Ingar Bergby


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Ingar Bergby is one of Norway’s leading conductors, with many achievements within classical music, opera, contemporary and crossover music. He has distinguished himself as an artist with the power to shape ideas and with great dedication to his work.

Ingar Heine Bergby was born on 4 February 1964 in Sarpsborg, where his musical family brought him into the corps movement. He is a trained clarinetist with professor Richard Kjelstrup at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Later, Bergby studied orchestra conducting with Professor Karsten Andersen at the same place, and at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula. He took a diploma in orchestra conducting in 1991.

Bergby has regular engagements with classical and new orchestral repertoire.

He was permanent guest conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 2003 to 2008 with responsibility for Norwegian and Nordic repertoire. In addition to Norwegian contemporary music, Bergby here performed classic Norwegian works by Svendsen, Tveitt, Grieg, Hovland and Halvorsen. He also performed international symphonic repertoire such as Sibelius, Nielsen, Ravel, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Nørgaard, Pettersson.

During the 2005 Festivals, he directed the first full performance of A glass bead game by Olav Anton Thommessen, to great success and attention. The work is a full-length orchestra performance consisting of six major compositions.

A major project with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra was the world premiere of Bullseye by Olav Anton Thommessen, Hokkaido Hagar for the piano and orchestra of Knut Vaage, and Olav Berg’s Concert for bass and orchestra. Bergby’s interpretation of Rolf Wallins Act for symphony orchestra, led to that the work later was taken on a European Tour.

As chief conductor of the Värmlands Sinfonietta, Bergby conducted several of Mozart’s most important symphonies, the London symphonies of Haydn, and all the symphonies of Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

As Norwegian profile conductor in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (KORK) in 2009-10, Bergby conducted all of Brahms’ symphonies. He received the KORK award for this production. The award was given to “an established performer who has contributed to innovative and great musical experiences”.

As chief conductor at the Värmland Opera, Bergby performed, among others, Tosca by Puccini, Fidelio by Beethoven, Nabucco by Verdi, Maskeballet by Verdi, and Lady Macbeth by Shostakovich.

With Opera Vest, he has, among other things, made the Norwegian premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Michael Nyman, performed in London, and Somebody is going to come by Knut Vaage.

Bergby has regular engagements at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, has been behind annual productions of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, the ballets Mythical Hunters, Shoot The Moon, Masters Night and The Wake, and at the latest in 2021 The Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill and Gianni Schicchi by Puccini. He led the opera The Glass Menagerie by Antonio Bibalo as a collaboration between Den Norske Opera og Ballett and Opera Vest for the Ultima Festival in 1998, a performance which was later taken to Paris.

Among other productions are K. Description of a battle with the Gothenburg Opera, Carmen with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Trønder Opera, The Magic Flute with Opera Vest, and the baroque opera Poro with the Grieg Academy’s symphony orchestra and singers.

Bergby is also known for his ability to create a warm sound image of contemporary music.

His many years of collaboration with Arne Nordheim provided great inspiration for his approach to contemporary music. Bergby works according to Nordheim’s motto “and everything shal sing!”

Together with the contemporary music ensemble BIT20, Bergby was behind numerous recordings and premieres from 1991 to 2002. They performed at the Agora Festival at the IRCAM Center in Paris, the Barbican Center in London, the Music Festival in Bremen, the Musica festival Strasbourg, the Ultima Festival and the Bergen Festival.

Bergby is well acquainted with the modern repertoire, and continuously works with newly written music.

The background of the Corps Movement has given Bergby broad experience with various genres, and has made him a versatile crossover conductor.

Ingar Bergby has had engagements annually in the Broadcasting Orchestra (KORK) since 1993. KORK is a very flexible orchestra, and plays everything from the symphonic repertoire and contemporary music, to pop, rock, jazz, folk and folk music. Among the many productions he has done with KORK, is a concert series with film music, color games, and anniversary concerts for Egil Monn Iversen and Alf Prøysen.

Bergby has conducted several musical productions, among other things West Side Story in 2012 and Sound of Music in 2016, both with Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in the concert house Kilden.

In order to give something back to the corps movement that is helping to propel professional musicians, Bergby has, besides his orchestral career, also conducted Norwegian music corps. He has two NM titles and European Championship title for brass band with Eikanger-Bjørsvik Music Team, and five NM titles for Janitsja Corps with Lillestrøm Music Corps.