Broader backing for the best

English21. September 2015

The 1B1 classical music ensemble backed by the Kavli Trust since 2013 has now also won support from Talent Norge, the government’s programme for developing artistic virtuosity.

1B12Young string players in south-western Norway make up the ensemble, which was established when Stavanger served as a European capital of culture in 2008.

It provides a structure for mentor-pupil cooperation between established musicians and talented youngsters, based on collaboration agreements with universities and cultural schools in Stavanger, Bergen and Agder.


Established this January by the Ministry of Culture, Talent Norge AS has chosen 1B1 as its first project. The young musicians will thereby receive NOK 1.5 million over three years.

In addition, the ensemble is receiving grants of NOK 500 000 apiece from the Kavli Trust, Sparebankstiftelsen SR-Bank and the Cultiva Foundation in 2015.

The intention of these donors is to support 1B1 with a corresponding amount in 2016 and 2017 – giving it NOK 9 million over the three-year period. That represents one of the biggest-ever commitments to classical music by young performers in south-western Norway.

“What we find particularly attractive about 1B1 is the collaboration between universities, upper secondary schools and cultural schools,” explains Inger Lise Iversen, general manager of the Kavli Trust.

“With our support, they’re creating new and important arenas while cultivating talented youngsters. So we want to continue our financial backing for the ensemble.”


According to Talent Norge, it has been established to encourage viable, outstanding artistic achievement which will lead to increased international professionalisation and recognition.

The company emphasises that it represents a commitment cutting across the educational and cultural sectors, in a collaboration between private and public players.

“We’ve been able to combine private funding with government support in an exciting collaboration,” says chair John G Bernander.

“The goal is to help the best performers to progress through an organisation and a method which has shown positive results. We’re proud to be involved in lifting 1B1 and its work up, ahead and out.”


The ensemble won Norway’s Spelleman Award this year for the best classical recording. Its Holberg Variations were released in 2014 with pianists Christian Ihle Hadland and Erlend Skomsvoll.

And it is due to perform the Hubble Cantata in New York next year, before setting out on a European tour.

“We’ve had an ambition from the start to help change the way classical music is performed and listened to,” explains Jan Bjøranger, artistic director of the 1B1

“Attainment of our goals has suddenly moved much closer. The grant means we can expand our activities both locally and internationally.

“That’ll help us to encourage the development of talented youngsters and to create a unique environment for collaboration and progress at a high artistic level.”

Talent Norge’s contribution will be used in part to fulfil 1B1’s desire to strengthen and expand its commitment to talented young people and newly qualified musicians in south-west Norway.

In addition to ensemble performance and mentoring, plans call for more master sessions and fixed concert series. Selected musicians will gain personal exposure through concerts in Norway and abroad.

All photos: 1B1


1B1 website

Talent Norge (in Norwegian only)