Grete Pedersen is regarded as one of the most renowned conductors in the international choral scene. The Norwegian conductor has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir since 1990 whose numerous recordings for the label BIS Records were awarded the ‘Choc de la Musique’, ‘Prix d'Or’ and ‘Prix d’Or’ de l’Année from Diapason and a 'Record of the year’ by Gramophone.
Grete Pedersen is a highly demanded guest conductor and has worked with prestigious choirs such as Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Choir, Danish National Vocal Ensemble and Choir, Rundfunkchor Berlin, MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, Bavarian Radio Choir, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Chamber Choir Ireland, Pro Coro Canada, Tokyo Cantat and World Youth Choir. Future plans include projects with RIAS Kammerchor and the Latvian Radio Choir.
She has led performances of music by composers such as J.S. Bach, Haydn, Bruckner, Bernstein, Berio with most of the leading Norwegian orchestras and Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Yale Camerata, Oslo Sinfonietta and Ensemble Allegria. Planned concerts include projects with Bergen Philharmonic, Odense Symphony and Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid as well as putting together various ensembles joined by well-known soloists.
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 commisoioned 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. Here Grete Pedersen also worked with the Norwegian Barokkanerne and Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Grete Pedersen's name stands for planning productions and concepts of wide stylistic variety. She has set new standards with her interpretation of early and contemporary music. Whilst her work encompasses a wide range of vocal repertoire, folk music and work for period instruments, her efforts have increasingly been directed towards orchestral repertoire and larger productions for orchestra and choir.
BIS Records has released numerous recordings with The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir with works by Per Nørgård, 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.
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. In the same year, she was awarded the distinguished Lindeman Prize to honour her significant contribution to the musical life of Norway.
Grete Pedersen has taught conducting at the Norwegian Academy of Music since 1996. Her reputation as a professor brings in some of the most talented international young conductors to the Academy. She has held masterclasses in conducting on all continents.
Season 2020/21Read more
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'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 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.Read more
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)Read more
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/UC96opRjjbxWEQNb2k2mUP6ARead more
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
On 24 May Grete Pedersen conducts Haydn's The Seasons with the Slovenian Philharmonic & Choir and soloists in Ljubljana.
Grete Pedersen conducts the Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris at Philharmonie Paris on 27 April with Rachmaninov's Vesper op. 37.
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.
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.Read more
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 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 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'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.
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:Read more
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.Read more
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.
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 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.Read more
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 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 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 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.Read more
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 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
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
The Norwegian Soloists' Choir
Norwegian Radio Orchestra
BIS Records (2020)
Per Nörgård (Nørgård)
The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir
BIS Records (2016)
Johann Sebastian Bach
The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir
BIS Records (2015)
Ola O. Fagerheim
Hildegard of Bingen
Per Nörgård (Nørgård)
The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir
BIS Records (2013)
The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir
BIS Records (2007)
The Norwegian Soloists' Choir