Norwegian Chamber Orchestra performs Vespers for Violin at Oslo Opera House, Oslo, Norway

Sunday, November 10, 20246:00pm

Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1, 0150
Oslo, Norway


Beethoven’s indomitable symphony alongside the works of Fanny Mendelssohn, Missy Mazzoli and Bryce Dessner

It feels as though we are living in a fateful time. Without uttering a single word, Beethoven captures the profound sense of destiny that permeates our lives – encapsulating both personal struggles and the broader canvas of events around us. His fifth symphony, traversing from the haunting despair in its iconic opening to resolute optimism of its final movement, embodies this spectrum of human experience.

Bryce Dessner, renowned as the guitarist of The National, is also a formidable composer in his own rights. In his Violin Concerto, dedicated to our artistic director Pekka Kuusisto, Dessner delves into the theme of fate drawing inspiration from the pilgrim’s journey, and explores how journeys by foot create a different connection to the world in which we live. The Concerto evolves into a rhythmically intense and driving musical narrative, inviting listeners on an immersive journey.

​The concert opens with Fanny Mendelssohn’s overture, a notable piece as it stands as her sole orchestral composition. As the elder sister of Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny not only served as his inspiration but also significantly influenced his musical evolution, a fact often overshadowed in historical recognition. Despite being an exceptional pianist of her era, Fanny’s contributions to her brother’s work, including performances of his compositions and conducting his orchestral pieces, were frequently overlooked. She stands as a pioneer, laying the groundwork for future women composers to claim their deserved recognition.

Missy Mazzoli, echoing Fanny’s legacy, emerges as a contemporary exemplar of this shift. Her work, presented here in a distinct format, sees Pekka Kuusisto performing a solo violin piece accompanied by electronics, setting the stage for Dessner’s violin concerto.



Fanny Mendelssohn

  • Overture in C major

Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Symphony No. 5

Missy Mazzoli

  • Vespers for violin

Bryce Dessner

  • Violin Concerto


Pekka Kuusisto artistic director / violin

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