The Philharmonic (literally the Concert House) was opened in 1977, in order to "ensure a wide cultural offer for the whole population”, consisting in around 300 events a year. For the inauguration, Arne Nordheim presented a sound composition which is still used to inform the public about the imminent end of the interval. The signal, which the author called ambiguously Inkalling [The calling], comes from his composition Pace, written in 1970 for Polish Radio and dedicated to Józef Patkowski. It is based on a recording of the Declaration of Human Rights, read simultaneously, but at different speeds, by a man, a woman and a boy. The sound was prepared in the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio in such a way as to make the text unidentifiable. The voices were transformed into sounds resembling tolling bells. At the Philharmonic, The Calling lasts for three minutes – exactly the duration of the middle part of Pace (cf. Experimental Studio of Polish Radio).
The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra has been based at the Concert House since 1977, and it has performed Nordheim’s orchestral works many times.
For the composer's fiftieth birthday, on 20 June 1981, Charles Darden conducted a performance of a suite from The Tempest and Nachruf for stringed instruments. On 10 October 1985, the orchestra performed Response III for pipe organ, percussion instrument and tape. On 21 October 1985, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra gave the world premiere of Boomerang for oboe and chamber orchestra.
A concert celebrating the eightieth birthday of King Olav V, on 2 July 1983, opened with the first performance of Nordheim’s Venit Rex for signal band, mixed choir, symphony orchestra, organ and chimes.
On the centenary of the Bern Convention (on the protection of literary and artistic works), Nordheim composed Varder [Beacons] for eight or more trumpets and orchestra, performed on 3 September 1986.
In 1990, Nordheim received an honorary award from the Nordic Council in a ceremony held at the Philharmonic.
The composer’s seventieth birthday was celebrated in 2001 with a grand concert, with the participation of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Norway's most prominent actors and soloists. In 1995, the Pugwash movement of scientists for disarmament and its then chairman, the Polish-Jewish physicist Józef Rotblat, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, partly to draw attention to the fiftieth anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On 11 December, that distinction was marked by a gala concert at the Oslo Philharmonic featuring a performance by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Ashkenazy of the World Mass for Peace. Several composers of worldwide renown were asked to write the movements of this mass. Nordheim composed the Sanctus for soprano and orchestra. The other movements were written by Yoritsune Ntsudaira (Japan), Giancarlo Menotti (Italy), Armando Krieger (Argentina), Alfred Schnittke (Russia/Germany), Krzysztof Penderecki (Poland) and Sergio Rendina (Italy).