Far north of the Arctic Circle you will find the world's youngest and most northern orchestra - The Arctic Philharmonic. Established in 2009, the orchestra went on to become one of Northern Norway's greatest cultural successes.

With a particular focus on the contemporary music scene, the Arctic Philharmonic has made a name for itself as an artistic, creative and experimental hub for Norway's northern region having had several major world premieres to date - from operas to symphonies.

Despite the breadth of the orchestra's repertoire, it doesn't lose its connection to the local area, neither musically nor visually. The Arctic Philharmonic's musical roots are deeply set in the towns of Bodø and Tromsø, where both the musicians and the music play up to the raw nature that the land of the midnight sun represents.

At NJORD 2020, the Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta will perform for the first time on Danish soil. They are this year's ensemble-in-residence and in addition to their concerts, they will be involved in a collaborative workshop and concert with the Royal Danish Academy of Music.


Flautist Maiken Mathisen Schau (b. 1970) was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 1995 and debuted from the soloist's class in both Copenhagen and Aalborg. Schau also studied in London with the renowned flautist Jonathan Snowden.

Already during her studies she was a soloist with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and won the award as debutant of the year at the festival games in Northern Norway. She has since been a frequent guest on Norwegian radio and TV and has received fantastic reviews both nationally and internationally.

Since 1999 she has been employed as a flautist in The Royal Norwegian Marine Music Corps and is a highly sought-after chamber musician and soloist. She has performed a number of Norwegian works, contributed to over 40 CD recordings and performed at several major festivals both at home and abroad. Maiken Mathisen Schau also plays in the Norwegian Sinfonietta Ensemble Ernst.

At the NJORD Biennale 2020, Maiken Mathisen Schau will perform the flute solo in Lasse Thoresen's PRISON POEMS.



Mogen Dahl (born 1953) is a conductor and the founder of the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir, a choir that has established itself as one of Scandinavia’s leading vocal ensembles. He has a master’s degree in music from the University of Aarhus, in conducting from the Royal Academy of Music, and has also studied with Eric Ericson and Jorma Panula.

Dahl has conducted numerous TV, radio, and stage productions in Denmark and abroad. As a conductor, he is known for his exceptional understanding of the distinctive qualities in vocal music and has received excellent reviews all over Scandinavia.

In 2005, Mogens Dahl realised his long-time dream and established the Mogens Dahl Concert Hall in Copenhagen, which has become a well-known venue for prestigious chamber music series featuring acclaimed, international artists.

Many of Mogens Dahl’s pioneering projects are based on newly composed works dedicated to the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir by some of Scandinavia’s leading composers. The choir’s latest CD also attests to this, as it is a recording of Nordic Mass for choir and cello, which was specially written for the choir by Sven-David Sandström and performed for the first time at the Bergen International Festival in 2014. 

Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir opens this year’s NJORD Biennale with a varied Nordic programme where both solo vocalists and the entire ensemble will treat the audience to spectacular vocal performances of the highest quality. 



Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir is a professional choir ensemble of carefully selected vocalists from the Nordic countries. The choir was founded in 2005 by conductor Mogens Dahl and has since then become one of the most prominent classic ensembles in the region. Artistically, the ensemble is rooted in the Nordic acapella tradition, but because of its mission to continually engage with and affect the contemporary scene and the future of Nordic vocal music, the choir is constantly challenging its members, looking for fresh ideas.  


Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir often performs new compositions by established, Nordic composers, written especially for the ensemble. For instance, the choir premiered Sven-David Sandström’s Nordic Mass at Bergen International Festival in 2014 and The Passion of St. John in Konzerthaus Berlin in 2016.


Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir will open this year’s NJORD Biennale with a varied Nordic programme where both solo vocalists and the entire ensemble will treat the audience to spectacular vocal performances of the highest quality.      


Nordic Voices (NO)

Nordic Voices are an innovative and award winning six-voice a cappella group from Norway.

Formed in 1996, Nordic voices comprises of six graduates from the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Norwegian Academy of Opera. 

Known for their artistic creativity, versatility, technical precision and charismatic stage presence, a concert with Nordic Voices will often explore a wider than usual spectrum of musical expression, from plainchant and sacred religious texts, to newly commissioned works by Norwegian composers and compositions with electronic amplification, sampling and video-art.

In addition to regular concerts in Oslo and around Norway, their recent concert tours have included visits to South-America, Spain, Germany and regular tours of the USA.

Their numerous recordings on the Chandos label have been well received and were nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Awards (Spellemannprisen) in both 2007 and 2008.

Peter Herresthal (NO)

På NJORD 2020 optræder Herrestahl med Eivind Buenes VIOLINKONCERT (2013) og Kaija Saariahos VERS TOI QUI ES SI LOIN (2018). 

The award-winning Norwegian violinist Peter Herresthal (b. 1970) has performed with orchestras and ensembles all over the world. From Melbourne to Vienna with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, to London with the BBC Philharmonic and London Sinfonietta.

Herresthal is known for his virtuosic solos and respectful interpretations of some of the greatest contemporary violin pieces. He has worked closely with composers such as Per Nørgård, Thomas Ades, Kaija Saariaho, Henri Dutilleux and Arne Nordheim.

Most recently, he toured Europe and the United States with the aria Vers toi qui es si loin, written specifically for Herrestahl by composer Kaija Saariaho, alongside her violin concerto Graal Theatre.

Herrestahl is also a professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music and guest lecturer at the Royal College of Music in London and New York University. Since the fall of 2019, Herresthal has also taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. 

Herrestahl plays on a GB Guadagnini from 1753.

At NJORD 2020, Herrestahl will perform Eivind Buene’s VIOLINKONCERT (2013) and Kaija Saariaho’s VERS TOI QUI ES SI LOIN (2018).


Tanja Zapolski is one of the most talented pianists in the classical music scene.

Since her debut in 2008, she has received praise for her intense and expressive piano playing. No style or context is too narrow, unusual or mainstream for Tanja Zapolski, whose repertoire ranges from baroque or romantic to pop and electronics.

Tanja has performed as a soloist with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Royal Danish Orchestra, as well as the Oslo, Helsingborg, Odense, Aarhus and South Jutland Symphony Orchestras.

Her open-minded and inquisitive approach to music has not only led her to travel around the world, but also to play in surprising constellations and win a sea of awards and honors such as "The Name of the Week" at P2, first prize in the Nordic Talents competition, the Gladsaxe Music Prize and the Wihelm Hansens Prize.

At NJORD 2020, Tanja will perform as a soloist for the late night concert concept LIG & LYT.

Tim Weiss (US)

På NJORD 2020 vil Tim Weiss føre dirigentstokken, når Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta optræder som årets ensemble-in-residence. 

Conductor Timothy Weiss has received numerous accolades for his performances and daring programmes in his native United States as well as the rest of the world. His repertoire of contemporary art music is large and fearless. It ranges from classical masterpieces to newly written compositions.

For more than two decades, Weiss has been involved with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, which, under his leadership, has proven able to compete with some of the largest orchestras around the world. He received the Adventures Programming Award from The League of American Orchestras for his work. 

Recently, Weiss has been appointed artistic director of the Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta in Bodø, Norway, in addition to his duties as a professor at Oberlin Music Conservatory.

At NJORD 2020, Tim Weiss will lead the way with this year's ensemble-in-residence, the Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta.

NJORD | Jan 30 – Feb 02 2020 | Copenhagen

NJORD is Copenhagen's biennale for new Nordic music and art. The biennale brings together composers, visual artists, musicians, poets, and directors in Nordic collaboration on a number of cross-artistic projects.