Stavanger Symphony Orchestra has released lanserer ‘Symphonic Dances’, an orchestral work written by Gisle Kverndokk recorded under the direction of conductor Ken-David Masur!

In 2013, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture challenged the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (SSO) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution by addressing the concept of cultural diversity. SSO commissioned a work by Gisle Kverndokk, who created Symphonic Dances by weaving together a diverse musical narrative based on folk music from the different ethnic groups living in the Stavanger area.

SSO planned to use the piece, along with older and more famous Norwegian music, in a special concert that would not only celebrate the past but also the present, pointing to a future safeguarded by the framework of the Norwegian Constitution.

SSO invited musicians from Stavanger’s immigrant community to perform and record examples of their folk songs, which Kvendokk used as inspiration to create something new. In the end, he incorporated the music from twelve different countries: Norway, Sweden, Poland, Greece, Kurdistan, Madagascar, Eritrea, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.

Symphonic Dances is a work that is alternately touching, reflective, groovy and fun, full of longing and celebration – truly reflecting the reality of Stavanger’s culturally diverse society.

Read about Gisle Kverndokk’s work with his latest orchestral work, Symphonic Dances.

Hear Symphonic Dances on Spotify here:

Ken-David Masur, conductor
Gisle Kverndokk, composer

The Sorrow of Loneliness
Songs About the Sea
Dance in the Night
Weddings and Funerals