Allegria (ital.) 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 is comprised of around 20 musicians between 20-26 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, Ensemble Allegria has performed at a number of festivals, among them, Bergen International Festival, Hardanger Music Festival, and the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. It has collaborated with internationally known soloists, such as Tine Thing Helseth, Christian Ihle Hadland, Martin Fröst, and Arve Tellefsen, and it has engaged in projects in collaboration with the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, the Oslo Cathedral Choir, and Oslo Sinfonietta. In the autumn of 2012, Ensemble Allegria received the Statoil Talent Award for classical music.