 and their 250th anniversary which they celebrated with a special fifteen-months-long programme, concluding December 2015 with performances of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder conducted by Gardner.
In November 2019 the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra returned to the UK to perform their acclaimed concert performance of Britten’s Peter Grimes at the Royal Festival Hall in London, to universal critical acclaim. A studio recording of the same work was released on Chandos Records on 4 September 2020.
Since 2015 the orchestra has made its best concerts free to live stream on its Bergenphilive platform: www.bergenphilive.no