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O Frondens Virga (arranged by Nikolai Matthews)


Symphony No. 49 in F minor, La Passione

Clarinet Concerto in A Major

Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Grete Pedersen conductor
Thomas Carroll
basset clarinet

About This Concert

A concert of contrasts that opens with the delicate medieval music of Hildegard von Bingen and the gentle ebbs and flows of Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte. Haydn’s Symphony is a whirlwind, while Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto encompasses sweetness, melancholy and drama—with a bit of cheekiness too. The concert ends with a beginning: the delightful overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, sending you home with a smile on your face.


Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
7:30 PM
First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto
7:30 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley
2:30 PM
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Grete Pedersen

The Norwegian conductor Grete Pedersen is one of the most renowned conductors in the international choral scene. Since 1990 Grete Pedersen is Music Director of the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir whose recordings were awarded the ‘Choc de la Musique’, ‘Prix d’Or’ from Diapason and a ‘Record of the year’ by Gramophone. In September 2022 she has been appointed as Artistic Director of the Carmel Bach Festival, USA, for five years.

She lately took part in the project The Nordic Choir Expedition with her choir together with Ars Nova Copenhagen, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and Helsinki Chamber Choir featuring the first performance of Galina Grigorjeva: Between the Earth and Skies and with music by Werle, Strauss, Taube, Janson, Melläs, Nyström, Martland, Eriksson in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo.

Forthcoming highlights include engagements with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Slovenian Philharmonic & Choir (Brahms: Requiem) and concerts with The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir at festivals in Sion and Merano, apart from her commitments at Carmel Bach Festival 2023 with Mahler: Symphony No. 4, Karin Rehnqvist: Breaking the Ice from Arktis Arktis!, Haydn: The Creation among others.

Grete Pedersen is a demanded guest conductor and has worked with choirs and orchestras such as Eric Ericson Kammerchor, Swedish Radio Choir, Danish National Vocal Ensemble & Choir, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, NDR Vokalensemble Hamburg, MDR Radio Choir Leipzig, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Chamber Choir Ireland, Dunedin Consort, Pro Coro Canada etc.

She has led oratorios and choral symphonic works by J.S. Bach, Haydn, Bruckner, Bernstein and Berio with leading Norwegian orchestras, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Yale Camerata, Oslo Sinfonietta, Ensemble Allegria and Gulbenkian Orchestra & Choir.

BIS Records has released numerous award-winning recordings by Grete Pedersen and the Norwegian Soloists Choir with works by Per Norgard, Kaija Saariaho, Fartein Valen, Alfred Janson, Knut Nystedt, Nils Henrik Asheim, Lars Petter Hagen, Edvard Grieg, Iannis Xenakis, Helmut Lachenmann, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen, Anton Webern, Brahms, Schubert, J.S. Bach and Norwegian Folk Music. Her albums of Luciano Berio: Coro and J.S. Bach: Motets were awarded the Diapason d’Or in the years 2020 and 2018. Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir lately received the renowned Spellermann Prize for their album Lament (compositions by Lars Petter Hagen, Nils Henrik Asheim and Arne Nordheim) on BIS Records. The latest album release was in 2023 with Bent Sorensen: Matthew Passion with Ensemble Allegria and The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir.

Pedersen’s name stands for productions and stagings with wide stylistic variety. Her contrasting concert programmes are known to often be a rather radical mixture. In addition to premiering contemporary musical works, her efforts have increasingly been directed towards larger productions for choir and orchestra.

At the start of her musical studies, Grete Pedersen founded the Oslo Chamber Choir in 1984 and worked with them for 20 years particularly with oratorio repertoire and contemporary music. She studied Norwegian folk music and has learnt from folk musicians and their traditions. Today she is considered a pioneer for her work bringing folk music to new settings and for the arrangements based on these roots. This is notwithstanding always challenging the tradition. As a church musician educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Grete Pedersen was a part of the movement of historical informed performances from the beginning of the 1980s and has worked amongst others with the Freiburger Barockorchester, Oslo Bach Ensemble, Norwegian Barokkanerne, Barokksolistene, Drottningholm Barokkensemble.

On the contemporary scene Grete Pedersen is known as an unafraid advocate for new music and has commissioned and performed numerous pieces by leading composers. One example is Bach in our time– a project over three years where composers James MacMillan, Lasse Thoresen, and Stefan Schleiermacher composed new music in dialogue with Bach’s B minor Mass.

In 2019, Grete Pedersen was appointed Knight 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian St. Olavs Order for her merit and outstanding achievements in the arts and was awarded the distinguished Lindeman Prize to honour her significant contribution to the musical life of Norway.

She teaches as a professor in conducting at the Norwegian State Academy of Music since 1996 and is a sought-after teacher for masterclasses.

basset clarinet

Thomas Carroll

With a sound described as “beautifully warm” (Herald Times) and “sweet and agile” (New York Times), period clarinetist and instrument builder Thomas Carroll performs extensively throughout North America and Europe on historical instruments. He holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, and The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, where his major teacher on early clarinets and chalumeaux was Eric Hoeprich.

Internationally, Thomas has performed as principal clarinet with period instrument orchestras in venues ranging from the Kozerthaus in Berlin to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He has been featured as a soloist with American Bach Soloists, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, Lyra Baroque, Ensemble ad Libitum, Boston Baroque, and Grand Harmonie to critical acclaim. Thomas performs as principal clarinet with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Teatro Nuovo, and German-based L’Arte del Mondo, frequently collaborating with other early music specialists throughout North America including the Clarion Music and Handel and Haydn Societies, Sonoma Bach, and Musica Angelica. As an arranger of Harmoniemusik for period instruments, his transcriptions have been performed by Grand Harmonie, On Site Opera, and the Atlanta Opera. Eager to combine active scholarship with performance, Thomas is the co-founder with flutist Andrea Leblanc of Arpeggione, a chamber ensemble taking inspiration from the celebrated history of Boston’s Mendelssohn Quintette Club, performing transcriptions and arrangements of large-scale works as they were originally heard on the American stage in the second half of the 19th Century.

As an educator, Thomas is dedicated to training the next generation of historical clarinetists and cultivating an interest in performance practice and hands-on research. He has given guest lectures and masterclasses at universities throughout the United States and maintains a private studio of historical clarinet students. He is also a faculty member at the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Brazil.

An interest in instrument mechanics and acoustics has led Thomas to a secondary career as an instrument builder and extensive research into 18th and 19th century wood treatment and seasoning. He builds chalumeaux, baroque, and classical clarinets, and basset instruments for use in historically-informed performance ensembles in his Boston workshop, which are played throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.