London WC2N 4JJ
Taken from the forests around Oslo, the magnificent tree has been presented to London by the people of Norway every year since 1947, as a token of friendship and thanks for Britain’s support during World War II. Read more about Thursday’s lighting ceremony here.
To mark the installation of the tree, the Norwegian Embassy and Statoil have, since 1996, held an annual concert in Trafalgar Square’s iconic church, St Martin-in-the-Fields. For this year’s event, two of Norway’s most talented artists have each been selected to lead half of the concert.
For the first half, violin virtuosa Guro Kleven Hagen will perform Schuman’s Violin Sonata No 1 in A minor and Greig’s Violin Sonata No 1 in F Major, accompanied by Håvard Gimse on piano. Despite her youth, Hagen’s talent has earned her worldwide recognition and numerous international awards. Her debut with the Oslo Philharmonic in 2011/12 launched an exciting solo career that has seen her perform with orchestras in Norway, Estonia, Poland, Austria, Russia and Germany.
The second half of the concert is led by Håvard Kornstad, whose bold and expansive repertoire has firmly established him as one of Norway’s leading musicians. The Kornstad Ensemble combine the energy and innovation of jazz with the intimacy of chamber music, and Kornstad’s own virtuosity as both a master of the saxophone and a gifted operatic tenor ensures that this year’s annual concert will be one to remember.
Both artists will also be performing at the church’s free lunchtime preview at 1pm–2pm earlier in the day.