100 Years of independence

The peaceful dissolution of the Union between Norway and Sweden in 1905 will be marked in 2005 by a number of events throughout the UK. The Centenary programme includes music festivals, exhibitions, theatre performances and seminars

Norway 2005, 100 Years as an Independent Nation

The Union between Norway and Sweden was established in 1814 following the Peace of Kiel which ended almost 400 years of Danish rule. The King of Sweden also became King of Norway. However, Norway established internal self-rule, based on its own constitution, adopted on 17 May 1814.

Towards the end of the 19th century the struggle for full independence intensified. On 7 June 1905, the Norwegian Storting (parliament) unilaterally decided no longer to recognise King Oscar II as King of Norway, thus dissolving the Union. A referendum overwhelmingly supported the decision taken by the Storting.

A period with tension building up in both countries followed.  But through negotiations between Norwegian and Swedish representatives a mutually agreed formula for a peaceful ending of the union was reached in Karlstad (Sweden). On 26 October 1905 Sweden officially recognised Norway as an independent and separate state. The British government formally recognised Norway four days later, on 30 October 1905. The union between the two countries had lasted for 91 years.

A second referendum decided to establish a monarchy. Prince Carl of Denmark accepted the offer to become king and took on the Norwegian crown under the name of Haakon VII. He was married to Maud, daughter of King Edward VII. With their young son, Olav, the new royal family arrived in Norway on 25 November 1905.


Grieg Exhibition (22 Jan - 16 Apr 2005)

Norwegian Crafts (Feb 2005)
Flow Gallery, London
Modern Norwegian applied art at Flow Gallery in Notting Hill

Style and Splendour (Feb 2005 - Jan 2006)
V&A Museum, London
Queen Maud of Norway’s wardrobe 1896-1938
Exhibition from the Norwegian National Museum of Art/Museum of Applied Art. Shown in Norway in 1995

100 Years of Independence (12 Feb 2005)
Conference, Glasgow University

All-Norwegian concert (16 Feb 2005)
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Nils Økland, soloist, plays Geirr Tveitt; New work commissioned for Nils Økland
Concert broadcast by BBC Radio 3

Norwegian Visual Arts Student's Showcase (Mar 2005)
Organized by Association of Norwegian Students Abroad (ANSA)

Fresh Air – 100 years of fresh air (3 Mar 2005)
Fabric, London
One-night mini pop/rock/elektronica festival at the top London club Fabric. The following artists have been contacted: Røyksopp,  Turboneger, Kings of Convenience, Ralph Meyer, Jaga Jazzist,  Bugge Wesseltoft, NP Molvær, Frost, and  more

Club Exchange: Notting Hill Arts Club & Blå (Mar 2005)
Notting Hill Arts Club, London & Blå, Oslo
The entire staff of the two clubs swap capital venues for one night

Cool Cuts Film Festival (April 2005)
10 new Norwegian films to be screened in central London

A Hundred Years of Norwegians in London (Spring 2005)
The Norwegian Church, London organize this Photo exhibition

Norwegian Film Festival in Edinburgh (April - May 2005)
Filmhouse / Norwegian Film Institute

Grieg Exhibition (April - May 2005)
Newcastle, Manchester
Arranged by the Grieg Museum in Bergen

Concert: Students of Trondheim Conservatory of Music (Apr 2005)
The Norwegian Church, London

Photographic documentary (Spring 2005)
The Norwegian Church in Cardiff
"The people behind the Norwegian Church in Cardiff"

Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (Mar - Apr 2005)
Almeida Theatre, London

Håvard Gimse / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (27 - 29 Apr 2005)
Three concerts with pianist Håvard Gimse and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Norwegian Crafts (Apr 2005)
Usher Gallery, Lincoln
Exhibition of Norwegian decorative arts

The Race to the North Pole (Apr - May 2005)
Amundsen/Scott exhibition in Edinburgh

Ceilidh Culture 'Nothern Streams' (8 - 9 Apr 2005)

Flag Ceremony/Service of Thanksgiving (7 Jun 2005)

Nansen Lectures (May - Jun 2005)
Norwich, Cambridge, Manchester

Fashion in Motion (May 2005)
V&A Museum, London
Norwegian fashion show as part of London Fashion Week. Based on the Queen Maud exhibition

Beachclub 2005 (Jun 2005)
Notting Hill Arts Club, London
Exhibition of Norwegian photos and short films. Concerts with Norwegian bands

Grieg Exhibition (June 2005)
Kirkwall, St. Rognvald's Chapel, St. Magnus Cathedral

'Get Organised' concert (21 Jun 2005)
Organ concert at Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Norwegian Day(s) during the World Port Festivals (Jul 2005)

Norway Guest Nation at the Cardiff Harbour Festival (Jul 2005)

Military Tattoo in Edinburgh (Aug 2005)
HM King's Guard

HM King's Guard (Aug 2005)
Promotion of RSM Nils Olav, Edinburgh

'Nations Unlimited' symposium (Aug 2005)
Norwegian symposium at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Aberdeen Offshore Europe (6 - 9 Sep 2005)
Arranged by Innovation Norway

Edvard Munch By Himself (13 Sep - 11 Dec 2005)
Royal Academy of Arts, London

Late Junction – Norway in Focus (Autumn 2005)
BBC Radio 3 programme series on modern & world music will focus on Norway and Norwegian music in the last 100 years. The series will culminate with an entire evening of Norwegiam music in 2005. serien

Norwegian / Swedish Service (Autumn 2005)
Southwark Cathedral, London

Norwegian Short Story Anthology (Autumn 2005)
An English publication of an anthology of 20 Norwegian short story writers
Southwark Cathedral, London

100% Norway 2005 (Sep 2005)
Earl's Court, London
Norwegian design as part of London Design Week

Look at Norway - geography resource pack for schools (Sep 2005)
Internet and primary schools in UK
Launch of second internet-based resource pack for schoolchildren aged 8 –11. år. This new pack presents Norwegian geography, society and history in a form consistent with the National Curriculum

Norwegian-British Conference (Oct 2005)
Arranged by Innovation Norway

Gala Concert, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (14 Nov 2005)
Usher Hall, Edinburgh; Conductor André Previn

C for Courage - Exhibition on Children’s Rights (Nov 2005)
London or Aylesbury
Exhibition supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norwegian Day Contemporary Music (Nov 2005)
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Norwegian music all day and three concerts in the evening. Participants will include: BIT 20, Cikada, Eir Inderhaug, Ellen Ugelvik  Nov 2005 Huddersfield

Translation Seminar (Nov 2005)
University of Surrey
Combine the centennary of the dissolution of the Union and the death of Ibsen in January 2006

Open Air Concert (Dec 2005 TBC)
Trafalgar Square, London
On the occasion of the lighting of the Norwegian Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square 2005

Norwegian Voices - Celebration concert (8 Dec 2005)
Barbican Centre, London
Featuring Norwegian music, visual arts and literature in combination with British graphic design. Focus on new Norwegian jazz, BBC Radio 3 to record for broadcast

Lecture Series at University College London (15 - 16 Dec 2005)
University College, London
On the Dissolution of the Union, arranged by Nordic History Group. One Norwegian, one Swedish and one British lecturer

School Project 2005/2006 Edinburgh (2005 - 2006)
(Arranger: John Turner / Education Dept)

Music Under Newcastle (2005)
The Oslo jazz venue Blå as part of its Music under Europa 2005 tour

Queen Maud of Norway (2005)
Ambassador’s residence, London
Unveiling of statue by Ada Madsen in front garden of 10 Palace Green - a near-copy of the original in Oslo’s Royal Gardens

Tall Ships Festival (2005)
Norwegian participation

Festival: The Spirit of Norway (2005)
Chethams School of Music, Manchester
Focus on Norway and Norwegian music 2005

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King Haakon VII and Queen Maud were crowned in Nidarosdomen in Trondheim in 1906

Photo: Aschehoug forlags arkiv/ Utenriksdepartementet