Mark Elder announced as new principal guest conductor of Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

There are about to be two British conductors at the helm of the Norwegian orchestra, as Mark Elder joins his former Hallé colleague Edward Gardner as principal guest conductor

Mark Elder photographed for the cover of BBC Music Magazine

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed Mark Elder as its principal guest conductor, with Elder beginning his new role in autumn 2022 in a performance of Delius’s choral and orchestral work A Mass of Life.

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Elder’s initial term is set to run until July 2025, with three or four programmes each season. He’ll join fellow British conductor Edward Gardner, who has been at the helm of the orchestra for the last six years. The pair worked together at the Hallé during the early years of Gardner’s career, when he was Elder’s assistant.

‘I’m thrilled that Mark will be joining us as principal guest conductor,’ says Gardner. ‘I’ve known Mark all my career; he was a wonderful support to me as a mentor at the beginning and now is a great colleague and friend. The Bergen Philharmonic will benefit so much from his brilliance and passion.’

It was announced earlier this year that Gardner’s contract with the Bergen orchestra was extended until at least 2024. The news comes just after Gardner has taken up his new role back in the UK as principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Elder’s career hit the ground running in the late 1970s as music director of the English National Opera, before he went on to be appointed music director of the Hallé in 1999 – a position he still holds today.

Read all reviews of Mark Elder’s recordings here.

Read all reviews of Edward Gardner’s recordings here.

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Read all reviews of Bergen Philharmonic’s recordings here.