BIT20 ensemble

In the press material from the Norwegian BIT20 ensemble one can read that the mission of the ensemble is "… advancing performances of Norwegian and international art music of our time. The ensemble also aspires to promote cultural exchange between diverse cultural groups and peoples, and to help further artistic activity in Bergen”.

It must be said that their aim has been amply fulfilled since the BIT20 ensemble was founded in 1989 in Bergen. The ensemble has profiled itself as one of the most significant in the Nordic countries especially as ambassadors for the music of our own time.

Every year the BIT20 ensemble gives between 30 and 40 concerts, and since its foundation it has performed more than 300 different works. Something like a hundred of these have been world premieres, often being works written for or commissioned by the ensemble.

Lasse Thoresen’s 'Løp, lokk og linjer' – nominated for the Nordic Council’s Music Prize in 2004 – was written for the BIT20 ensemble. A CD of the work is set for release.

The work of the ensemble has been captured on more than 20 CDs, and audiences in many countries have been able to experience the high standards of the ensemble in connection with a number of tours to countries like Austria, Estonia, Russia, England, Italy, Germany and France.

Music drama productions are another important area for the BIT20 ensemble, which has appeared in works by composers like Antonio Bibalo, Henrik Hellstenius, Philip Glass, Gisle Kværndokk and Nigel Osborne.

Like others among the nominated candidates the BIT20 ensemble also communicates with children and young people in the form of school concerts and educational projects.

The great flexibility in the line-up that was formerly a characteristic of the BIT20 ensemble has over the past few years been formalized by the establishment of several BIT20 ensembles: BIT20 Duo, BIT20 Jug Band and BIT20 Percussion.