The 2024 Bergen International Festival concludes with Mahler’s Eighth Symphony on Wednesday 5 June, and Festival director Lars Petter Hagen can note the highest attendance since 2016.

‘The audience has flocked to the Festival. In total we have had over 80% occupancy during the 15 days of the Festival, and this is not something we take for granted,’ says Hagen.

The opening performance was a full-scale theatrical production of Peer Gynt (pictured) by Henrik Ibsen, including Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s music, directed by Johannes Holmen Dahl, which received enthusiastic reviews in both Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The Telegraph.

Other highlights of the programme included Mahler’s Eighth symphony, concerts with pianist Yuja WangBendik GiskeArtist in residence Ragnhild Hemsing and Festival composer Øyvind Torvund, and performances by international artists and companies such as Acosta DanzaTim Crouch and Teatro La Re-Sentida, and a number of free concerts and events outdoors in the historic city centre.

‘This year’s Festival has reached a large and broad audience. We have presented events of cultural-historical importance, international stars, and innovative works which allow art to develop and follow its own logic, in close interaction with Bergen’s cultural life and in dialogue with our surroundings. The Festival should touch people, create memories, and contribute to art’s ability to move the world. The attendance numbers suggest that many feel we have succeeded in doing just that,’ says the Festival director.

Read more here.

Facts/Bergen International Festival

  • The 72nd Bergen International Festival took place in Bergen, Norway from 22 May to 5 June 2024.
  • The programme consisted of about 100 different events presenting music, theatre, dance, debates, family performances and much more.
  • The 2023 Festival had more than 77 000 visits.
  • The 2024 Festival composer was Øyvind Torvund and the Artist in residence was violinist and Hardanger fiddle-player Ragnhild Hemsing.
  • The Bergen International Festival has been arranged every year since 1953, and is under the patronage of King Harald V of Norway.

Pictured: Peer Gynt. Photo: Thor Brødreskift