About the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival

After a one and a half hour journey from Bergen airport the “Hardangerfjord Express Boat” sails into harbour – a small village set in a green valley below the dramatic mountains that rise steeply behind it.

sagerHere in 1661 Ludwig Rosenkrantz and his young wife Karen began to create a lavish manor house and garden which they called Rosendal and, in 1678, their estate was to be given the unique status of the only Barony in Norway by King Christian V of Denmark and Norway. Today the house and its beautifully kept gardens offer visitors a glimpse of Norwegian history in one of the country’s most spectacular natural settings.

For pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, this is the perfect location for a new chamber music festival which he launched in August 2016 together with the inauguration of a new concert hall at Baroniet Rosendal Manor House and Gardens.  Alongside performances in the manor house itself, the four day festival features concerts on the new stage – a concert hall with 400 seats, converted from an original barn on the estate.  Additional evening concerts take place in the white-washed 13th century Kvinnherad church whilst lectures and open discussions are offered during the day.

Torunn_Leif Ove Andsnes 1996Leif Ove Andsnes has been a regular visitor and performer in Rosendal for over 20 years.  His first concert was in 1992 and since 1995 he has performed at the manor house at least once every summer. “Baroniet Rosendal is a very special place” he commented  “and music has been a part of its cultural life for generations.  Its 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.”

“The idea for an intimate festival running over a long weekend grew from my love of Baroniet Rosendal and has been made possible by the addition of the new concert hall.  We have also been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to purchase two Steinway grand pianos which I happened to come across whilst they were being restored.  One of them, dating from the 1980’s, I actually played on for my first Schubert recording nearly 15 years ago  (the Sonata in A major, D959) so it will be special to see it housed in the Manor House alongside the existing historical instruments collection which includes an 1860 Pleyel piano.”