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The Bergen Woodwind Quintet has for years been a leading Scandinavian chamber music group, performing to great acclaim the world over.
Audiences and critics alike have come under the spell of the BWQ’s interpretations, with the ensemble’s trademark virtuosity and breath-taking dynamic range always at the service of the music. In 1982 the quintet was awarded the French Senate’s special prize for the best performance of a French composition at the international chamber music competition in Colmar, France. Since then, the ensemble has enjoyed increasing popularity, as featured performers at international festivals such as Bodensee Festival, Helsinki Summer Festival, International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, Bergen International Festival, Flanders Festival and Musikherbst Westmünsterland. In 2004 the group was engaged to perform Samuel Barber’s well-known quintet, “Summer Music” on the notable Chamber Music Society of Detroit concert series, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the work.
The Bergen Woodwind Quintet’s most recent CD, a compilation of chamber music for winds by Jean René Désiré Françaix, was released in the Spring 2012 on BIS. In October 2010, the quintet was on an extensive tour of China. They played concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanping, Tianjin, as well as performing at the Macau International Music Festival. The Bergen Woodwind Quintet also enjoyed performing at the Faroe Islands Festival of Classical and Contemporary Music, “Summartónar 2011.”
The BWQ has performed in many well known concert halls, among them Teatro Mancini in Milan, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Baird Auditorium and National Gallery of Art in Washington DC., as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York. Extensive broadcast credits include programs for BBC-Radio 3, WDR in Germany, WFMT in Chicago, “Saint Paul Sunday” and
“Performance Today” for National Public Radio in the U.S. The BWQ has recorded Carl Nielsen’s complete works for winds, all three woodwind quintets by David Maslanka, as well as music of such notable composers as Samuel Barber, Paul Hindemith, Jacques Ibert, André Jolivet, August Klughardt, and Anton Reicha. Harald Sæverud, the Norwegian composer
laureate, enjoyed the group’s playing so much that he dedicated two new works to them, both of which are available on CD.
Members of the BWQ are all very much in demand as soloists. They also serve as Professors at the Grieg Academy of the University of Bergen. The quintet has been Visiting Guest Artists in residence at the University of Minnesota for over 10 years.