© Kristin Saastad

Grete Pedersen Conductor Generalmanagement

Artistic Director and Chief Conductor The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir

The Norwegian conductor Grete Pedersen is one of the most renowned conductors in the international choral scene. Since 1990 Grete Pedersen is Music Director of the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir whose recordings were awarded the ‘Choc de la Musique’, ‘Prix d'Or’ from Diapason and a 'Record of the year’ by Gramophone.

Grete Pedersen is a demanded guest conductor and has worked with choirs and orchestras such as Eric Ericson Kammerchor, Swedish Radio Choir, Danish National Vocal Ensemble & Choir, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, MDR Rundfunkchor, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Chamber Choir Ireland, Pro Coro Canada, Tokyo Cantat, World Youth Choir.

She has led oratorios and choral symphonic works by J.S. Bach, Haydn, Bruckner, Bernstein and Berio with leading Norwegian orchestras, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Yale Camerata, Oslo Sinfonietta and Ensemble Allegria. Forthcoming projects include engagements with Gulbenkian Orchestra & Choir, Croatian Radio Symphony & Choir, Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Dunedin Consort, Cappella Amsterdam, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Netherlands Bachvereniging, Chamber Choir Ireland among others.

At the start of her musical studies, Grete Pedersen founded the Oslo Chamber Choir in 1984 and worked with them for 20 years particularly with oratorio repertoire and contemporary music. She studied Norwegian folk music and has learnt from folk musicians and their traditions. Today she is considered a pioneer for her work bringing folk music to new settings and for the arrangements based on these roots. This is notwithstanding always challenging the tradition. As a church musician educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Grete Pedersen was a part of the movement of historical informed performances from the beginning of the 1980s and has worked amongst others with the Freiburger Barockorchester, Oslo Bach Ensemble, Norwegian Barokkanerne, Barokksolistene, Drottningholm Barokkensemble.


On the contemporary scene Grete Pedersen is known as an unafraid advocate for new music and has commissioned and performed numerous pieces by leading composers. One example is Bach in our time– a project over three years where composers James MacMillan, Lasse Thoresen, and Stefan Schleiermacher composed new music in dialogue with Bach’s B minor Mass.

Pedersen's name stands for productions and stagings with wide stylistic variety. Her contrasting concert programmes are known to often be a rather radical mixture. In addition to premiering contemporary musical works, her efforts have increasingly been directed towards larger productions for choir and orchestra.

BIS Records has released numerous award-winning recordings by Grete Pedersen and the Norwegian Soloists Choir with works by Per Norgard, Kaija Saariaho, Fartein Valen, Alfred Janson, Knut Nystedt, Nils Henrik Asheim, Lars Petter Hagen, Edvard Grieg, Iannis Xenakis, Helmut Lachenmann, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen, Anton Webern, Brahms, Schubert, J.S. Bach and Norwegian Folk Music. Her albums of Luciano Berio: Coro and J.S. Bach: Motets were awarded the Diapason d’Or in the years 2020 and 2018. Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists' Choir lately received the renowned Spellermann Prize for their album Lament (compositions by Lars Petter Hagen, Nils Henrik Asheim and Arne Nordheim) on BIS Records.

Grete Pedersen completed her postgraduate studies in conducting at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo and has also studied chorus conducting with Eric Ericson and orchestra conducting with Kenneth Kiesler.

In 2019, Grete Pedersen was appointed Knight 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian St. Olavs Order for her merit and outstanding achievements in the arts and was awarded the distinguished Lindeman Prize to honour her significant contribution to the musical life of Norway.

She teaches as a professor in conducting at the Norwegian State Academy of Music since 1996 and is a sought-after teacher for masterclasses.


Season 2021/22

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News

Spellermann Prize for Grete Pedersen & The Norwegian Soloists' Choir

Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists' Choir lately received the renowned Spellermann Prize for their album Lament (compositions by Lars Petter Hagen, Nils Henrik Asheim and Arne Nordheim) on BIS Records.

Grete Pedersen conducts world premiere of Bent Sorensen: Matthew Passion

Grete Pedersen conducted the world premiere of Bent Sorensen's Matthew Passion with the Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Ensemble Allegria at Oslo Church Music Festival on 12 March. NRK Klassiek broadcasts the recording on 1 April, 19:30-21:00. https://radio.nrk.no/serie/paa-konsert-radio/sesong/202104/MKKL16001321

Grete Pedersen: Mozart video

View a video of Grete Pedersen, The Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Ensemble Allegria with Mozart: Requiem: Kyrie & Dies irae: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExjmAV5xCPY

Grete Pedersen: Diapason d'or for Berio album

Grete Pedersen's new album by Luciano Berio: Coro with the Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Norwegian Radio Orchestra with BIS Records has received the Diapason d'or of the year 2020 in the category choral music.

Grete Pedersen at rostrum of Stavanger Symphony

Grete Pedersen conducts the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra on 5 and 6 November with music by Charles Ives, Henry Purcell, Haydn, Nils Henrik Asheim as well as

Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms together with The Norwegian Soloists' Choir.

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Grete Pedersen & The Norwegian Soloists' Choir: video Bergen International Festival

See Grete Pedersen and the Norwegian Soloists' Choir in a livestream video for Bergen International Festival 2020

from Trefoldighetskirken Oslo with the programme Hymn to freedom (J.S. Bach, Francis Poulenc and Edvard Grieg): https://www.facebook.com/Solistkoret/videos/279488200087124/ (available until 30 November 2020)

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Grete Pedersen conducts Brahms: A German Requiem

Grete Pedersen conducts on 11 April, 19:00 (CET) Brahms: A German Requiem with The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Ensemble Allegria, The Norwegian Wind Ensemble,

Camilla Tilling and Markus Eiche online (concert November 2019): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC96opRjjbxWEQNb2k2mUP6A 

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New Album of Grete Pedersen: Luciano Berio

BIS Records has released a further album with Grete Pedersen, The Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Norwegian Radio Orchestra: Luciano Berio Coro and Cries of London. bis.se/performers/norwegian-soloists-choir-the/luciano-berio-coro 

Listen to the recording: naxos.lnk.to/BerioEL

Grete Pedersen directs DR Vocal Ensemble

Grete Pedersen directs the Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble in three concerts in Copenhagen, Billund and Randers on 24, 25 and 26 January with music by Daniel Lesur, Claudio Monteverdi, Alfred Jansen, Edvard Grieg and Torbjorn Dyrud.

Grete Pedersen conducts Choeur de Radio France

Grete Pedersen conducts the Choeur de Radio France in Paris on 19 December in a Christmas programme with songs by Penderecki, Rachmaninow, Bruckner, Poulenc/Maitre, Nordqvist and Traditionals.

Grete Pedersen directs Brahms Requiem

Grete Pedersen directs A German Requiem by Brahms with The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Ensemble Allegria, Norwegian Wind Ensemble and soloists in four concerts in Hamar, Sandefjord, Fredrikstad and Oslo from 30 October - 3 November.

Grete Pedersen conducts MDR Leipzig Radio Choir

Grete Pedersen conducts the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir at the day of world peace in Halle on 31 August and Nordhausen on 1 September. The programme features music by J.S. Bach, Brahms, Strauss, Frank Martin, Knut Nystedt etc.

Grete Pedersen at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Grete Pedersen is invited to appear on 16 August at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Together with the Chamber Choir Ireland she presents a programme with works by Saariaho, Matre, Andriessen, McKay and others.

Grete Pedersen & Norwegian Soloists' Choir at Koorbiennale Haarlem

Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists' Choir present an A capella programme at Koorbiennale in Haarlem on 29 June with music by J.S. Bach, György Kurtag, Eivind Buene, Robert Heppener, Helmut Lachenmann and Arnold Schönberg.

Grete Pedersen conducts Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir

On 24 May Grete Pedersen conducts Haydn's The Seasons with the Slovenian Philharmonic & Choir and soloists in Ljubljana.

Grete Pedersen conducts Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris

Grete Pedersen conducts the Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris at Philharmonie Paris on 27 April with Rachmaninov's Vesper op. 37.

 

 

Grete Pedersen at Oslo International Church Music Festival

Grete Pedersen conducts the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Norwegian National Youth Choir and soloists at Oslo International Church Music Festival on 28 March featuring Haydn's Harmony Mass, Richard Strauss' Der Abend and Bruckner's Te Deum.

Grete Pedersen conducts Chamber Choir Ireland

As part of New Music Dublin 2019 Grete Pedersen conducts the Chamber Choir Ireland on 3 March for an A cappella concert of contemporary music which includes

works by Kaija Saariaho, Orjan Matre, Louis Andriessen, Deirdre McKay, Rhona Clarke, Maja Linderoth as well as Irish and Norwegian Folk Tunes.

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Grete Pedersen receives Gramophone "Record of the year"

Grete Pedersen's album The wind blows with music by Alfred Janson together with The Norwegian Soloists' Choir at BIS Records has been chosen as 'Record of the year 2018' by Gramophone.

Grete Pedersen receives Diapason d'Or 2018 Award

Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists' Choir are awarded the Diapason d'Or 2018 in the category choir music for their album of J.S. Bach Motets (BIS Records).

Grete Pedersen at rostrum of Stavanger Symphony

Grete Pedersen conducts the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra on 5 December with J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (cantatas I-III) together with the Stavanger Symphony Chorus and soloists.

Grete Pedersen receives Gramophone 'Record of the Month'

Grete Pedersen's new recording The wind blows with music by Alfred Janson together with The Norwegian Soloists' Choir has been chosen as 'Record of the Month' by Gramophone.

Norwegian Soloists' Choir & Grete Pedersen at Vendsyssel Festival

Grete Pedersen, the Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Daniel Paulsen & Terje Viken, percussion, appeared at the Danish Vendsyssel Festival in Saeby on 4 July. The programme

included works by Per Norgard, Alfred Janson, Zad Moultaka, Kaija Saariaho, David Wikander, Edvard Grieg, Arne Nordheim and Luciano Berio. Danish Radio broadcasts the concert on 10 July,19:20:

https://www.dr.dk/radio/p2

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Grete Pedersen conducts Saariaho portrait in Oslo

Grete Pedersen conducts the Norwegian Soloists' Choir for a portrait concert of Kaija Saariaho portrait concert in Oslo

on 31 May. You will listen to the compositions Überzeugung, Tag des Jahres, Nuits adieux, Horloge Tais-Toi as well as pieces by Maja Linderoth, Karin Rehnqvist and others.

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Grete Pedersen at Tampere Vocal Music Festival

Grete Pedersen conducts The Norwegian Soloists' Choir at Tampere Vocal Music Festival on 7 June with a programme of compositions by J.S. Bach, György Kurtag, Helmut Lachenmann, Arnold Schönberg, Ludvig Norman among others.

Grete Pedersen: Diapason d'Or for Bach Motets

The album with the six motets of J.S. Bach by Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists' Choir with BIS Records was awarded the Diapason d'Or.

Grete Pedersen & The Norwegian Soloists' Choir in Brussels

Grete Pedersen conducts the Norwegian Soloists' Choir within the project "150 Psalms" in two concerts in Brussels on 20 and 21 March with two programmes featuring music

by Telemann, Elgar, Gabrieli, Totari, Rachmaninow, Charpentier, Valen, Pärt, Maxwell Davies, Brahms, Lidholm, Rehnquist among others.

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Grete Pedersen in Ljubljana

Grete Pedersen conducts the orchestra and choir of the Slovenian Philharmonic and soloists in Ljubljana on 21 January. The programme features Haydn's Nelson Mass, Mahler's Blumine, Mahler/Gottwald/Pedersen's Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen and Norwegian Folksongs.

Grete Pedersen at White Light Festival New York

Grete Pedersen conducts the Norwegian Soloists Choir at White Light Festival of Lincoln Center New York in two concerts on 10 and 11 November within the project "150 psalms".

Grete Pedersen was awarded the Telenor Culture Prize

Grete Pedersen has been awarded the renowned Norwegian Telenor Cultural Prize 2017 in September for her engagement in the Scandinavian cultural environment, dedicated to an outstanding artistic personality each year.

Grete Pedersen conducts The Norwegian Soloists Choir in Utrecht

Grete Pedersen directs the Norwegian Soloists Choir within the project „150 Psalms“ together with the  Nederlands Kamerkoor, Choir of Trinity Wall Street and

The Tallis Scholars in 4 concerts featuring 35 compositions at the Early Music Festival in Utrecht on 1 and 2 September.

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Grete Pedersen conducts Bach B Minor Mass at Festival in Bodo

Grete Pedersen conducts Bach's B Minor Mass with The Norwegian Soloists Choir and the Freiburger Barockorchester and soloists at the Festival in Bodo (Norway) on 10 August.

New signing: General management for Grete Pedersen

We are pleased to announce to have taken on the General management of the Norwegian conductor Grete Pedersen. The chief conductor of the Norwegian Soloists' Choir has gained an excellent reputation in the international choral scene.

Press

  • Album Luciano Berio: Coro with Norwegian Soloists' Choir

    Two features stand out in Coro: first, its tendency to put a revealing slant on Berio’s particular form of expressionism by keeping it all-of a-piece – a single canvas; second, its prioritising of the composer’s interest in merging instruments and voices to the point where on occasion neither is identifiable as one or the other.[…] Grete Pedersen achieves both through judicious matching of individual voices to each other and to instruments.[…] Every time this excellent choir issues a new recording you wonder what will come next.

    Gramophone, Andrew Mellor, 6/2020

  • New Music Dublin Festival

    The final early evening concert of New Music Dublin festival, given at St Ann’s Church by Chamber Choir Ireland under, was at once a sheerly beautiful immersion in choral sonority – the most gorgeous singing I’ve heard from the choir in quite some time – and a mainstreaming of those unorthodox vocal techniques that composers began exploring in the 1950s and 1960s.

    The Irish Times, Michael Dervan, 3/2019

  • Album Alfred Janson: The winds blows (BIS Records)

    The performance here demonstrates the extra levels of finesse Grete Pedersen has cultivated in her ensemble in the past decade. Construction (after the composer’s signature work, Construction and Hymn for Orchestra, 1963) tells you why the choir is named The Norwegian Soloist’s Choir. As usual, blend is exquisite, intonation perfect and articulation superlative.

    Gramophone, Andrew Mellor, 10/2018

  • CD: J.S. Bach Motets

    Typically Nordic, the choir’s sound is clear, light and precise, with a sound that finds a happy medium between choral blend and the expressive frisson that arises from occasionally being aware of individual voices (...). Pedersen’s firm concept of the work’s progress is exemplified by a bold but grounded ‘Trotz’ section that travels swiftly but smoothly from defiance to calm confidence – the latter being a term which might indeed be used as a general characterisation of these charming and accomplished performances.

    Gramophone, Lindsay Kemp, 4/2018

    The opening of Komm, Jesu, komm entices. The antiphonal pleas are so lovingly shaped and delectably blended it’s impossible not to surrender. But does beauty of sound and ‘finish’ become an end in itself?...A real tour de force!

    BBC Music Magazine, 4/2018

    This is an outstanding disc of outstanding music. They get to the heart of these magnificent works in what feels a completely natural way, without any of the sense of over-interpretation that can detract. In addition to the standard six motets, Pedersen includes O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (BWV 118), in which Ensemble Allegria’s oboes find an appropriately mournful yet sinuous tone.

    Choir & Organ, 3/2018

  • Grete Pedersen with Bavarian Radio Choir

    Grete Pedersen was the real discovery: with an enormous charisma, she not only received enthusiastic approval from the audience in the "Nordic Sounds" programme but also from the Choir of the Bavarian Radio.

    Münchner Merkur, Anna Schürmer, 04.05.2015

  • CD Refractions: Berg/Messiaen/Valen/Webern


    In resonant but clearly defined sound, Grete Pedersen and the Norwegian Soloists‘ Choir bring a marvellous mixture of earthiness and refinement to Messiaen’s vivid score.

    Gramophone, Arnold Whittall, 5/2013

Discography

Lament

Lars Petter Hagen, Nils Henrik Asheim and Arne Nordheim

The Norwegian Soloists' Choir
Ensemble Allegria
BIS Records (2020)

Luciano Berio: Coro

The Norwegian Soloists' Choir
Norwegian Radio Orchestra

BIS Records (2020)

Alfred Janson: the wind blows The Norwegian Soloists' Choir

BIS Records (2018)
J.S. Bach The Motets The Norwegian Soloists' Choir
Ensemble Allegria

BIS Records (2017)

As dreams

Alfred Janson
Helmut Lachenmann
Per Nörgård (Nørgård)
Kaija Saariaho

The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir
Oslo Sinfonietta

BIS Records (2016)

Nystedt / J.S. Bach - Meins Lebens Licht

Johann Sebastian Bach
Knut Nystedt

The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir
Ensemble Allegria

BIS Records (2015)

Songs of Christmas

Ola O. Fagerheim
Hildegard of Bingen
Gustaf Nordquist
Per Nörgård (Nørgård)
Michael Praeto

The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir

BIS Records (2013)

Refractions: Choral works by Berg, Webern, Valen & Messiaen Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen,
Fartein Valen, Anton Webern

Berit Norbakken Solset
The Norwegian Soloists' Choir

BIS Records (2013)
White Night: Impressions of Norwegian Folk Music Eivind Buene
Eivind Groven
Gjermund Larsen
Traditional

Gjermund Larsen
The Norwegian Soloists' Choir

BIS Records (2011)
Im Herbst: Choral works by Brahms and Schubert Johannes Brahms
Franz Schubert
Ingrid Andsnes, Madelene Berg,
Öystein Birkeland, Catherine Bullock,
Kåre Nordstoga, The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir,
Ole Eirik
BIS Records (2011)
Edvard Grieg: Choir music

Edvard Grieg

The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir

BIS Records (2007)

Telling what is told

Alfred Janson
Nils Lindberg
Sven-Eric Johanson
Frank Martin
Sören Barfoed
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
Hakon Berge

The Norwegian Soloists' Choir

Simax (2006)

Bergtatt

Folk music

Oslo Kammerkor

Musikk (1999)