The Norwegian champion Eikanger-Bjørsvik has just rounded off their banding season with a touch of Gallic flamboyance after they linked up with French conductor Florent Didier for a concert in Bergen.
The event was held at Bergen University in front of a capacity audience who thoroughly enjoyed repertoire that included works by Berlioz, Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saens, Massenet, Widor and Offenbach.
Speaking to 4BR Florent said: "I had a really great time with the band. During the rehearsals and the concert the players were so responsive and I was thrilled by the way they were able to create so many French inspired colours, atmospheres and moods! The soloists and ensemble were superb. It was an honour to conduct the band."
In response a band spokesperson added: "This turned out to be a very successful collaboration, and the band really hopes to welcome Didier back in the not too distant future."
Eikanger has also enjoyed teaming up with renowned trombonist Lito Fontana for their recent appearance at the prestigious Innsbrucker Promenadenkonzerte Festival held at the city's famous Hofburg Palace.
The 90 minute afternoon set in front of another packed audience (who demanded quite a few encores) included solos from principal cornet Stanley Westh, soprano Jon-Vegar Sole Sundal, euphonium Lars Otto Torsvik, solo horn Hilde Øian and solo trombone Vidar Nordli.
This turned out to be a very successful collaboration, and the band really hopes to welcome Didier back in the not too distant futureEikanger Bjorsvik Band
Speaking to 4BR about the visit by the Norwegians, Lito Fontana said: "The organisers have a policy of invited the very best concert ensembles and brass bands in the world, with Black Dyke, Tredegar and now Eikanger in the past three years.
The news that Eikanger would be performing was announced as one of the highlights of the 2019 season and under Reid Gilje's wonderful direction they proved to be that and more!
As you can imagine, the audience really loved their clever Mozart medley. It was fantastico!"