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The Manager of Innovation Norway’s Japan Office, Rolf Almklov, is extremely satisfied with the Arctic Philharmonic Conference in Tokyo during the orchestra’s current tour.
The Manager of Innovation Norway’s Japan Office, Rolf Almklov, is extremely satisfied with the Arctic Philharmonic Conference in Tokyo during the orchestra’s current tour.

- Thank you, Arctic Philharmonic!

The Arctic Philharmonic is being accompanied on its current tour of Japan by a delegation of North Norwegian business and civil representatives. Following the Arctic Philharmonic Conference at the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo, many of the delegates have remarked they have got a lot out of their stay in Japan.   

- It’s unique that an orchestra takes the initiative to take the business community on an overseas tour. This is the first time we have experienced this here, and it has provided inspiration for what is possible in the future. Thank you very much to the Arctic Philharmonic for taking this initiative. – Rolf Almklov, Manager of Innovation Norway’s Tokyo Office

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A VERY FRUITFUL TOUR
- This has proven to be a very fruitful tour for us. We have already had positive conversations with four universities in Tokyo about expanding existing cooperation or starting new cooperation, and we have also been part of a team, says the Pro-Rector of Education at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Wenche Jakobsen.

- This means the university was not alone at the meetings here. We were joined by the Norwegian Ambassador, Innovation Norway, the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education. Moreover, we presented all the universities with tickets to the Arctic Philharmonic’s concert here in Tokyo, which created a wonderful frame around this cooperation.  


CAME AS A TEAM
Jakobsen noted that the new Japanese partners were impressed that UiT did not attend the meetings alone.
- I noticed that the Japanese universities were impressed and almost amazed that we came to Japan as a team, she says.

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Being on a tour where Northern Norway acted as a team has been very successful.

70 DELIGATES
Many representatives from Northern Norway have been involved in the tour of Japan, during which the Arctic Philharmonic has had excellent collaboration with Innovation Norway and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Besides UiT, the North Norwegian delegation included representatives from the Tromsø Municipal Council, the Norwegian Polar Institute, the Norwegian Seafood Council, Lerøy, Sparebanken Nord-Norge, Stella Polaris, Mack and Visit Norway, as well as representatives from the North Norwegian tourism industry, film industry and a host of designers from the region.

Dozens of industry representatives from Japan also attended the Arctic Philharmonic Conference, bringing the total number of delegates to 70.   

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EDVARD MUNCH IN HIS BAGGAGE
- This was a very, very successful conference involving many aspects between Norway and Japan, says Rolf Almklov from Innovation Norway’s Japan Office.

- Taking this initiative to bring the business community and cultural life together like this in such an important country as Japan is something I would really like to see repeated in the future.

The Arctic Philharmonic played concerts in six Japanese cities, and even the foyers were appropriately themed for the occasion. The Director of the North Norwegian Art Museum, Jérémie McGowan, had some exciting content in his baggage. He took 10 Norwegian paintings, which were exhibited in the foyer of the respective concert venues. A painting by Edvard Munch, among others, created considerable interest among the Japanese concert guests.  


DEEPING AND STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIPS
- It’s important that we are relevant to others and to more than our primary task of playing music, says the Director of the Arctic Philharmonic, Tor Lægreid.

He is extremely pleased with the excellent response from the North Norwegian business and civil communities, not to mention the great collaboration with Innovation Norway and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo, which produced such good results in Japan.

- We are attempting to contribute to deepening and strengthening relationships that we know are important. This includes visits to universities, research institutes and companies. I believe art can contribute to deepening and strengthening these relationships. I see it like this: If you open the person up and play a bit on their emotions, it improves the opportunity to create a deeper and better relationship. That’s the way we thought here, too, says Lægreid.