Finnish humppa, Icelandic Revolution and Swedish legend's 50th birthday! more
Philosophers Alain Badiou and Antonio Negri announced at Ultima Academy 2014 more
Thank you! Images from Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival 2013 more
OFF - ROAD: Festival director Lars Petter Hagen on this years theme more
ultima 1927 more
Ultima hits New York 23–26 April 2014 more
Welcome to Ultima 2013!
We have the pleasure of presenting the programme for this years Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. The festival is being arranged in Oslo from 5–14 september.
In the calendar to the right you’ll find the full programme.


Tickets for the concerts can be bought at Billettservice.

coming soon

Ultima 2014

This year’s Ultima festival will be arranged in Oslo from 10–20 September 2014.

2014 is the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, and under the theme “Nation”, the festival will focus on how a local musical identity is expressed in the context of an international, digital world.



In 2014, the Nordic Music Days will also be arranged in collaboration with Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.

Read more about NMD/Call for works here

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Welcome to Ultima 2013!
We have the pleasure of presenting the programme for this years Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. The festival is being arranged in Oslo from 5–14 september.
In the calendar to the right you’ll find the full programme.


Tickets for the concerts can be bought at Billettservice.

Welcome to ULTIMA ACADEMY 2013

Ultima Academy is an international symposium that takes place each year during Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. A program of lectures, workshops and debates offers music enthusiasts, professionals and students insight into the connection between contemporary music theory and practice.


Contemporary music is a complex field in constant transformation: increasingly, new media and other art forms are integrated into musical practice, changing the way we make music, the way we perceive it and how we talk about it. This year, we will present new ways of staging music and give a retro-/prospective look into instrument design.

With Hans-Thies Lehmann, Peter Weibel, Alvin Lucier, Björn Gottstein,Tora Augestad, Simon Steen-Andersen, Trond Reinholdtsen, Heiner Goebbels, Robert Henke, Ole Henrik Moe, Stefan Prins, Alf van der Hagen, Ensemble musikFabrik, Hild Borchgrevink, Eugeniusz Rudnik, Tellef Kvifte, Jøran Rudi, Markus Aust, Marek Zwyrzikowski, Beate Schüler, Alwynne Pritchard, Mats Claesson, Amund Sveen, Alvise Vidolin, Christina Lindgren,Tore Vagn Lid, Erling Guldbrandsen, Valentina Carrasco and Alfons Flores (La Fura dels Baus), Ensemble Nadar, Peter Edwards, Alexander Jensenius, Christian Blom.

In partnership with the Norwegian Society of Composers, the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, NOTAM, Ny Musikk and the University of Oslo – Institute of Musicology.

Practical information

Full programme and updated information on Academy’s website.


The official Academy hotel is Cochs Pensjonat in the heart of Oslo. Until June 22nd you can book single/double or group rooms (also w/kitchen) for a discounted price. Get in touch with for more information.

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The programme for this years Ultima Festival will be launched the 7th of June.

The Festival will take place all over Oslo from the 5th – 14th of September.

Welcome back!

coming soon

Finnish humppa, Icelandic Revolution and Swedish legend's 50th birthday! more

Finland + oompah + tango = HumppAvanti!

Avanti! Ensemble

Friday 19 September

Vulkan Arena

HumppAvanti! is a musical laboratory cooked up by 13 musicians from the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. It started as an in-joke, playing Finnish humppa (‘oompah’) music of the 1950s and 60s and parodying other crossover music projects. You would have thought that humppa – a type of dance music popular decades ago – was the kind of ghastly kitsch that was the total opposite of everything these avant garde improvisers and performers stood for. But it turned out to be a great platform for the band to enjoy complete freedom. The HumppAvanti! style can suddenly switch from free atonality to old-school dance music to klezmer – anything goes. Every HumppAvanti! show is a special case: a free-spirited hoedown and a real adventure for open-minded listeners and music lovers.

Tickets: 150/100 NOK, available soon.


The colonization and liberation of Iceland

David Brynjar Franzson Longitude

Wednesday 17 September

Vulkan Arena

New York based Icelandic composer David Brynjar Franzson presents his new chamber opera at this year’s Ultima festival. Longitude, a new interdisciplinary work, is inspired by the early 19th century colonization and liberation of Iceland, and the life of Jørgen Jørgensen, the controversial leader of the Icelandic Revolution. Longitude is made in collaboration with Ensemble Adapter, Halldor Ulfarsson, Davyde Wachell and Angela Rawlings.

Franzson and Wachell about Longitude

Tickets: 200/150 NOK, available soon.

This marks the start of Nordic Music Days 2014, which Ultima together with Norwegian Society of Composers, is hosting this year.


EMS – 50th Anniversary

Thursday 18 September

Venue TBA

One of the most important arenas for European electronic music is 50 years old this year. Since 1964, EMS Elektronmusikstudion has been the centre of Swedish electroacoustic music and sound art. Besides EMS promoting Swedish electronic music internationally, EMS offers professional studio space and supports the development of electroacoustic music and its integration within other arts. Some of the genre’s most important works have been made in their studio. EMS will be celebrating its 50th birthday with a concert at Ultima featuring music composed and performed by Hanna Hartman and Erik Bünger.

Tickets available soon

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Philosophers Alain Badiou and Antonio Negri announced at Ultima Academy 2014 more

Ultima Academy is a symposium on contemporary music held within Oslo’s Ultima Festival of Contemporary Music. In addition to presenting artists and events featured in the festival, the symposium strives to place ideas and discourse around contemporary music in a broader social and philosophical context. 

Exploring this year’s festival theme, Nation, Ultima Academy has invited distinguished artists, critics and scholars to discuss concepts of power, ideology, and cultural identity and their connections with artistic practice and ethics. Among our guests are philosophers Antonio Negri and Alain Badiou, Slovenian art/music collective Laibach, and Ensemble Modern.

Ultima Academy 2014 will take place between 10–19 September 2014. A detailed programme will be available on Ultima Academy’s blog very soon. For now, save the dates…

Follow Ultima Academy on Facebook and the website.

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ultima 1927 more

Since 2009, graphic design studio NODE Berlin Oslo has been responsible for creating Ultima’s visual identity. As we introduce some adjustments to our signature font, we asked NODE designer Anders Hofgaard to tell us the idea behind the Ultima / Nordic Music Days design:

When Ultima asked us to create a new identity for the festival back in 2012, we chose to focus on contemporary music’s modernist roots. More specifically, we focused on the earlier – and perhaps more experimental – phase of modernity. We were fascinated by the early incarnations of Paul Renner’s Futura font – one of the most successful typefaces connected to the ‘New Typography’ movement.

The earliest version of Futura, released in 1927, featured alternate glyphs with radically new designs of letters such as ‘a’, ‘m’ and ‘r’ – based on geometrical design principles rather than the traditional shapes derived from handwriting and calligraphy.

The first such digitized font that we tried for the Ultima identity was called ‘Futura Classic’ – a name that we found rather appropriate for a contemporary music festival. It was, however, not a very well made font, so we ended up using The Foundry’s Archetype Renner.

We were recently approached by Austrian type-designer Stefan Ellmer, who had been working on a version based on some of Renner’s earliest drawings of Futura. The experimentalism, innovations and ‘unpolished’ feel were even more present in these first attempts by Renner, and we seized the opportunity to develop a custom-made font – ‘ultima 1927’ – that will be one of the cornerstones of the visual identity of Ultima and Nordic Music Days 2014.

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Ultima hits New York 23–26 April 2014 more

Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival will descend on New York this April, in collaboration with ISSUE Project Room and the Norwegian Society of Composers.

Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival is the largest contemporary music festival in the Nordic region. This year’s Ultima, taking ‘The Nation’ as its theme, will take place in Oslo between 10–20 September.
We are also hosting Nordic Music Days together with the Norwegian Society of Composers during Ultima 2014, the most important international meeting point for Nordic contemporary music.

This special Ultima New York event is the perfect opportunity to encounter some of the most exciting and challenging contemporary music and past and present avant garde sounds from the Nordic countries.

Save the dates! More information will follow.

Wednesday 23 April

ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn
Catherine Christer Hennix: Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage
Cathrine Christer Hennix ensemble
Thursday 24 April
ISSUE Project Room
Øyvind Torvund: The Stacks
Simon Steen-Andersen: Rerendered
Anna Thorvaldsdottir/Sigurdur Gudjònsson: Trajectories
* * *
Jacob Kirkegaard presents Else Marie Pade’s Faust & other electronic pieces

Friday 25 April
ISSUE Project Room
Ne(x)tworks Chamber Group
Arne Nordheim: Vevnad 
Shelley Burgon: Conchoidal
Kristin Norderval: Re-Play #4: Name Piece
* * *
Anton Lukoszevieze with Ne(x)tworks: Henning Christiansen Requiem of Art (NYC) Fluxorum Organum
Saturday 26 April
Unitarian Church of Downtown Brooklyn
Antti Tolvi: Solo piano
Lubomyr Melnyk: Solo piano
* * *
ISSUE Project Room
Frode Haltli – Accordion
Hans Abrahamsen: Air
Magnar Åm: On the Banks of the Eternal Second
Arne Nordheim: Flashing
Aldo Clementi: Ein kleines…

* * *
Serena-Maneesh and Vocal Ensemble: Somnambulism (2013)

With Emil Nikolaisen, Ådne Meisfjord, Kristian Rangnes, Brede Rørstad, Sir Toby Dammit & Special Guest. Visuals by Pop & Fjerdingstad


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Ultima is the premiere contemporary music festival in the Nordic region. The festival became a designated “knutepunkt” (cultural hub) in 2006 and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and Oslo City Council. Ultima is a foundation with 17 members, all of them professional cultural institutions or organisations.

The festival takes place during September and is staged at venues all around Oslo. Our events are staged both in large, established venues such as the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo Concert Hall and the University of Oslo’s Great Hall as well as in small clubs, shop premises, industrial premises, museums, schools and outdoors.

The Ultima Festival aims to promote artistic distinctiveness, trends and innovation and to make music of a high artistic standard accessible by everyone.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon is the patron of Ultima.


The Ultima Foundation has a council comprising 17 members. Their efforts and contributions make it possible to arrange Ultima and to make it such a successful festival of contemporary music year after year.

BIT20 Ensemble

Black Box Teater

Den Norske Opera & Ballett

Det Norske Kammerorkester

Det Norske Solistkor

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Institutt for musikkvitenskap

Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo


Norges musikkhøgskole

Norsk Komponistforening


NRK, Kringkastingsorkestret


Oslo Domkor


Oslo Sinfonietta og Cikada


The upcoming festival happens 10–20 September 2014.


Artistic Director

Financial Manager
M +47 90 60 66 81

Project Manager
M +47 97 58 43 21

Head of Information
M +47 93 00 93 42

Educational Projects Coordinator
M +47 45 66 78 73

Festival coordinator
M +47 46 42 55 07


Ultima’s board of directors in 2014:

Odd Gullberg, Chairman of the Board
Donatella De Paoli, Member
Henrik Hellstenius, Member
Audun Hasti, Member
Cathrine Pia Lund, Member
Eva Fredrikke Dahr, Substitute
Eivind Lorentzen, Substitute
Janne Stang Dahl, Substitute
Klaus Sandvik, Substitute


Visit: Ultima, Øvre Slottsgate 3, N-0157 Oslo
Post: c/o Sentralen, Postboks 183 Sentrum, 0102 Oslo, Norway



Tickets for Ultima 2014 HERE

Buy your tickets to concerts at

Ordered tickets can be picked up at the post office, ‘Post i butikk’, Narvesen, and 7Eleven.

Single tickets: Please view information about each specific performance.

Full price and discounts (students, elderly, unemployment etc.) is available.

NB! Sold out! Book early, as we expect performances to be sold out. To make sure you get a seat using punch tickets, please arrive ahead of time before the performance begins.



join us

We need talented, enthusiastic volunteers to help with production, marketing, tickets sales, assisting at the venues and other odd jobs before and during the festival. Are you interested in being a volunteer?

Registerform here

Are you interested in hearing more about sponsoring opportunities? Contact us at

If you would like to make an artistic contribution to Ultima, submit your programme ideas to We usually receive a large number of program ideas, so please bear with us if it takes time before you receive a reply.