Transposition was initiated and developed in 2006 by Geir Johnson, then director of the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. The project came about when Vietnamese music institutions expressed a wish to collaborate with the professional music scene in Norway. Preparing for a research tour in Vietnam in 2005, conversations were carried out with managers for the most important music institutions in Vietnam. These conversations formed a situational report presented for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs later this year.
In spring 2006, initial discussions with Norwegian music institutions were held. The goal was to establish what relevant partnerships could be formed between music institutions in Norway and Vietnam. The first project was a concert to mark the diplomatic relations between the two countries in December 2006. On this occasion, it was decided that Transposition would come into operation from 2007.
Under the administration of Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, the project Transposition received grants from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a three years period starting in 2007. From 2010 the administration moved to MIC Music Information Centre Norway, with grants from the Ministry for another three year periode 2010 – 2012. From 2013 on, Transposition has evolved from a project to a programme under the administration of Hedda Foundation.
The initial phase of Transposition, from 2007 to 2009, was concerned with establishing a mutual understanding between the partners. Building trust and opening channels both on an administrative and a personal level among the Norwegian and Vietnamese partners were the main goals for this period. Originally, two major projects were planned, one in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). I Hanoi , the aim was to contribute professionally in the development of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. The other project was concerned with strengthening the Conservatory of music in HCMC by establishing an education programme.
Today, Transposition has grown into a collaboration between five partner institutions in Vietnam and seven in Norway. Transposition is no longer regarded as a project, but is best described as a programme for musical collaboration between Norway and Vietnam.