I was fortunate to be able to get a seat for the closing concert of the 2002 Bergen International Festival. You have to hand it to the Bergen-ites: their festival is truly extensive and cosmopolitan. At the same time, it's true that they do love their home, and it is fitting that the Festival ends every year with a performance of one the greatest pieces of Norweigan music, the Piano Concerto of Bergen's own beloved Edvard Grieg. The performance takes place in the one building in Bergen which does not complement its environment, the Grieghallen, constructed in the 1960s Brutalist style which might be at home on the South Bank of the Thames but which seems entirely out of place in this corner of Scandinavia. I saw the great pianist Leif Ove Andnes perform the Grieg Concerto - someone at intermission told me that he comes from the neighborhood, just a few fjords up the coast. Alas, the acoustics inside the concrete monstrosity were pretty poor. Surely the Bergenites deserve a better concert house, IMHO.
Dress Code: Scandinavian dressy casual
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