Pohjoismaiset orkesteripäivät Stavangerissa

Welcome to the 39th Nordic Orchestra Conference arranged by Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Nordic Working Committee. The theme for the conference is "The Art of Change”.

We are living in constantly changing conditions and these affect the orchestras in many ways. The political climate is different. The financial situation in many countries is getting worse. The way society looks at art and culture is different now compared with a few years ago. The digital revolution demands new solutions within the orchestras and the young musicians do not necessarily have the same needs as the older generation. What about the audience? Will their needs be the same in the future? In a world with these challenging conditions, we, as the orchestras’ leaders, need to be champions of change.

This conference will not only be useful for the Managing Directors of the orchestras, but also for the people in charge of HR and communication/marketing. On Wednesday, we will travel back in time to be inspired by the masters of the renaissance. On Thursday, we will see how mental health preparation is important for the musician’s performance. On the same day, the most highly awarded Norwegian creative director ever, will speak about the importance of storytelling. On Friday, we will have a panel discussion on topics that we meet in our daily lives as managers in the orchestras, and in the course of the conference, we will present 3 case studies so that we can learn more from each other’s work.

I hope to see you all in Stavanger in September 16-18th.

With best wishes

Trude Marit Risnes, CEO Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

Stavanger Concert Hall

Bjergsted 1, 4007 Stavanger

Tlf. + 47 95 19 51 47

e-mail: trude.marit.risnes[at]sso.no


11.30-12:00 Registration

12:00-13.00 Lunch at «Spiseriet», the restaurant in Stavanger Concert Hall

13.00-13:20 Welcome by CEO Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Trude Marit Risnes

13:20-15:40 Country reports

15:40-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-18:00 "The Champions of Change – the Master of the Renaissance”, by Steinar Bjartveit

18:00-19:15 Break

19:15- Bus to Ledaal

19:30-22:00 The Mayor of Stavanger invites us to a Conference Dinner at Ledaal Manor House and Royal Residence

THE SPEAKER, Steinar Bjartveit

Steinar Bjartveit, is a psychologist and a well-known lecturer in the field of organisational psychology. He holds a degree in psychology from the University of Oslo. He teaches at the Norwegian School of Management. Bjartveit is a partner in the Management Consultancy Firm Beowulf & Earendel in Norway and has extensive experience with a wide range of different companies and organisations. Most of his assignments involve organisational change, leadership development and executive coaching. He is co-author of the books «Chaos and Cosmos», «Scandinavian perspectives on management consulting» and «Power and Dignity».

"The Champions of Change – the Master of the Renaissance”, a short introduction

Perspectives and theories on management come and go. New concepts are implemented while the old ones are thrown onto the scrapheap or recycled in some refreshed form. Nevertheless, certain aspects constantly recur. Certain perspectives have survived the whims of the market and the test of time.

Several questions have always plagued leaders and managers. Does a leader need a personal vision in order to achieve excellent results? How does one create innovation? How should leaders relate to power? Is there an element of dignity in the leadership role? Human beings have been contemplating these notions throughout the ages, yet few eras have generated such strong pronouncements on them as the Renaissance in Florence. Bjartveit will give us insights into our era by leading us through narratives from the Renaissance and contrasting them with our own time.


9:00-10:00 "Mental health preparation – a key to increased performance”, by psychiatrist Harald C. Knudsen

10:00-11:00 Discussion in Groups

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:00 Feedback from groups

12:00-13:00 Lunch back stage

13:00-14:00 "What`s your orchestra’s story?”, by Executive Creative Director Erik Heisholt

14.00-14:15 Coffee break

14:15-15:15 Discussion in Groups

15:15-16:00 Feedback from groups

16:00-17:00 Tour of Stavanger Concert Hall

17:00-19:30 Free time for dinner

19:30- Concert with SSO in Stavanger Concert Hall (pre-concert talk 18:30)


"Mental health preparation – a key to increased performance” – a short introduction

Harald C. Knudsen had his medical education in Germany. In his professional life, he first worked as a medical doctor in general practice and later as a psychiatrist at the University Hospital in Stavanger, and in private practice.

Since 1996 he has worked in the field of sports medicine and sports psychology with elite athletes and teams in football, beach volleyball and particularly handball. He has been part of the support team as a medical doctor or mental coach and has participated in Norwegian championships, European championships, World championships and the Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012, in which the team won the gold medal. He has worked at the Olympiatoppen, the Norwegian Olympic Training Centre.

Since 2003 he has worked as a coach and advisor in the field of leadership development and organizational development with Norwegian and international organisations and companies.

Harald C. Knudsen now works as a psychiatrist at the University Hospital in Stavanger, as a coach in the field of organizational development and as a mental coach for Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.

"Mental health preparation as a key to increased performance” – a short introduction

How does it feel to be a top performer? How does your physical and mental health affect your performance? What mental preparation can be undertaken to increase the performance of our musicians individually and collectively? These are the main questions we, together with Harald C. Knudsen, will try to answer.


Executive Creative Director & Founder of Heisholt - a multi-disciplinary creative communication agency.

Erik is the most highly awarded Norwegian creative director ever, gaining many international awards since 1993, including the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions. In 2004 he was the youngest person ever to be awarded the Norwegian Creative Forum´s Lifetime Achievement Award «The Golden Pencil». In June 2015, he was Norway´s representative on the Film Jury at Cannes Lions. He is a popular speaker and columnist. In March 2015, Erik founded his own creative communication agency, Heisholt.

WHAT`s your orchestras story? – a short introduction

Good stories surprise us. They have a compelling character. They make us think, make us feel. They stick in our minds and help us to remember. In today’s digital world, storytelling is becoming uniquely essential. We share billions of links every month, with tens of millions of pieces of content. Those who can create, who find and share a good story, will build a following, to their great advantage. So what is your story as a manager and how do you tell the stories of your orchestra?


Orchestra: Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Michail Jurowski

Soloist: Vadim Gluzman, violin

Gubaidulina: Offertorium, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Brahms: Symphony no 2


8:30-10:00 Panel session on topics such as today’s recruitment process, retirement and feedback processes, led by Gordon Alsing

10:00-10:15 Coffee break

10:15-11:15 Case studies from three Norwegian orchestras

Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra – "Kilden Dialogue”

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra – "Marketing and Outreach Strategy hand in hand”

11:15-11:30 Finish

11:30-12:30 Lunch back stage

On the last day of the conference, we will discuss topics from our daily lives as managers. Gordon

Alsing will lead us in the panel session. Finally, before we leave, we will present case

studies from three Norwegian orchestras.



To subscribe, send an email to Reidun Rygg, Reidun.Rygg[at]sso.no including the following information:



Place of employment

Contact information (e-mail address)

Conference fees

NOK 3.800,-

Registration deadline: August 14th.

Please transfer the conference fee to account:

For foreign bank transfer:

IBAN: NO 3681600721518


For Norwegian bank transfer

Den Danske Bank

Kontonr.: 8160.07.21518

Remember to specify your name on the bank transfer.

HOTEL: To book a room you can send an email to co.square[at]choice.no or call +47 51 56 80 00. The booking code is 1114GR000294.

The hotel is close to the Stavanger Concert Hall, where the conference takes place. Price for a single room, including breakfast is NOK 1200,- per night.