Friday, 9 October 2020

NORDRING FESTIVAL

'Nordring' was a radio festival held annually between 1973 and 1983, intended to promote the quality of the light-entertainment music in an era when radio became increasingly synonymous with playing the music released by gramophone companies. In Nordring, hit parades and disco were a far-away world; instead, there were lush orchestral sounds - and the undertones were firmly jazzy. The participants' lists of the various editions of the festivals are in some sense a 'Who is Who' of Northern European jazz music in the 1970s and early 1980s. So far, the history of this interesting manifestation has not been well documented; the aim of this article is to bring together as much information as possible about the Nordring Radio Prize. Musicians with their name underlined took part in the Eurovision Song Contest as a conductor on one or several occasions. Anyone able to add information is welcome to drop me a line; especially data concerning the 1982 Nordring Festival in Malmö are hard to come by. 

Photo taken at Nordring 1975 in Oslo with four participants, from left to right: Greetje Kauffeld (award for best vocalist, Netherlands), chief conductor Sigurd Jansen, and the winning Norwegian production team: Eva Schram and Terje Hoel

General information

  • The Nordring Festival was also occasionally referred to as the ‘Nordring International Popular Music Festival’ or the ‘Nordring Radio Prize’.
  • Held under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
  • The festival was initiated to promote creativity in radio light-entertainment music.
  • Prior to the first edition of the festival in 1973, there had already been Nordring programmes from the early 1960s onwards, involving exchanging vocal and instrumental soloists between various broadcasters for radio performances.
  • Each participating broadcaster submits a programme with a length of approximately 30-45 minutes
  • A maximum of six instrumental and/or vocal soloists
  • Prizes for overall winner / best solo vocalist / best solo instrumentalist / best arrangement.
  • Overall winners / best productions:

-       3 wins: Netherlands (1977, 1980, 1981) / Ireland (1978, 1979, 1982)

-       2 wins: Norway (1973, 1975) / United Kingdom (1974, 1983)

-       1 win: Denmark (1976)

-       No wins for Belgium, West Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Canada.

  • The last Nordring Festival was held in 1983. In 1989, the competition was revived as Euroring, but after just one edition, held in Budapest, this festival was discontinued.
  • During the heyday of Nordring, more Nordring activities were organised than just the annual festival – additionally, there were Nordring Rendez-vous / Nordring Roundabout programmes, which did not have a competition element, but were in fact exchange programmes between broadcasters.


1973 Nordring Festival – Dronten (Netherlands)

  • Held at concert hall De Meerpaal, Dronten (Netherlands), 15 to 18 August 1973.
  • Eight participating countries.
  • Metropole Orchestra, musical director: Dolf van der Linden.
  • BELGIUM (BRT). “Flight '73”. Performed by Dirk Buyse, Norma Hendy, Micha Marah, Connie Neefs, Louis Neefs, Tonia, and The Bob Boon Singers (vocals). Written by Ward Bogaert. Arranged by Etienne Verschueren. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden.
  • DENMARK (DR): “Copenhagen, You’ve Taken My Heart”. Performed by Ellen Winther (vocals), Freddy Fraek (banjo), Max Leth, and Bent Schjærff (piano). Arranged by Ole Høyer. Conducted by Kai Mortensen.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Evergreen Potpourri”. Performed by Group ‘Cumulus’. Arranged by Esko Linnavalli, Kaj Backlund & Group ‘Cumulus’. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “The Look of Love”. Performed by Conny Vandenbos, Rita Reys, Euson, Edwin Rutten (vocals), Piet Noordijk (alto saxophone), and Louis van Dijk (piano). Arranged by Rob Pronk and Jerry van Rooyen. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden. Produced by Theo Ordeman.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “People Way Up North”. Performed by Grethe Kausland & The Dizzie Tunes. Written by Alfred Næss and Yngvar Numme. Arranged, conducted, and produced by Sigurd Jansen.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “Freeman’s Epistle”. Performed by Eva Möller (vocals & guitar), Sven Bertil Taube (vocals), Ulf Björlin (harpsichord), Ceylon Wallin (key fiddle). Conducted by Ulf Björlin.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “Wonderful World”. Performed by India Adams, Dennis Lotis, Frankie Stevens, and The Bob Boon Singers (vocals). Arranged and conducted by Les Reed.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “Schlagerparade”. Performed by Nana Gualdi, Sven Jansen (vocals), Jo Ment (bandoneon), and Johnny Müller (mouth organ). Conducted by Alfred Hause.
  • Jury president: Cédric Dumont (managing director Studio Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Overal winner / best production: Norway.
  • Award best solo vocalist: Rita Reys (Netherlands).
  • Award best arrangement: Les Reed (United Kingdom).

Two images below showing Dolf van der Linden and the Dutch team with the Metropole Orchestra in rehearsals. First photo: Dolf with pianist Louis van Dijk, and (behind Van Dijk) producer Theo Ordeman and singer Edwin Rutten. In the second picture, Dolf is flanked (to his right) by producer Theo Ordeman and Rita Reys, who won the award for best solo vocalist in Dronten.





Part of the Belgian delegation in Dronten, with (amongst others) Louis Neefs, Micha Marah, and Connie Neefs.

Grethe Kausland and the Dizzie Tunes, vocalists of the winning Norwegian entry in 1973

Norwegian producer, arranger, and conductor Sigurd Jansen showing the first prize won by his country's team in the first edition of the Nordring Festival, Dronten (1973).


A medal given to all participants in the 1973 Nordring Festival in Dronten

1974 Nordring Festival – Groningen (Netherlands)

  • Held at Martinihal, Groningen, from 21 to 24 August 1974.
  • Eight participating countries.
  • Host: Elles Berger
  • Metropole Orchestra, musical director: Dolf van der Linden.
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “Symphonie Fantasque”. Performed by Eva Maria, Eric Raes (vocals), Oscar Denayer (accordion), and Claude Fagel (various traditional folk instruments). Composed and arranged by Roger Morès. Conducted by Maurice Bonnaerens.
  • DENMARK (DR): “If you want to get to know a country, then listen to its music”. Performed by Lisa Linn, Bjørn Tidmand, Ove Verner Hansen (vocals), and Ellinor Fribo Eriksson (violin). Arranged by Poul Clemensen, Ole Kock Hansen, Ole Høyer, and Bo Sylvén. Conducted by Kai Mortensen.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Take the ‘A’ Train”. Performed by Group ‘Fyrkka’ = Kalle Fält, Markku Johansson, Pave Maijanen, Pepe Willberg, and Seija Simola (vocals). Arranged by Henrik Otto Donner, Marku Johansson, and Esko Linnavalli. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “Wake up”. Performed by Greetje Kauffeld, Astrid Nijgh, Robert Long, Rob de Nijs (vocals), Fernand Povel (tenor saxophone), and Dirk Donker (carillon). Arranged by Rob Pronk, Jerry van Rooyen, and Peter Herbolzheimer. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden.
  • NORWAY: “Women”. Performed by Kari Rasmussen, Nora Brockstedt, Per Müller (vocals), and Bjarne Nerem (saxophone). Arranged, conducted, and produced by Sigurd Jansen.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “Tulips from Amsterdam”. Performed by Östen Warnerbring (vocals), Charlie Norman (piano, vocals). Arranged and conducted by Lars Samuelson. Produced by Rune Hallberg. Introduced by Lars Hemmingsson.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “A Tourist View of Britain” or “United Kingdom Holiday”. Performed by Joan Savage, Rita Morris, Nick Curtis, Freddy Williams, Ray Cooke, and Dee Griffiths (vocals). Arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon. Produced by David Rayvern Allen.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR). “Nordring Medley”. Performed by Joy Fleming, Peter Horton (vocals), Milo Pavlović (flugelhorn), Jiggs Whigham (trombone), Eugen Cicero (piano), and Wolfgang Schlüter (vibraphone). Arranged by Karl Heinz Loges, Ralf Nowy, and Hans Hammerschmid. Conducted by Alfred Hause.
  • JURY: Kevin Roche (Ireland, president), and others.
  • Overall winner / best production: United Kingdom
  • Award best solo vocalist: Rita Morris (United Kingdom)
  • Award best arrangement: Robert Farnon (United Kingdom)
Rehearsing with Sweden's vocalist Östen Warnerbring and, behind him, arranger and conductor Lars 'Lasse' Samuelson

A medal given to all participants in the 1974 Nordring Festival, Groningen

1975 Nordring Festival – Oslo (Norway)

  • Held from 19 to 22 August 1975
  • Nine participating countries.
  • Norwegian Radio Orchestra, musical director: Sigurd Jansen.
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “Love Story”. Performed by Micha Marah & Jeremy featuring Raymond van het Groenewoud and The Group. Arranged by Roger Morès. Produced by Yvonne Verelst.
  • DENMARK (DR): “Contrasts”. Performed by Michael Elo, Ina Londahl, Sanne Salomonsen, Eddie Skoller, and Nils Tuxen. Conducted by Peder Kragerup. Produced by Peer Møller.
  • FINLAND (YLE). Performed by Carita Holmström and Maija Hapuoja (vocals). Conducted by Nacke Johansson. Presented by Martha Caber-Akkanen. Produced by Tapio Lipponen.
  • IRELAND (RTÉ): “Zodiac. A Musical Horoscope”. Perofrmed by Anne Bushnell and Sonny Knowles (vocals). Conducted by Noel Kelehan. Produced by Johnny Devlin.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “The One and Only Harold Arlen”. Performed by Greetje Kauffeld, Mark Murphy (vocalists), Ack van Rooyen (trumpet, bugle), Piet Noordijk (alto saxophone), and Ferdinand Povel (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute). Arranged by Rob Pronk and Jerry van Rooyen. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden. Produced by Jan van Riemsdijk.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “A Most Happy Century”. Performed by Ellen Nikolaysen, Odd Børre, and The Bendik Singers: Wenche Hallan, Bjarne Kruse, and Philip Kruse. Arranged and conducted by Sigurd Jansen. Narrated by Wenche Foss. Produced by Eva Schram and Terje Hoel.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “House of Music”. Performed by Lena Ericsson, Björn Skifs (vocals), and Janne Schaffer (guitar). Arranged and conducted by Lars Samuelson. Introduced by Ulf Elfving. Produced by Rune Hallberg and Lars Hamberg.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “Music in Motion. The Evolution of Transport in Music”. Performed by Pat Whitmore and Joanne Browne (sopranos), Nick Curtis (tenor), Leslie Fyson (baritone), and Marie Goossens (harp). Conducted by Peter Knight. Special sound effects by Paddy Kingsland, Radiophonic Workshop. Produced by Monica Cockburn, assisted by Mel House.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “A German Hit Parade”. Performed by Ursula May, Peter Horton (vocals), Bernie Fields (harmonica), Berb Geller (saxophone, flute), and Hans Haider (guitar). Arranged and conducted by Karl Heinz Loges. Produced by Tim Bontjes van Beek.
  • JURY: Theo Ordeman (Netherlands), and others.
  • Overall winner / best production: Norway
  • Award best solo vocalist: Greetje Kauffeld (Netherlands)
  • Award best arrangement: Sigurd Jansen (Norway).

Below, three images of the Netherlands' Nordring representatives of 1975, one taken in Hilversum (standing, left to right: Ferdinand Povel, Dolf van der Linden, Ack van Rooyen, and Piet Noordijk / below them: Mark Murphy and Greetje Kauffeld), and two others in rehearsals in Oslo.



Audio of a part of the Netherlands' 1975 Nordring entry

1976 Nordring Festival – Inverness (Scotland)

  • Held from 17 to 20 August 1976
  • Eight participating countries.
  • BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra, musical director: Iain Sutherland.
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “Latin-American Music is Alive and Back in Business”. Featuring Anni Anderson, Maurice Dean, Neppy Noya, and Jean ‘Toots’ Thielemans. Conducted by Francis Bay. Scripted and produced by Ward Bogaert. Introduced by Paul Codde.
  • DENMARK (DR): “The Music Goes Round”. Performed by Allan Botschinsky (trumpet), Marianne Sørensen, Thomas Tange Jessen, Ole Kock Hansen, Alex Riel, and Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass). Arranged by Ole Kock Hansen. Produced by Peer Møller.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Merikanto and Other Finnish Specialities”. Featuring Maija a Lokka, Karoly Garam, Jukka Gustavson, and Jahani Aaltonen. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli. Introduced by M.A. Numminen. Produced by Erkki Lehtola.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “The Power of Music”. Performed by Letty de Jong, Edwin Rutten (vocalists), Jan Mol (guitar), Harry Mooten (accordion), and Ruud Brink (tenor saxophone). Arranged and conducted by Jerry van Rooyen. Produced by Joop de Roo.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “Peter the Giant”. Performed by Per Müller, Ellen Nikolaysen, and Laila Dalseth. Scripted by Eva Schram and Terje Hoel. Conducted by Sigurd Jansen. Produced by Rolf Kirkvaag.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “The Noble Art of Slicing Carrots”. Performed by Marianne Kock, Svante Thuresson, and Olle Thunberg. Composed and produced by Lars Hamberg and Rune Hallberg. Conducted by Lars Samuelson.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “The Best of British”. Performed by John Lawrenson, Marilyn Hill Smith, Jim Smilie, and George McIlwham. Composed by Bill Simpson. Arranged by Robert Docker. Conducted by Iain Sutherland. Produced by Frances Line.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “A Musical Nordring Journey”. Performed by Gitte Hænning, Gottfried Bottger, Herb Geller, and Lonzo Wolfgang Schlüter. Arranged and conducted by Karl Heinz Loges. Produced by Tim Bontjes van Beek and Helga Boddin.
  • JURY: Gé Goudswaard (Netherlands), and others.
  • Overall winner / best production: Denmark
  • Award best soloist: Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen (Denmark).

 

Having fallen gravely ill in 1976 (an illness from which he recovered), Dolf van der Linden had to cede his place on the conductor's platform at the Nordring Festival in Inverness to his star arranger Jerry van Rooyen (left).


Belgium's conductor in Inverness: Francis Bay


1977 Nordring Festival – Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Held in Tivoli, Copenhagen, 17 to 21 August 1977.
  • Nine participating countries.
  • DR Underholdningsorkestret
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “A Two-Dimensional Life-Story”. Performed by Ann Christy, Sien Eggers, John Terra, and Vik De Wachter. Written by Staf Knop and Ward Bogaert. Arranged by Koen De Bruyne. Additional arrangements by Jack Say. Conducted by Jack Say[1]. Produced by Ward Bogaert.
  • DENMARK (DR): "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue". Performed by Daimi, Mona Larsen, Eddie Skoller (vocals), Svend Asmussen (violin), Jesper Thilo (clarinet), and Michala Petri (recorder). Written by Ida Bjørn Nielsen. Arranged and conducted by Robert Cornford. Produced by Birger Arntzen and Niels Rothenborg.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Give your hand to the child”. Performed by Maarit, Kirka, Eero Koivistoinen, and Mikko-Ville Luolajan-Mikkola. Scripted by Kai Nieminen. Arranged by Eero Koivistoinen and Esko Linnavalli. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli. Presented by Eva Arrhenius. Produced by Erkki Lehtola.
  • IRELAND (RTÉ): “The Axeman Cometh”. Performed by Tony Kenny, Kathryn Kinsley, and Louis Stewart. Arranged and conducted by Noel Kelehan. Presented by Valerie McGovern. Produced by Johnny Devlin.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “A Simple Song – Variations on a theme from ‘Mass’ by Leonard Bernstein”. Performed by Petra Bartlett, Joanne Brown, Jacquie Stillwell (vocals), Ack van Rooyen (bugle), Ferdinand Povel (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute), and Jasper van ‘t Hof (piano). Conducted by Dolf van der Linden. Produced by Erik van Reijendam.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “A Norwegian Radio Newsical”. Performed by Ellen Nikolaysen, Kirsti Sparboe, Odd Børre, and Per Müller. Written by Else Michelet, Torkjell Berulfsen, and Rolf Kirkvaag. Arranged and conducted by Sigurd Jansen. Narrated by Else Michelet. Produced by Rolf Kirkvaag.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “Musical Postcards from Nine Countries”. Performed by Arne Domnerus, Rune Gustafsson, and Bengt Hallberg. Arranged by Bengt Hallberg. Conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist. Produced by Hasse Telemar.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “Pieces of Dreams”. Performed by Foggy Lyttle, Nick Curtis, and Keeley Ford. Arranged and conducted by Peter Knight. Produced by Mel House and John Meloy.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “3xF: Film, Folklore, and Fascinating Rhythm”. Performed by Ingrid Peters, Johnny Hill, Hans Haider, Johnny Müller, and Milo Pavlović. Arranged and conducted by Karl Heinz Loges. Produced by Tim Bontjes van Beek.
  • Overall winner / best production: Netherlands.
  • Award best solo vocalist: Keeley Ford (United Kingdom).
  • Award best solo instrumentalist: Michala Petri (Denmark).
  • Unofficial prize for best conductor: Dolf van der Linden (Netherlands).
Below, a group picture of the Dutch Nordring team for 1977: standing, from left: Jerry van Rooyen, Dolf van der Linden, Ferdinand Povel, Ack van Rooyen, Jasper van 't Hof, and Erik van Reijendam. Seated, from left: Petra Bartlett, Joanne Brown, and Jacquie Stillwell. 


The unofficial prize for best conductor awarded to Dolf van der Linden by the musicians of the Danish Radio Orchestra.

1978 Nordring Festival – Oslo (Norway)

  • Held from 4 to 9 September 1978.
  • Nine participating countries.
  • Norwegian Radio Orchestra, musical director: Sigurd Jansen.
  • BELGIUM (BRT). “A Musical Weather Report”. Performed by Claude Lombard, Monique Hanouille, Marijn De Valck (vocals), Sadi (vibraphone), Marc Mercini (trombone), Evert Verhees (bass), Bob Porter (keyboards), and Bruno Castellucci (drums). Arranged by Bob Porter and Jack Say. Conducted by Jack Say. Produced by Yvonne Verelst.
  • DENMARK (DR): “Danish Delight”. Performed by Lisa Linn, Freddy Albeck, Finn Ziegler, Svend Skipper, Svend Erik Nørregaard, and Mads Vinding. Scripted by Freddy Albeck. Arranged by Robert Cornford, Bo Sylvén, and Svend Skipper. Conducted by Robert Cornford. Produced by Peer Møller and Ragnar Petersen.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Group Picture”. Performed by Vesa Aaltonen, Olli Ahvenlahti, Pekka Pohjola, and Seppo Tyni. Composed by Seppo Tyni. Arranged by Esko Linnavalli, Olli Ahvenlahti, and Pekka Pohjola. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli. Produced by Ehkki Lehtola.
  • IRELAND (RTÉ): “In Youth I Served My Time (To Kissing and Love Making)”. Performed by Austin Gaffney, Violet Twomey, Allison Browne, and Stephen O’Shea. Script by Diarmuid O’Muirith. Arranged by Michael Casey. Conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn. Produced by Johnny Devlin.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “Rendez-vous à Paris”. Performed by Marjol Flore, Edwin Rutte (vocals), Louis van Dijk (piano), and Marcel Azzola (accordion). Arranged and produced by Jerry van Rooyen. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “Portrait of a Voice”. Performed by Ellen Nikolaysen, Wenche Hallan, Randi Janson, Anita Skorgan, Tom Gravlie, and Helge Lindeman. Arranged by Oeivind Westby & Carsten Klouman. Conducted and produced by Sigurd Jansen. Produced by Eva Schram and Rolf Kirkvaag.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “Concerto Grosso for Country Combo and Symphony Orchestra”. Performed by The Lindqvist Brothers. Arranged by Bengt Hallberg. Conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist. Produced by Hasse Tellemar.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “The Ballad of L.S. Lowry”. Performed by Bryan & Michael, Colin Anthony, David Blakeley, and Lois Lane. Composed by Barry Forgie and Robin Sedgley. Conducted by Barry Forgie. Produced by Robin Sedgley.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “Mock Mozart and Other Serious Composers”. Performed by Okko, Lonzo, Berry, Chris, Timpe with Ernst-August Quelle. Arranged by Karl Heinz Loges, Ernst-August Quelle, Lonzo Westphal, and Bernard Ebbinghouse. Conducted by Karl Heinz Loges. Produced by Helga Boddin.
  • Overall winner / best production: Ireland.
  • Award best solo instrumentalist: Mads Vinding (double-bass, Denmark).
  • Award best arrangement: Bengt Hallberg (Sweden).

 

Finland's conductor in most editions of the Nordring Festival: Esko Linnavalli

The Netherlands' 1978 Nordring team, from left to right: Edwin Rutten, Dolf van der Linden, accordionist Marcel Azzola, Jerry van Rooyen, Marjol Flore, and Louis van Dijk.


1979 Nordring Festival – Dublin (Ireland) 

  • Held from 21 to 27 August 1979.
  • Nine participating countries.
  • RTE Concert Orchestra, musical director: Noel Kelehan.
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “Folkring”. Performed by Louis Neefs, Jan De Maeyer, Johan Roggen, Bob Porter, and Freddy Sunder. Arranged by Freddy Sunder. Conducted by Francis Bay. Produced by Yvonne Verelst.
  • DENMARK (DR): “Danish Design”. Performed by Lise Ringsheim, Hanne Uldal, and Peter Bastian. Arranged and conducted by Palle Mikkelborg. Produced by Niels Rothenborg and Birger Arntzen.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Portrait of Heikki Sarmanto”. Performed by Heikki Sarmanto, Maija Hapuoja, Heikki Keinonen, and Pekka Poeyry. Arranged by Heikki Sarmanto and Eero Koivistoinen. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli. Produced by Erkki Lehtola.
  • IRELAND (RTÉ): “Exactly McHugh”. Performed by Red Hurley, Kathy Nugent, Jim Farley, Pat Reilly, Rita O’Regan, and John Drummond. Arranged and conducted by Noel Kelehan. Produced by Johnny Devlin.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “What would Henry VIII think of it…”. Performed by Joanne Brown (soprano), Willem Bremer (recorder, reed pipe, zinc, gems horn, bagpipe), Leo Meilink (recorder, reed pipe, baroque trombone, gems horn), Bart van Lier (trombone), Erik van Lier (trombone and tuba), and Dick Schallies (piano). Composed by King Henry VIII, William Cornish, Clemens non Papa, Josquin des Prez, and Jerry van Rooyen. Arranged by Jerry van Rooyen. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden. Produced by Han Reiziger.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “Musical Detective”. Performed by Isabelle Henriksen, Per Müller, and Rowland Greenberg. Arranged and conducted by Sigurd Jansen. Produced by Torkjell Berulfsen.
  • SWEDEN (SR): “An American in Sweden”. Performed by Anne-Kristin Hedmark, Göran Fristorp, Janne Schaffer (guitar), and Arne Domnerus (saxophone). Arranged and conducted by Lars Samuelson. Produced by Kerstin Franzen and Bo Rehnberg.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “Wine, Women, and Song Cycle”. Performed by Nigel Havers, John Boulter, Gillian Humphreys, Roy Marsden, and Tracy Miller. Composed by Nigel Havers and Brian Willey. Arranged and conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse. Produced by Brian Willey.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “From Waltz to Swing”. Performed by Nana Gualdi, Owen Williams, and Ger Dudek. Arranged and conducted by Hardy Schneiders. Produced by Helga Boddin.
  • Overall winner / best production: Ireland.
  • Award best arrangement: Jerry van Rooyen (Netherlands).
  • Award best vocalist: Maija Hapuoja (Finland)
  • Award best solo instrumentalist: Arne Domnerus (Sweden).
The Netherlands' Nordring team for 1979, from left to right: Jerry van Rooyen, Han Reiziger, Dolf van der Linden, Joanne Browne, Erik van Lier, pianist Dick Schallies, Willem Bremer, Bart van Lier, and Leo Meilink

Finland's arranger for several editions of the Nordring Festival: Eero Koivistoinen

1980 Nordring Festival – Helsinki (Finland)

  • Held in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, 19 to 22 August 1980.
  • Seven (?) participating countries (no information about entries from Sweden or Denmark).
  • Light Music Orchestra of Finnish Radio.
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “It’s Only Belgian Music”. Performed by Monique Hanoulle (soprano), Frans van Eetvelt (vocals), Walter Boeykens (clarinet), Dirk De Caluwé (flute), and André Van Driessche (French horn). Arranged by Frank Engelen. Conducted by Willy De Cart. Produced by Yvonne Verelst.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Satumaa”. Performed by Ami Aspelund, Irina Milan, Vesa-Matti Loiri, Hakan Streng (vocals), and Jukka Tolonen (guitar). Written and narrated by Neil Hardwick. Arranged and conducted by Esko Linnavalli. Produced by Erkki Lehtola.  
  • IRELAND (RTÉ): “Un paseo en el sol (A Walk in the Sun)”. Performed by Mary Sheridan, William Young (vocals), Noel Kelehan (piano), and Louis Stewart (guitar). Arranged by Noel Kelehan. Conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn. Produced by Johnny Devlin.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “The Wise Man”. Performed by Jasper van ‘t Hof (piano), Greetje Kauffeld (vocals), Charlie Mariano (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone & nagaswaram), Ack van Rooyen (bugle), Ronald Snijders (flute & percussion), and Gé Titulaer (vocals). Composed by Jerry van Rooyen, Jasper van ‘t Hof, and Charly Mariano. Arranged by Jerry van Rooyen. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden. Produced by Han Reiziger.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “Come Fly with Me”. Performed by Alex Sandøy, Terje Stensvold (vocals), and Harald Bergersen (reeds). Written and produced by Else Michelet. Arranged and conducted by Carsten Klouman.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “Gershwin – Yesterday and Today”. Performed by Colin Anthony, Sarah King (vocals), Dick Morrissey (reeds), and Alan Downey (trumpet, flugelhorn). Arranged and conducted by Barry Forgie. Produced by Robin Sedgley.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “Kurt Weill in Concert”. Performed by Olivia Molina, Reiner Schöne (vocals), and Wilton Gaynair (saxophone). Arranged and conducted by Karl Heinz Loges. Produced by Helga Boddin.
  • Overall winner / best production: Netherlands.
  • Award best solo vocalists: Greetje Kauffeld (Netherlands), Alex Sandøy (Norway), and Olivia Molina (West Germany).
  • Award best solo instrumentalist: Noel Kelehan (Ireland).
  • Award best arrangement: Jerry van Rooyen (Netherlands).
Winner of the award for best solo instrumentalist at the 1980 Nordring Festival: Irish pianist Noel Kelehan

The Netherlands' 1980 Nordring representatives, from left: Charly Mariano, Gé Titulaer, Jasper van 't Hof, Greetje Kauffeld, Ack van Rooyen, Dolf van der Linden, Ronald Snijders, and Jerry van Rooyen.


1981 Nordring Festival – Saint-Helier, Jersey (United Kingdom)

  • Held at Gloucester Hall, Saint-Helier, Jersey Island, 7 to 11 September 1981.
  • Nine participating countries.
  • Host: Len Jackson.
  • BBC Radio Orchestra, musical director: none.
  • BELGIUM (BRT). “Just Listen….and Relax”, ‘an invitation to sit back and enjoy a concert of Belgian light music in modern style’. Performed by Claude Lombard (vocals), Freddy Sunder (guitar and vocals), Marc Mercini (trombone and vocals), Sadi (vibes and vocals), Vic Ingeveldt (tenor saxophone and violin), Bob Porter (vibes, flute and keyboards). Arranged by Willy Albimoor. Conducted by Etienne Verschueren. Produced by Yvonne Verelst.
  • CANADA (CBC). Northwest Passage, ‘A sequence of traditional and contemporary Canadian folk tunes, designed to impart a feeling of Canada through its music and people’. Performed by Kate & Anna McGarrigle (vocals), Chaim Tennenbaum (guitar & vocals), Stan Rogers (vocals), Pat Donaldson (bass), Graham Townsend (violin). Arranged and conducted by Don Stephens. Produced by Bill Garrett.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Ultima Thule”, ‘A composition for jazz quintet and orchestra inspired by the nature, culture and history of Lapland, and depicting life in this region during the different seasons’. Performed by Eero Koivistoinen (saxophones), Markku Johansson (flugelhorn and trumpet), Vladimir Shafranov (piano), Pekka Sarmanto (bass), Esko Rosnell (drums). Composed and arranged by Eero Koivistoinen. Conducted by Esko Linnavalli. Produced by Erkki Lehtola.
  • IRELAND (RTÉ). “Dubliners”, ‘a concert of melody and song inspired by composers and writers who were Dubliners by birth or adoption, and reflecting the influence of the city on themselves and on music’. Performed by Austin Gaffney (vocals), Joan Merrigan (vocals). Arranged by John Tate, James Bolger and Noel Kelehan. Conducted by Proinnsias O Duinn. Produced by Johnny Devlin.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS). “Ages”, ‘Stages in life – each with its own sorrows and joys – each with its own songs, most of them about love, different kinds of love’[2]. Performed by Lee Gibson (vocals), Norma Winstone (vocals), Jerry Rix (vocals), Gé Titulaer (vocals), Eef Albers (guitar), Ferdinand Povel (tenor saxophone & flute). Arranged by Rob Pronk. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden. Produced by Rob Pronk & Piet Hein van de Poel.
  • NORWAY (NRK). “How to Play Music and Operate An Orchestra without Harming Anybody but The Ones Listening”, ‘The influence of composers, arrangers, conductors and artists on music when things aren’t what they ought to be – or vice versa!’ Performed by Ellen Nikolaysen (vocals), Wenche Hallan (vocals), Jahn Teigen (vocals). Arranged, conducted and produced by Sigurd Jansen.
  • SWEDEN (SR). “Sweets from Sweden, ‘a presentation of Swedish light music with jazz undertones, composed by one of Sweden’s grand old men of show-biz’. Performed by Sylvia Vrethammar (vocals), Putte Wickman (clarinet), Jan Allan (trumpet), Thore Swanerud (piano). Composed by Thore Swanerud. Lyrics by Claude Stephenson. Arranged by Georg Riedel. Conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist. Produced by Rune Hallberg and Lars Hamberg.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC). “We Loved You Madly”, ‘a celebration of the music of Duke Ellington’. Performed by Madeline Bell (vocals), Danny Street (vocals), Marilyn Hill-Smith (vocals), Len Jackson (presenter). Script by Peter Clayton. Arranged by Steve Gray. Conducted by Barry Forgie. Produced by Lawrie Monk.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR). “Marchtime-The Music, of course”, ‘the Germans have a reputation as lovers of marching music – but they don’t always approach their subject too seriously!’ Performed by Paul Kuhn (piano and presenter), Heinz von Hermann (saxophones, clarinet, flute), Ronald Pisarkiewicz (tuba). Arranged and conducted by Hardy Schneiders. Produced by Helga Boddin.
  • Interval act: Gala Concert featuring Vince Hill and Acker Bilk. Conducted by Robert Farnon.
  • JURY: Kevin Roche (Ireland, president), Elias Gistelinck (Belgium), Bruce Steele (Canada), Erkki Melakoski (Finland), Michael Casey (Ireland), Han Reiziger (Netherlands), Helge Lindeman (Norway), Stig Olin (Sweden), Bill Bebb (UK), Tim Bontjes van Beek (West Germany).
  • Overall winner / best production: Netherlands.
  • Award best arrangement: Eero Koivistoinen (Finland).
  • Prize best solo instrumentalist: Ferdinand Povel (Netherlands).

Conductor for West Germany's Nordring team in 1979, 1981, and 1982: Hardy Schneiders, who also conducted Switzerland's Eurovision entry in 1971.

The Netherlands' team for Nordring 1981 on Jersey Island, from left to right: Ferdinand Povel, Piet Hein van de Poel, Eef Albers, Dolf van der Linden, Rob Pronk, Gé Titulaer, Norma Winstone, Lee Gibson, and Jerry Rix.

1982 Nordring Festival – Malmö (Sweden) 

  • Held in Malmö (Sweden), 23 to 27 August 1982.
  • Eight or nine participating countries (no information about entry from Belgium).
  • Malmö Symphony Orchestra & Sextett Bo Sylvén. Musical director: Gustaf Sjökvist.
  • Programme produced on behalf of SR by Rune Hallberg.
  • DENMARK (DR): "Music from Heaven". Performed by Hanne Uldal, Per Pallesen, Kurt Ravn, and Bob Ramsing. Composed by Kai Norman Andersen. Conducted by Svend Skipper. Presented by Bob Ramsing.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Tanomania”. Performed by The Karelia Ensemble with Seppo Paakkunainen (tano-flute, baritone saxophone). Arranged by Seppo Paakkunainen. Conducted by Jorma Panula. Produced by Kalevi Immonen.
  • IRELAND (RTÉ): “Bloomenlied”. Performed by Austin Gaffney (baritone), Joan Merrigan (soprano), William McKinney (tenor), and Ian Fox. Conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn. Produced by Colin Morrison.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “Invitation to the Dance”. Performed by Dorothy Dorow, Gé Titulaer (vocals), Leo van Oostrom (clarinet & saxophone), and Dick Schallies (piano). Arranged by Marcel Peeters, Dolf van der Linden, and Ruud Bos. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden.
  • NORWAY (NRK): "Malmö Pays Tribute to Rodgers and Gershwin". Performed by Karin Krog, Anita Thallaug, Per Müller (vocals), Johan Bergli (saxophone, clarinet), and Frode Thingnaes (trombone). Conducted by Sigurd Jansen
  • SWEDEN (SR): “We remember Jan Johansson”. Performed by Birgitta Smiding, Bertil Lövgren, and Claes Rosendahl. Conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist. Produced by Lars Blohm.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “A Beatles Symphony”. Performed by Patricia Greig (soprano), Alan Watt (baritone), and Marius May (violoncello). Composed, arranged, and conducted by Barry Forgie. Produced by Robin Sedgley.
  • WEST GERMANY (NDR): “Popular German Melodies in Concert”. Performed by Sylvia Anders, Dirk Sagemuller, and Hans Haider. Conducted by Hardy Schneiders. Presented by Monika Jetter. Produced by Helga Boddin.
  • Overall winner / best production: Ireland.
  • Award best arrangement: Seppo Paakkunainen (Finland).

Ireland's conductor for several editions of the Nordring Festival: Proinnsías Ó Duinn. 


1983 Nordring Festival – Blankenberge (Belgium) 

  • Held in Blankenberge’s Casino, 22 to 26 August 1983.
  • Eight participating countries.
  • BRT Jazz Orchestra, musical director: Etienne Verschueren.
  • BELGIUM (BRT): “Claude cum laude”. Performed by Claude Lombard, Claude Mix, and Marianne Van der Maat. Composed by Claude Lombard. Arranged by Freddy Sunder. Conducted by Etienne Verschueren. Produced by Yvonne Verelst.
  • DENMARK (DR): “Sentiments”. Lyrics written and sung by Mona Larsen. Music composed, directed, and played by Allan Botschinsky (flugelhorn). Vocals by Mona Larsen. Produced by Birger Arntzen.
  • FINLAND (YLE): “Loitsu”. Performed by Juhani Aaltonen, Kari Komppa, and Seppo Tyni. Conducted by Jorma Panula. Produced by Kalevi Immonen.
  • NETHERLANDS (NOS): “New York, the Most Fascinating Address”. Performed by Marjorie Barnes, Gé Titulaer (vocals), Judy Schomper (violin), Ack van Rooyen (trumpet, bugle), Frans Elsen (piano), and John Clayton (bass). Arranged and produced by Jerry van Rooyen. Conducted by Dolf van der Linden.
  • NORWAY (NRK): “Norwegian Is Beautiful”. Performed by Ellen Westberg Andersen, Hann Kjersti Kvoppola, Sigmund Groven, Aage Kvalbein, and Anne Marie Ottersen. Composed by Tor Arne Johnsen. Arranged by Bjørn Kruse. Conducted by Sigurd Jansen. Produced by Jorunn Hupe.
  • SWEDEN (RR): “A Tribute to All Music”. Performed by Maritza Horn and Palle Mikkelborg. Composed, arranged, and conducted by Orjan Fahlström. Produced by Rune Hallberg and Lars Hamberg.
  • UNITED KINGDOM (BBC): “The Accountants Are Coming”. Performed by Valerie Masters, Lee Gibson, Colin Anthony, and John Judd. Scripted by Benny Green. Arranged by Steve Gray. Conducted by Barry Forgie.
  • WEST GERMANY (WDR): “Just a Small Selection”. Arranged and conducted by Werner Müller. Produced by Wolfgang Kischka.
  • Overall winner / best production: United Kingdom.
  • Award best solo instrumentalist: Allan Botschinsky (Denmark)
  • Award best vocalist: Mona Larsen (Denmark)
  • Award best arrangement: Jerry van Rooyen (Netherlands).
Denmark's star soloist at the 1983 Nordring Festival: Allan Botschinsky.

The Netherlands' representatives at the 1983 Nordring Festival in Blankenberge, from left: Gé Titulaer, Judy Schomper, Jerry van Rooyen, Dolf van der Linden, Frans Elsen, Ack van Rooyen, Marjorie Barnes, and John Clayton.

List of participating conductors

10 participations (11 entries): Dolf van der Linden 
10 participations (10 entries): Sigurd Jansen
8 participations: Esko Linnavalli
5 participations: Barry Forgie / Karl Heinz Loges
4 participations: Lars Samuelson / Proinnsías Ó Duinn / Gustaf Sjökvist
3 participations: Noel Kelehan / Hardy Schneiders
2 participations: Kai Mortensen / Alfred Hause / Peter Knight / Francis Bay / Jack Say / Etienne Verschueren / Jorma Panula / Robert Cornford
1 participation: Ulf Björlin / Les Reed / Maurice Bonnaerens / Robert Farnon / Peder Kragerup / Nacke Johansson / Jerry van Rooyen / Iain Sutherland / Palle Mikkelborg / Bernard Ebbinghouse / Willy De Cart / Carsten Klouman / Don Stephens / Svend Skipper / Allan Botschinsky / Orjan Fahlström / Werner Müller

No information about the conductors of the following entries: Belgium 1974, 1982 / Denmark 1976


[1] Jack Say replaced Koen De Bruyne as conductor of the Belgian entry, while also adding the finishing touch to his arrangements, upon the latter’s unexpected death shortly before the festival was due.

[2] Rob Pronk took a selection of nearly forty songs and arranged them into a suite consisting of four parts each representing a stage of the circle of life.

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