Allegria (Italian) means a merriment and enjoyment, and indeed it was the pleasure of playing together that led a group of music students to launch the orchestra in 2007. Ensemble Allegria consists of a group of young and highly dedicated string players, around 20 musicians between 21-30 years of age.
Since its beginning, the orchestra has been managed independently by its own members, with the Norwegian Academy of Music playing a significant supportive role. Its permanent concertmaster and artistic director is Maria Angelika Carlsen.
In addition to its own concerts and Following a rapid development, Ensemble Allegria has performed at a number of festivals, among them, Bergen International Festival, Hardanger Music Festival, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Tromsø's Northern Lights Festival and the Gezeitenkonzerte in Germany. It has collaborated with internationally known soloists, such as Lawrence Power, Martin Fröst, Tine Thing Helseth, Christian Ihle Hadland, and Arve Tellefsen, and it has engaged in projects in collaboration with the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir (Det Norske Solistkor), the Oslo Cathedral Choir, and Oslo Sinfonietta.
In the autumn of 2012, as the first ensemble ever, Ensemble Allegria received the Statoil Talent Award for classical music.