Music Director Candidate Rune Bergmann joins the Grand Rapids Symphony for Brahms' German Requiem on November 20 - 21. Learn more about Rune, his background and his hobbies below!
It has been stated that Brahms’ Requiem is one
of your favorite choral works. What do you love about this piece?
What I love most about
Brahms’ Requiem is the purity it possesses and how clear it has been composed
and orchestrated. For me there is something very honest in the way Brahms
composes, and especially in this work. There is something about it that goes
straight to the heart.
In your opinion, what qualities make Nordic
Many composers have been
very inspired by nature, most famously, Mahler and Strauss, for instance. This
is also the case with most of the Nordic repertoire. Surrounded by a very
inspiring nature, combined with its culture and traditions often makes the most
well-known music easy to recognize.
As the Artistic
Director of the Fjord Cadenza Festival, how do you select classical, jazz and
fine artists for a successful festival lineup?
Our festival has an audience
with different interests and experience with concerts and classical music. It
is always a challenge to build a new audience, and for me it’s always a goal to
bring the beauty of classical music to those who haven’t had a chance to
experience the feeling and joy of a classical concert. In many ways we have been
able to present music at the highest level, and audience members who originally
came to see a jazz artist suddenly had the chance to encounter classical music
in a different way. This goes both ways, and I often meet people who believe
they don’t like certain music and genres. I always love to see someone’s face
when they realize what they have been missing all these years. That is probably
why the audience has been growing every year, and I always try to bring the
right artists who I know are able to bring the audience on the journey we have
invited them on.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in
I always had a special
interest for music, and often used my pocket money to buy classical recordings
instead of candy. I still have the first recordings I bought with Beethoven
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 and Mozart Symphonies Nos. 40 and 41. Everything started
from that moment. I grew up in a very small place, so I wasn’t exposed to live
music with the same possibilities that we have today. As a young boy, I will
never forget the day my father woke me up telling me that there was a New
Year’s Concert from Vienna on television. I sat down and was sold from the
first beat of the great Maestro Carlos Kleiber. I will never forget the feeling
seeing such a conductor for the first time. The music spoke straight to me, and
the way he communicated with the orchestra was unbelievable. At that moment I
told my parents that this is what I am going to do with my life. Coming from a
small place where conducting wasn’t even recognized as a profession they
probably thought I was a bit crazy, but not many years later my journey started
and it has brought me to some very exciting places around the world.
something you like to do in your spare time outside of music?
I love skiing. Nature,
mountains and snow is something I share with my family. I suppose this is quite
What are you most
looking forward to during your visit to Grand Rapids?
I am really looking forward
to meeting the musicians. First meetings are always very exciting for me
because we get to see if we have the chemistry that is needed to make magical
moments in music. I am, of course, also looking very much forward to seeing the
city and to meeting the audience, because without them there would be no
concerts. But I must say that the first meeting with a new orchestra is like a