It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to Bergen!

Bergen is known as the city between the seven mountains and as “the gateway to the magnificent Fjords of Norway”. The historic and vibrant city of Bergen is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage list and the UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy. Bergen is also home to one of the leading European symphony orchestras, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and famous composers Ole Bull and Edvard Grieg.

On behalf of the city of Bergen I wish to thank the members of The European Orchestra Federation for choosing Bergen as host for the 11th European Orchestra Festival. It is great to see that over 1000 musicians from 20 orchestras will be participating in this year’s festival and that we have participants from many different countries.

Through music we can express our emotions, moods, ideas and creativity in a way that language might not. When we collaborate around music, we learn to interact, help and to trust one and another. And at the end we get to experience the magical feeling of applause, pride and the adrenaline rush after a well perform concert.

I look forward to hearing and seeing you play in May and I wish you a pleasant stay in Bergen!

Best regards

Marte Mjøs Persen
Mayor in Bergen