Rosendal Chamber Music Festival 2024

Photo: Liv Øvland

About Rosendal Chamber Music Festival

“A festival that is intimate and rich in personality, idyllic and profound”

Bayerische Rundfunk

The Rosendal Chamber Music Festival was founded in 2016 by pianist and Artistic Director Leif Ove Andsnes, who invites guest musicians and speakers to join him each summer for a long weekend of music-making. Set within the spectacular landscape of Baroniet Rosendal in west Norway, the remote location – surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and the sea – creates an ideal environment for an intense chamber music experience, drawing visitors from around the world.

Photo: Liv Øvland

With up to 10 concerts over four days, each festival explores a different theme centred around a particular composer or specific period, whilst accompanying lectures give additional insight to the musical life and arts of the time.

“One of the joys of creating a festival programme is that it allows you to focus in depth on a particular aspect of a composer’s life and music” says Leif Ove Andsnes. “In 2016, for the first Rosendal Chamber Music Festival we focused on 1828 – the year of Franz Schubert’s death which was also a year in which the composer wrote some of his most poignantly beautiful music.”

“For our second festival I put together a programme around another big passion of mine – the chamber music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Despite all the wonderful chamber music Mozart wrote, only a few pieces are regularly performed in festivals and so I wanted 2017 to be an intense Mozart celebration, showing the extraordinary diversity of his music.”

In the years to follow the focus has ranged from the poignant legacy of music written In the Shadow of War 1914-1918 (2018), to the life and times of Shostakovich (2019), the national identity of the music of Dvořák and his contemporaries in From my Homeland (2021) and the inner worlds of Ludvig van Beethoven (2022) and Johannes Brahms (2023).

Photo: Liv Øvland

Fellow musicians from around the world

“The idea for an intimate festival running over a long weekend grew from my love of Baroniet Rosendal” says Leif Ove Andsnes, who has been a regular guest at the Manor House, performing there for more than twenty-five years. “This is a very special place and music has been a part of its cultural life for generations. It’s incredible to think that artists and musicians have been crossing the fjord for over three hundred years and amongst them were apparently both Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull – our Bergen musical legends.”

Photo: Liv Øvland

Today Leif Ove Andsnes invites fellow musicians from around the world, who all make the same long journey across the fjord, to perform together in Rosendal. International guest artists who have appeared at the festival to date include pianists Kristian Bezuidenhout, Bertrand Chamayou, Kirill Gerstein, Marc-André Hamelin, Vikingur Ólafsson and Francesco Piemontesi, as well as Vilde Frang, Alina Ibragimova and Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Sol Gabetta, Clemens Hagen, Steven Isserlis and Christian Poltéra (cello), Sharon Kam and Martin Fröst (clarinet), Anna Prohaska and Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Andrei Bondarenko and Matthias Goerne (baritone).

Photo: Liv Øvland

Baroniet Rosendal

The history of Rosendal dates back to the 1650s, when the nobleman Ludvig Rosenkrantz arrived in Bergen as War Commissioner to the Danish-Norwegian King, Frederick III. There he met Karen Mowat, sole heiress to the largest fortune in the country at the time. They were married in 1658 and were given the noble estate Hatteberg as a wedding present. Here they built their home which they named Rosendal, a manor house in stone with a walled renaissance garden. It became the administrative centre of an estate of 500 farms and was given the unique status of the only barony in Norway by King Christian V of Denmark and Norway in 1678. The property remained in private ownership until 1927, when the last owner donated it to the University of Oslo. Today Baroniet Rosendal is a museum offering valuable insight into an important period of Norwegian History.

Photo: Liv Øvland

Festival locations

Alongside occasional performances in the manor house itself, the main location for the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival is Riddersalen (Great Hall) – a 400 seat concert hall, converted from a barn on the estate especially for the festival. Additional concerts take place in the white-washed 13th century Kvinnherad church, majestically perched on top of a hill overlooking the fjord.

”A chamber music festival rich and precious for the quality of the performers and for the depth of the themed programmes.”
La Repubblica

“The four day experience of this music festival is indescribable. With the backdrop of such wonderful scenery, the festival is somehow augmented by a deeper concentration of the theme and the high level of performance.”
Asia Music Weekly

Previous Rosendal Chamber Festivals

In cooperation with

The Rosendal Chamber Music Festival extends deep thanks to Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen, whose meaningful financial support has made the festival’s ambitious artistic goals attainable.