SSO warms up winter with international stars

*Video courtesy Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

“It doesn’t matter which part of the world I’m in, it’s all about connecting with the people and finding the passion and beauty within the music.”

He could take the podium anywhere in the world and now, Rune Bergmann will be the guest of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. The critically-acclaimed, Norwegian conductor will lead the SSO in Idea of North.

Bergmann says the program will celebrate the nature and beauty of the north. (Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra)

“I’ve heard great things about this orchestra and all they’ve been able to accomplish,” says Bergmann. “A boring orchestra is no fun. I know they bring incredible energy to every performance, push boundaries, and I have high expectations of making great music.”

This performance is a celebration of Scandinavian composers featuring one of the most celebrated classical pianists of the 21st Century, Jan Lisiecki. This pair has performed all over the world and reuniting with Lisiecki was too good to pass up.

“A performance like this is like a ski jump, there’s no half-way.”

“A performance like this is like a ski jump, there’s no half-way,” says Bergmann, “You have to be all in, to go for it and Jan goes for it every time.”

Lisiecki makes his triumphant return to the SSO stage with Grieg’s Piano Concerto. (Christoph Köstlin)

Bergmann splits his time as Artistic Director & Chief Conductor of Poland’s Szczecin Philharmonic and the Calgary Philharmonic. In between, he guest conducts orchestras all over the world. Dropping in to perform with orchestras requires a special kind of person with a balance of strong leadership and good people skills. Something Bergmann has in spades.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s about connecting with the people and the music. It’s like going on a first date,” he explains. “You have to find a way to communicate. That first rehearsal, we play the entire work from start to finish. I listen to what the musicians have to offer and adjust my conducting. We need to find the same flow and language together and that makes for a beautiful performance.”

The program will feature Lisiecki and the orchestra in Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.16. It’s a piece Lisiecki has been touring with this season. The orchestra will also be presenting Jean Sebelius’ Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39. Both pieces explore the beauty of nature and the resiliency of people in northern climates. How the environment and its beauty shapes us all.

“I hope the audience will join us on a journey through Finland and Norway; the weather, the landscape that you can feel so clearly in all of this music,” says Bergmann. “The most beautiful apart of this music is people can write their own story. This music has something for everyone and I hope it’s a massage for the soul, that they say, ‘Wow! That’s exactly what I needed right now.’”



Saturday Feb. 11, 2023


TCU Place

Tickets $44 – $94

This performance will also be available on

For all the details, follow this link.