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- 10 Reasons

- 10 Reasons

Came for the orchestra - stayed for the culture.

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra brought both Vicent Montalt Ros and Maja Vagner to the city of Stavanger. The high quality of the orchestra, a secure way of living and the good environment made them choose to stay.

Reason Vicent:
My reason for going to Stavanger is the job security, the working environment and the level of the musical community.

Reason Maja:
I first came because of my musical studies, as an exchange student for a short period of time. But I absolutely loved it, so I stayed.

In every little village in Spain there is an orchestra where people play and sing, like in Vicent Montalt Ros village, where his grandfather also attended as a singer. The feeling of the orchestra had an impact on Vicent – and it still does.

Today, he plays the oboe and the English horn in SSO (Stavanger Symphony Orchestra) as a professional musician.

– I wanted to go to Europe for work, and when I found a vacant position, I didn’t hestitate for a second. I was searching for a new part of the world to work in and was curious about Europe. Among my preferences was security, a good working environment and a high musical level– and here I found it all, Vicent says and smiles.

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He first studied in Valencia, then went to Austria and Salzburg to get his master’s degree. Then he played in Barcelona at the Orquestra Simfònica before he went to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra for five years.

– The search for the best jobs in the best orchestras has been my motivation, and Scandinavian orchestras are known for their high quality. But finding a working environment as good as this, was not something I expected.

– It´s fantastic!

Being a Spanish oboist in SSO and living in Stavanger, is better than Vicent could have imagined.

– Here, I can go out after work, breathe fresh air, look at beautiful surroundings and spend time with a very international and very nice group of musical colleagues, like Maja. We call her “Una Maja info byrå”, Vicent says with a friendly laugh.

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Maja Vagner, from Serbia

At the age of three, Maja Vagner from Belgrade started to play the violin, just like her grandfather. The violin has been a big part of her life since then, and in 2004, the violin brought her to Stavanger.

With her competence and long experience, she is among the highest qualified violinists in Norway. She came because of a scholarship she had applied for, as one of very few international students, to study music at the University of Stavanger.

– When my studies were over, I didn´t feel ready to go back, so I stayed for my master’s degree. And I’m still here, she laughs. Now, Maja is playing for the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (SSO) for the fifteenth year, only interrupted by one year in Leipzig.

Wagner started as a substitute at the age of 22, when SSO still played in the old Concert Hall, proud to represent a very skilled orchestra with high international standards.

– I love people, I love Stavanger and I love SSO. And I also love to play in the concert hall, because I can feel the warmth and enthusiasm from the audience.

– I also got to experience both the planning and the establishment of a brand-new concert hall, which turned ten years old in 2022.

The social connector

Maja is known as the social connector of the orchestra. She takes extra care of new musicians and invites them home for homemade dinners. Quite often, she is also the one who suggests restaurants to visit.

– I love using the city center and all it has to offer of food, drink and cultural life, Maja says.

But the most important thing for her is the safe environment, the social security schemes, and the environmental stability.

– My best advice to become a Norwegian, is to go all in. That means listening to local news, reading Norwegian newspapers and socializing with Norwegians. But never forget where you come from, that is the most important thing.

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