The Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) enjoys enormous respect and popularity among both audiences and professionals in Norway. Attesting to its reputation has been the increasing interest in engagement on the part of domestic and foreign young musicians. Made up of gifted, well-trained players, the orchestra’s repertoire encompasses classical, jazz, pop and rock music. KORK regularly performed at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival and the Oslo World Music Festival, as well as at numerous jazz events, yet its main focus and priority continues to be Norwegian and other European classical music. KORK primarily engages domestic conductors and soloists, to a far greater degree than other Norwegian orchestras.
The Norwegian Radio Orchestra was founded in 1946. The first principal conductor was Øivind Bergh, who held the post for three decades (1946–1976) and presented with it over 5,000 programmes. He was succeeded by Sverre Bruland (1976–1988), Avi Ostrowsky (1989–1992), Ari Rasilainen (1994–2002), Rolf Gupta (2003–2005), Thomas Søndergård (2009–2012) and Miguel Harth-Bedoya (2013–2020). In August 2020, the Czech Republic’s Petr Popelka was appointed KORK’s principal conductor.