HCA NEWS Danish National Symphony Orchestra celebrates HCA

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra is among the key players when Danish culture celebrates the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary in 2005. The activities include not only the traditional Thursday concerts but also a substantial international tour. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra receives support from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation and is one of the beacons of the international celebration of the Andersen bicentenary.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 25 March 2004

With tours scheduled to crisscross the globe, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra is among the foremost ambassadors promoting both Danish culture and the work of Hans Christian Andersen during the worldwide 2005 celebration of the Danish poet. The Orchestra has planned performances in China, Korea, Taiwan, the USA and Canada as well as in many European countries, and more are expected to be added as the bicentenary nears.

The celebration repertoire is based on three criteria:

- To engage Andersen as a source of inspiration for contemporary composers to create interesting works for world premiere during 2005.
- To play some of the major works of the current repertoire based on Hans Christian Andersen, e.g. Stravinsky's Rossignol.
- To present an array of programmes that feature the music of Hans Christian Andersen's friends, including Mendelssohn, Schumann and Hartmann.

Concertgoers can also look forward to new music from Poul Ruders, Per Nørgård, Bent Sørensen, Bo Holten, Bright Sheng from China and the American star, Bobby McFerrin. He will take the stage in both Copenhagen and Aarhus together with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Choir.

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra also has plans to expand the idea developed by entertainer Sigurd Barrett, whose successful classical concert concept for children, Sigurd and the Symphony Orchestra, will tour the country with the aim of reaching both children and their parents. Naturally, part of the programme will be based on the works of Hans Christian Andersen in order to associate the poet's stories with the presentation of classical music to children.

"During the previous season, we decided for various reasons only to feature Christmas concerts with Sigurd and the Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen. That was a mistake! It turned out that there are many families throughout Denmark who really want to experience Sigurd and the Symphony Orchestra, so we have decided to take the big Christmas tour nation-wide for December 2004," says General Manager and Artistic Director Per Erik Veng.

At the same time, he makes it very clear that, despite the expansion of the Orchestra, the Thursday concerts are the soul of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

"Thursdays are the days to earmark if you want to experience high quality music played by an orchestra that has become one of Europe's best," says Per Erik Veng.

The Danish National Choir and the Danish National Girls Choir
In addition to the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Choir and the Danish National Girls Choir are also on deck to provide music during the Hans Christian Andersen celebrations in 2005. Together with Hotel Pro Forma, the Danish National Choir will present an entirely new musical performance, Jeg er kun skinddød (I Only Seem Dead), based on Andersen's diaries.

The performance was created by Kirsten Dehlholm of Hotel Pro Forma with music by German composer Manos Tsangaris. He combines with ease the roles of composer, poet, percussionists, director and visual artist.

Selected musicians from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra will play a prominent role in the Hotel Pro Forma universe, with lighting - as always - by Jesper Kongshaug. The performance will premiere at the Cologne Playhouse in spring 2005 while the Danish premiere will take place during the 2005/06 season.

New works have also been created for the Danish National Girls Choir in connection with the Andersen bicentenary. Both Danish Bo Holten and the well-known Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield have written new music especially for the Danish girls.

The world premiere of both works will be performed at the Danish National Girls Choir concert to take place in April 2005. In June 2005, the Choir will embark on a large-scale Hans Christian Andersen tour to the East Coast of the USA as well as Canada, and here Hatfield's work will most certainly be on the programme.

Hans Christian Andersen-related concerts in the Danish Radio Concert Hall:

Thursday 17 March:
Stravinsky: Fairy's Kiss and Rossignol

Thursday 7 April:
Finn Høffding: It's Quite True (Det er ganske vist)
August Enna: The Little Match Girl
Zemlinsky: Seejungfrau (The Little Mermaid)

Thursday 21 April:
Stephen Hatfield: New piece based on Hans Christian Andersen
Bo Holten: The Little Mermaid
Michael Bojesen: From Coast to Coast

Wednesday 27 April:
Thursday 28 April:
Bobby McFerrin and Hans Christian Andersen

Thursday 19 May:
Bright Sheng: The Phoenix
Followed by tour to the Far East encompassing China, Singapore,
Korea and Hong Kong.

Hans Christian Andersen-related concerts in August 2005:

10 August 2005
Amsterdam Concertgebouw
Conductor: Thomas Dausgaard
Soloist: Lars Vogt, piano
Works by I. P. E Hartmann, Grieg and Carl Nielsen

12 August 2005
The BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Conductor: Thomas Dausgaard
Soloists: Lars Vogt, piano
Inger Dam-Jensen, soprano
Works by Bent Sørensen, Grieg and Carl Nielsen.