AFS 2024 Speakers

Anders Beyer

CEO & Artistic Director - Bergen International Festival

Anders Beyer joined the Bergen International Festival in 2012 after four years as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Copenhagen Opera Festival.

Prior to this, the Festival's Danish director was also CEO and Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen and Athelas New Music Festival.

Beyer’s career embraces artistic leadership within all art forms. He has a solid record as a commissioner of new music, theatre and dance projects, and of developing major programming initiatives in collaboration with a number of the world’s leading artists, performing groups and arts centres.

During his time in Bergen, he has created new productions with directors and choreographers including Peter Konwitschny, Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, Vegard Vinge & Ida Müller, Sasha Waltz, Kim Brandstrup, Christoph Marthaler and Calixto Bieito.

Throughout his career, Beyer has worked closely with composers of our time and has been responsible for numerous commissions. He has achieved significant results with projects together with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, Unsuk Chin, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Sofia Gubaidulina, Per Nørgård and Kaija Saariaho.

Beyer began his professional career as a pianist, and started performing, recording and touring as a soloist and accompanist in his teens. He studied music and philosophy at the University of Copenhagen and graduated in Musical Science in 1985, after which he worked as a lecturer at the university. While teaching at the university, Beyer also worked as music editor and critic at the newspaper Dagbladet Information from 1995 to 2004. His knowledge of, and indeed his passion for, European musical culture have resulted in a large number of books, articles in international periodicals, and translations of German musicology and more.

However varied Beyer’s cultural work has been, it has always been fueled by his will to explore new ways of presenting art to audiences. According to Beyer, the ground rule for winning present-day audiences over is aiming to present the most sublime art, performed by the greatest performers. The key words are professionalism, commitment, dialogue, and challenge.

Beyer has shown that collaboration across the divides of culture and genre, as well as the establishment of networks and alliances between institutions working within the same area, can produce tremendous and significant results. His artistic reputation both nationally and internationally comes from an outstanding 30-year career that includes collaborative projects with the most prolific musicians, singers, composers, conductors, directors, and dancers in the world.

During his first tenure as Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Bergen International Festival, Beyer launched a turnaround for the festival, giving it a new visual identity and achieving a 100% increase in first-time visitors, resulting in the highest volume of ticket sales in the festival's recorded history. From 2012 to 2016 the number of festival visits from near and far grew to over 125 000, which is no mean feat in a city that is home to barely 280 000 inhabitants. In 2016 Beyer’s term was extended to include the 2022 Festival.

Beyer leads the Bergen International Festival into an exciting new period of international excellence, and brings a commitment to community, learning and participation to the 2019–2022 Festivals.

Anders Beyer