Rune Bergmann

Rune Bergmann is the Calgary Philharmonic Music Director and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland.

An energetic and compelling figure on the podium, Norwegian conductor Rune Bergmann (pronounced Rue-na Bairg-mahn) is a dynamic, versatile conductor with an extensive classical, romantic, operatic and contemporary repertoire. Considered among today’s most talented young Scandinavian conductors, his elegant interpretations and reputation as an inspiring and profound musician continue to attract the attention of orchestras throughout the world.

Principal guest conductor of Lithuania’s Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra since 2013, and artistic director of Norway’s innovative Fjord Cadenza Festival since its inception in 2010, among the distinguished orchestras and opera houses abroad with which Maestro Bergmann has developed relationships are the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian National Opera, Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, and Philharmonie Südwestfalen, as well as the symphony orchestras of Malmö, Helsingborg, Bergen, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Trondheim, Karlskrona, and Odense, and Lisbon’s Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa. In North America, he has guested with such orchestras as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (where he led the world premiere of Grawemeyer Award-winning Serbian composer Djuro Zivkovic’s Psalm XIII), Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Houston Symphony Orchestras, the Calgary and New Mexico Philharmonics, and the Brevard Music Festival.

A multi-talented musician who also plays trumpet, piano, and violin/viola, Rune Bergmann studied choir and orchestral conducting under Anders Eby, Jin Wang and Jorma Panula at Sweden’s Royal College of Music. He graduated with high honours from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where he studied conducting under Chief Conductor Emeritus of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/former principal conductor of the Vienna Radio, Finnish Radio, and Danish National symphony orchestras, Leif Segerstam. Honours include the 2010 Kjell Holm Foundation Culture Prize, the 2009 SMP Press culture award, and second prize in Helsingborg’s 2002 Nordic Conducting Competition. Maestro Bergmann’s former posts include deputy – General Musik Direktor with the Augsburger Philharmoniker and Theater Augsburg in Germany.


Karl Hirzer

The gifted young Canadian conductor Karl Hirzer can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a musician.

Karl grew up in New Westminster, BC, in a household filled with music. His parents had Glenn Gould and Louis Armstrong on the CD player; he and his mother sang along with Irish folk songs on the radio (and he’d let her know if she hit a wrong note).

He was “composing” at the family’s upright piano at age four. Formal piano lessons
began at six. At twelve he started playing guitar in heavy metal bands and dreamed of becoming a rock star, while simultaneously perfecting Chopin Études and Beethoven Sonatas. He earned his ARCT at seventeen.

Today he’s associate conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic and has led orchestras
from Vancouver to Halifax, from the Gstaad Festival to educational programs in

Karl was a prodigious pianist and studied to become a soloist at the University of
Victoria before getting his master’s at McGill University in Montreal.

He got his first taste of conducting an orchestra during his undergrad and basked in the wondrous experience of sharing his musical ideas with a big band of musicians and an audience, through simple gestures. Imagine - hundreds of people in the concert hall, each having a unique experience of a shared moment, something communal and intimate at the same time, forging a personal relationship with a composer who may be long dead - or sitting in the front row.

He believes music plays an essential role in our lives. It touches us viscerally, even
though we can’t really explain why or how.

Karl is especially committed to exploring music by living composers and believes that modern music defines what the classical idiom is today. He’s also heavily invested in bringing music to young audiences, helping them discover a sound world that’s completely captivating.

He continues to perform as an instrumentalist and also composes his own music,
blending genres while mixing acoustic and electronic instruments. Head’s up - his first album of original material will be released in spring of 2023.