Norway may risk losing an entire generation of young musicians

An article written by three young musicians on behalf of their generation has received broad support—they warn that Norway risks losing an entire generation of musicians.

Behind the VG article are Elias Tafjord (23), Daniela Reyes Holmsen (22) and Georg Minos (23), who state:

“We are not particularly interested in writing articles, but what else should we do when we have no money in the bank, and no idea when this is going to change?”

They quote the denial they received from NAV [the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration], which states: “You have no baseline income from which to receive benefits for the self-employed,” and point out that they have used all their efforts to complete music studies, establish themselves in the music industry and have worked around the clock. In the article, they explain that to establish oneself in the music industry you have to start at the bottom of the ladder with very little income.

“Now when we apply for benefits, it’s too bad that last year’s income does not reflect the extensive working year we’ve had, the three of them point out, who have attended cultural school, played in bands, attended arts programs and received Frifond [welfare] funds.

“Norway has a proud tradition of world-class musicians, and Norwegian music has increasingly become an export commodity. We have achieved this because we have built up talents and given them the opportunity to grow.

Tafjord, Reyes Holmsen and Minos finish the article by pointing out that they are not only young and hopeful talents, but are among those who will carry Norway’s cultural and musical heritage forward.

“We also need to be able to call Norway a cultural nation in the coming decades,” they round out the article – which is signed by over 350 other Norwegian musicians, ranging from established names such as Sondre Lerche, Bugge Wesseltoft and Susanna Wallumrød to younger musicians.


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