Advent time is concert time in Oslo. Both professional ensembles such as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and amateur choirs and groups greet the Christmas season with special performances.
Based on our comprehensive Christmas concert calendar, we present some of the musical highlights of advent 2016, with different kinds of styles and artists represented.
Classical church concerts
Those who enjoy classical holiday music can choose between dozens of concerts, many of which are held in Oslo’s beautiful churches.
In Oslo Cathedral, you can hear the Oslo Cathedral Choir perform J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on 26 and 27 November. The renowned boys’ choir Sølvguttene holds its traditional Christmas concerts here 17 and 18 December.
On 10 December, the early music ensemble Norwegian Cornett & Sackbuts and Schola Cantorum hold a medieval Christmas concert in Old Aker church, a perfect spot to enjoy early music.
The singers in the acclaimed female choir Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening hold their classical Christmas concert in Uranienborg Church 15 December. And no Christmas without the Messiah: The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir and Barokkanerne Baroque Orchestra perform Handel's masterpiece in Ris Church 7 December.
Christmas in Oslo Rock City
Pre-Christmas Oslo offers several alternatives if you prefer el-guitars to violins (or want both).
Proud, and arguably rather peculiar, Oslo Rock City Christmas traditions include Sunturn's Christmas concert, Penthouse Playboys, Big Balls' Christmas concert, and Young Neils' Christmas show.
Perhaps you'd rather like some banjo for Christmas? On December 20 at John DEE, bluegrass/ country band Ila Auto holds its popular Christmas Banjo Show for the seventh year in a row.
In a holiday season dominated by tradition, music with an exotic touch is always refreshing. On 3 December, Hovedøen Social Club and guests visit Riksscenen with their Cuban-inspired versions of old classics, in a Christmas concert bound to be quite out of the ordinary.
Jazz and American big band Christmas
Jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft's 1997 release It's snowing on my piano became an instant classic. True to tradition, Wesseltoft performs his toned-down, instrumental interpretations of well-known Christmas songs at a concert in Oslo Concert Hall on 2 December.
Glen Miller Orchestra visits Oslo Konserthus with their big band Christmas classics on 5 December. If you are looking for more Irving Berlin and other American greats, we recommend singer Hilde Louise Asbjørnens’s groovy and slightly mischievous Christmas concert at Victoria – Nasjonal Jazzscene on 17 December.