Bergen International Festival

Bergen International Festival (Norwegian: Festspillene i Bergen) is an annual international music and cultural festival in Bergen, Norway.[1]

Bergen International Festival
Festspillene i Bergen
GenreMusic Festival
Begins22 May 2024 (2024-05-22)
Ends5 June 2024 (2024-06-05)
Years active1953–
InauguratedFounded 1952
FounderFrank Meidell Falch
Christen Gran Bøgh
Patron(s)King Harald V of Norway

In Spring 2022, Lars Petter Hagen took over as festival director.[2]



The Bergen International festival is the largest festival in the Nordic countries in its genre and has a large number of activities in music, dance, literature, visual arts, folklore, etc. The festival is held over fourteen days from the end of May to the start of June and is located in numerous places like the Grieg Hall, Haakon's Hall, Troldhaugen, Lysøen, Siljustøl as well as streets and town squares of Bergen. In the same time span the International Jazz Festival, Nattjazz, takes place in Bergen.[3]

The first festival that started on 1 June 1953, exactly 55 years after its predecessor and source of inspiration, the first music festival in Norway Edvard Grieg's Bergen Music Festival starting on the 26 June 1898.[4] The model was the Salzburg Festival, and the initiative came partly from opera singer Fanny Elstad. The original festival director was Frank Meidell Falch from 1951 to 1957.[5] Christen Gran Bøgh, who died in 1955, also played a major role in the festival's first edition.[6]

Grieg’s concerto in A minor


Edvard Grieg’s piano concerto in A minor is often called the signature work of the Festival, and has been performed at almost every Festival since 1953. Here are all the soloists:

Troldhaugen, Edvard Grieg's home.

Musician in residence



  1. ^ "Festspillene i Bergen". Store norske leksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2009-05-29. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Check |url= value (help)[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Lars Petter Hagen announced as Director of the Bergen International Festival". Retrieved 2023-08-25.
  3. ^ Wicklund, Erling (2010-05-27). "Festspill og Nattjazz svinger sammen" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  4. ^ Johannessen, Karen Falch (2010-07-02). "Edvard Grieg 1843-1907 (Translated from Norwegian by Deborah Miller)". Biography. Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  5. ^ "Jubilanter". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 11 August 2000. p. 20.
  6. ^ Hartvedt, Gunnar Hagen (2000). "Christen Gran Bøgh". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Vol. 2. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 23 March 2009.