Norwegian National Youth Orchestra is known for its high musical quality, and is considered among the best of its kind in Europe. The orchestra reassembles every year based on auditions. It recruits highly qualified music students from all over Norway, and from Nordic and European academies.
Ever since its beginning in 1973, the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra has arranged an intense summer course in Elverum in Norway. This course gives about 100 students the opportunity to work with tutors, conductors and soloists of high international standards. Every year, the orchestra presents several concert programmes at the Festival in Elverum, and in other Norwegian and international venues and festivals. The orchestra is, in addition to its high musical level, also known for its good social environment and its educational atmosphere.
The Norwegian National Youth Orchestra were founded by the inspiring musicians Leif Jørgensen (former concert master in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra), Harry Kvebæk (former solo trumpet in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra), and Karsten Andersen (former chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra). The goal of the orchestra is to provide young musicians on their way to a professional career experience from playing in a fully featured symphony orchestra and performing the big standard orchestral repertoire. The Norwegian National Youth Orchestra strive to be the leading recruiting institution for the country’s professional orchestras, and about half of Norwegian professional orchestral musicians today have attended the course. Students participate year after year and several of today’s musicians in the orchestra are actually second generation participants!
The Norwegian National Youth Orchestra has been touring the world and played together with some of the world’s most acclaimed soloists and conductors. In recent years, the orchestra has visited the Summer Classics in Tivoli in Copenhagen a number of times. During the Young Euro Classic festival in Berlin, the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra has been described as the highlight of the festival by the international press for two years (2015 and 2016).
In recent years, the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra has played with conductors and soloists like Juanjo Mena, Vasily Petrenko, Christian Vásquez, Andrew Manze, Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk, Solveig Kringlebotn, Håkan Hardenberger, Barbara Hendricks, Henning Kraggerud, Håvard Gimse, Arve Tellefsen, Elisabeth Nordberg -Schulz and Ole Edvard Antonsen.