The Years 2019-2020 in Review


The years 2019-2020 were in many ways the peak of my musical career; that is to say, a lot of it collapsed during 2020. In 2019 my 70ieth birthdays was celebrated with an incredible event at the Norwegian Academy of Music arranged by my dear wife, Britt Strandlie Thoresen, and I was accorded a medal from the King (Kongens Fortjenestemedalje). I finished the composing of what shall be the crowning of my orchestral production by a final, major work: ?? – Det værende, commissioned by Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. This work is the end of an orchestral journey that began with a symphonic cello concerto (Viaggio attraverso tre valli; 2008), and continued through a symphonic viola-concerto (La valle dell’unità; 2011), a symphonic piano-concerto (Cittá della luce; 2017), and the symphonic movements written as part of the Sound of the Arctic (La terra meravigliosa; 2019). However, the WP was cancelled because of the Covid19 lock-down. Fortunately, the Oslo Philharmonic was able to perform my symphonic cello-concerto as part of the Ultima Festival in September, and a good recording was made - to be published with the recording company LAWO during 2021. Amalie Stalheim proved to be a fantastic performer, I think she is heading towards a great career!

The lockdown allowed me the silence and concentration write a major piano piece: Invocation of Earth in the Reflection of Glory. It was given a brilliant first-performance by Yejin Gil on the web.

The year 2020 allowed for a couple of essays and papers to be written and published:


I also gave a major interview in Eldbjørg Hemsing’s web-site:

In 2021 I hope to witness the first performance of a set of pieces I wrote for Unni Løvlid and Marianne Lie with texts by Mahvash Sabet. I also hope the violinist Gregory Maytan will be able to perform a piece I dedicated to him (Quietly Turning). Moreover, I wrote a new, hopefully improved version of Skyggers Drøm for string orchestra this spring – and I hope circumstances will allow for a performance of it as well as a recording. I am also supposed to give presentations at Klangwelt Toggenburg in Switzerland with focus on overtones and overtone singing. Nordic Voices have been invited to perform my works. I am planning to write quite a few chamber music works…

As to research I have been much encouraged by a collaboration between Erlend Hovland and Njål Ølnes. We started a series of encounters at the school with the overall thematic: Ear in Music; unfortunately, it has closed down after a couple of arrangements because of the pandemic. But we are planning a project that may last for some years: a presentation of Aural Sonology adapted to different pedagogical requirements. In addition, I am this year the main speaker in the Norwegian Academy’s annual seminar Current Trends in Music Theory and Pedagogic, and in this connection I have written a major paper to appear in Music Theory and Analysis, with the title: Energy in Music – observations and ideas.





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