Interview in MEET THE ARTIST
World Premiere of my oratorio Rollos stemme (La Voix de Rollon)
Three years posponed by the pandemic my oratorio La Voix de Rollon was finally premiered in Ålesund Church to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Ålesund City, Norway by Ålesund Symphony Orchestra, Ålesund Chamber Choir, Ensemble Dali, Con Spirito Chamber Choir, Victoria Nava (soprano), Jeanette Goldstein (mezzo), Thorbjørn Guldbransøy (tenor), Magne Fremmelid (bass), Nikolas Fehr (organ), Lars Thomas Holm (conductor).
Nominated to Spellemansprisen (Norwegian Grammy)
New work: Squabble Measure Overture for Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
To be premiered in week 7 in Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway. The work is commissioned by Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with RITMO, University of Oslo.
Eventyrskogen (Fairytale Forest) in Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Librettist and actress Beate Brox will do her third performance of our work with a chamber ensemble from Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on 4th February in the Grieg Hall.
New piece Annoying Beauty for The Norwegian Women Choir
To be premiered October 13th, 8 pm at The Nordic Black Theatre, Oslo
Album release October 21th, 2022: The Lapse of Time
My oratorio The Lapse of Time is based on poetic excerpts from Charles Darwin groundbreaking book On the Origin of Species will finally be released on Simax October 21th, recorded by Ditte Marie Bræin (soprano), Frank Havrøy (baryton), Inger-Lise Ulsrud (organ), Ensemble 96 (chamber choir), Telemark Chamber Orchestra and the conductors Nina T. Karlsen and Per Kristian Skalstad. Listen
Listen to NRK Broadcast of Krigsseilerrekviem
The complete work premiered May 31th 2022 by Tora Augestad, Torbjørn Gulbrandshøy, Magnus Ingemund Kjelstad, Magne Fremmelid (bass), The Norwegian Opera Choir and The Royal Navy Band conducted by Bjarte Engeset in Oslo Concert Hall, Broadcasted June 16th by NRK.
Radio program «Spillerom søndag» June 12th with interviews and reflections on the process (in Norwegian)
Review in radio program «Musikklivet» June 11th.
Interview and pre-talk in radio program «Holm» May 31th with Commander Sten Kristian Brath in the Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Krigsseilerrekviem (A Requiem for Saiors at War)
Libretto and about the work
The libretto and more info about the work is now available on The Norwegian Navy Band’s web pages.
Krigsseilerrekviem – podkast
Listen to the Norwegian Opera’s podkast about Krigsseilerrekviem
Krigsseilerrekviem – premiere
Krigsseilerrekviem (Requiem for Sailors at War) will finally be premiered in Oslo Concert Hall May 31th by Royal Navy Band, The Norwegian Opera Chorus, Tora Augestad (mezzo), Thorbjørn Guldbrandshøy (tenor), Magnus Ingemund Kjelstad (baryton), Magne Fremmelid (bass) and Bjarte Engeset (conductor). The planned premiere in The Norwegian Opera House in November 2020 was painfully cancelled during dress rehearsal due to Covid19. Tickets here.
New Organ Work: Fugo et Fugio
My new organ work Fugo et Fugio (I chase and I flee) to be premiered by Lars Notto Birkeland in Larvik Church on May 22nth
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Performance in Oslo
Violinist Ai-Ling Chiu and Telemark Chamber Orchestra will perform Violin Concerto April 4th at 1900 in Oslo Gamle Rådhus.
String Quartet no. 1 or 2 and no. 2 or 1 premiere
My two first String Quartets will be premiered at Ålesund Chamber Music Festival 2022: «No 1 or » to be performed February 3rd at 1900 at Sobra Scene and «No. 2 or !» February 6th at 1700 in Ålesund Church. Both by Ålesund String Quartet.
The Lapse of Time concert and recording
My oratorio The Lapse of Time based on Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species will finally be performed again February 14th 2022 in Frogner church, Oslo in connection with Darwin Day at the University of Oslo.. The work will also be recorded for release autumn 2022. Ditte Marie Bræin (soprano), Frank Havrøy (baryton), Inger-Lise Ulsrud (organ), Mikkel Alvheim Åse (electronics), Ensemble 96, Nina T. Karlsen (choral master), Telemark Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (conductor)
Scherzo Patetique will be premiered by The Progression Ensemble
To be premiered in Oslo Gamle Rådhus 9.11, Moss 10.11 and Hamar Teater 11.11.
String Quartet no. 1 or 2 and no. 2 or 1 is completed
To be premiered by Ålesund String Quartet in February 22.
Scherzo Patetique for the Progression Ensemble
A new work called Patetisk scherzo for The Progression Ensemble, Oslo is completed. Premiere to be announced later.
Eventyrskogen: Two concerts in June
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra will do two new performances of Eventyrskogen June 4th in Holmlia Church, Oslo.
New work for Ålesund String Quartet
Arts Council Norway has supported a new work for Ålesund string quartet.
New commission from Det norske damekor
A commission for a new female choir work is supported by The Norwegian Composers fund.
The Lapse of Time canceled
Concert and recording of the oratory The Lapse of Time is canceled due to corona restrictions in Oslo. New date: February 2022.
Krigsseilerrekviem (Requiem for Sailors at War) Premiere canceled
Due to a corona outbreak at The Norwegian Opera and Ballet the premiere is canceled. New date to be announced later.
Krigsseilerrekviem (Requiem for Sailors at War) Premiere at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, Oslo
Finally tickets are available for the premiere of a 85 minutes Requiem to commemorate Norwegian merchant sailors who contributed and suffered so much during World War II. Excerpts form sailors’ own letters, diaries and memoirs are woven into parts of the requiem liturgy. Hence, ten seafarers speak for themselves about their fears and sufferings through this large-scaled musical drama written for The Norwegian Navy Band and The Norwegian Opera Choir, soloists Tora Augestad, Bror Magnus Tødenæs, Yngve Søberg and Jens-Erik Aasbø and conductor Bjarte Engeset.
Eventyrskogen (The Magic Forest) Digital Premiere with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra 22th May 2020
While most of the music business is closed down Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra has premiered Eventyrskogen digitally. This children’s concert is about the trees in The Magic Forest that long to become musical instruments.
Rollos stemme – premiere March 29th 2020 in Ålesund postponed due to the corona pandemic
Ålesund Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a large-scaled work for four soloists, choir, organ and orchestra for their anniversary season. The work will be based on various texts reflecting the life of @Rollon, first duke of Normandy, who apparently is identical to the Norwegian viking Gange-Rolf.
Dagvise now released on 2L
The Norwegian chamber choir Uranienborg vokalensemble conducted by Elisabeth Holte has released a new album with Norwegian psalms on 2L for which they commissioned a work by me. Dagvise combines two Pentecost psalms. The score is published by Cantando.
Vil du høre? for girls choir: Premiere
Again I have turned to texts by the Norwegian poet Gro Dahle for this commission from Bærum pikekor and their conductor Ingrid Stige. The work Vil du høre? Would you like to listen?) will be premiered 11th April at 1800 in Helgerud church outside Oslo.
Living Fossils: Premiere on Ålesund Chamber Music Festival
My new piano trio Living Fossils will be premiered by Ai-Ling Chiu, Audun Sandvik and Tor Øyvind Hummelsund in Ålesund church tonight at 1800 on the final concert of Ålesund Chamber Music Festival.
Vårklokken vår: Premiere in the Hurum hall in Oslo
The choral work Vårklokken vår, commissioned by Barbro Berg and written for amateur singers, only with graphic notation, will be premiered in the Hurum hall 27th Jaunuary at 1930.
Commission from The Royal Norwegian Navy Band
The Royal Norwegian Navy Band has commissioned a new large-scaled work by me for soloists, chorus and wind band for 2020. More details will follow.
Violin Concerto in Taiwan
Two wonderful performances of my Violin Concerto in Chi Mei Hall, Tainan and Pingtung Performance Centre, Pingtung in Taiwan with Ai-Ling Chiu and Counterpoint Ensemble Conducted by Lars-Thomas Holm
New recording on 2L
The chamber choir Uranienborg vokalensemble will record my Dagvise on 2L in June 2018 for their new album with compositions and arrangements based on Norwegian psalms.
Violin Concerto on tour in Taiwan
Ai-Ling Chiu and the Taiwanese Counterpoint Ensemble conducted by Lars Thomas Holm will perform my Concerto for Violin and Strings on three concerts in Taiwan in October 2018.
Two new performances of Kortmesse langt borte frå
The Grammy nominated choir Ensemble 96 take up the success from 2016 and perform my Kortmesse langt borte frå for soloists, choir and orchestra in Tønsberg Cathedral (28.04.18) and Moss Church (29.04.18).
New Piano Trio for Ai-Ling Chiu
I’m currently working on a new Piano Trio called «Living Fossils» for violinist Ai-Ling Chiu, for whom I wrote the Violin Concerto that was premiered in Ålesund in 2017.
Dagvise premiered on Oslo International Church Music Festival
The Grammy nominated choir Uranienborg vokalensemble will premiere my new choral piece Dagivse on Oslo International Church Music Festival 06.03.18. They will perform the work again on their tour in Telemark and Vestfold in May.
Woven Brass: Blue-Ray/SACD on 2L with Oslo Philharmonic Brass. NOW RELEASED
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This album is spun out of the musical friendship between Christophersen and Haltlia, and features whirling overtone spectra, virtuosic gestures, beautiful melodic ambiguity and quiet spaces – musical moments and extended structures – all woven together into an hour-long musical narrative. Bjørn Morten Christophersen is continually in pursuit of new musical stories. Whether writing for choir, orchestra, chamber ensembles or TV drama, a clear voice always carries the narrative. The six musicians gathered for this recording are all members of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and they play together in the ensemble Norwegian Brass Expo. They are among the best and most experienced brass players in Scandinavia and come from a Nordic brass tradition advocating a homogenous and beautiful sound.
Recording sessions: Facebook Photo Album
Immersive Audio is a sonic sculpture that you can literally move around and relate to spatially; surrounded by music you can move about in the aural space and choose angles, vantage points and positions. Dolby Atmos and the Auro-3D on this Pure Audio Blu-ray delivers a new standard in immersion, fully enveloping the audience in a cocoon of life-like audio. Recorded in discrete 9.1 at DXD resolution.
Woven Brass: Blue-Ray/SACD with Oslo Philharmonic Brass Release November 2017
My new album Woven Brass featuring chamber music for brass composed during the last 14 years is soon to be released on 2L.
World Premiere: Concerto for Violin and Strings
Ai-Ling Chiu and Ålesund Chamber Soloists, conducted by Lars-Thomas Holm made a very successful premiere of my violin concerto on Ålesund Chamber Music Festival.
Recording sessions for the album: Wowen Brass Works
Recording session for my new album with brass chamber music on label 2L in Jar kirke outside Oslo with musicians from the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra: Jonas Haltia, Axel Sjöstedt and Brynjar Kolbergsrud (trumpet), Jan-Olav Martinsen (horn), Thorbjørn Lønmo (trombone), Frode Amundsen (tuba).
Photo: Morten Lindberg, 2L
New Commission from Uranienborg Vokalensemble
Grammy nominated Uranienborg Vokalensemble and their conductor Elisabeth Holte have commissioned a new choral piece SATB based on a Norwegian psalm for their new album to be recorded by 2L.
Concerto for Violin and Strings
The brand new Concerto is to be performed by soloist Ai-Ling Chiu and Ålesund Chamber Soloists at the Ålesund Chamber Music Festival in west coast Norway on 18th June 2017 in beautiful Ålesund Church.
New Commission for choir SSA
The Norwegian female choir Bærum Pikekor has commissioned a new work to be performed in 2018.
Nominated to Musikkforleggerprisen
My choral work «Oak and Mayfly» is nominated to Musikkforleggerprisen (Music Publisher Prize) in the category of Classical/Contemporary music. Score available here.
World Premiere of Kortmesse langt borte frå
My new work for soloists, choir and orchestra will be premiered 30.10.2016 in Fagerboerg Church, Oslo by chamber choir Ensemble 96 and musicians from Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Allegria and The Norwegian Soloists Choir. Nina T. Karlsen will conduct the premiere. The work is a comment to the mass ordinario and will be performed in junction with Haydn’s Nelson Mass. The lyrics of my works are gathered from the norwegian poet Paal Helge Haugen’s poem «Missa Brevis» and Danish Catholic song masses from late 19th century. My work is about faith, no faith, and a longing for something to believe in.
New York premiere of Xenophobian Melomania
Ensemble mise-en commissioned a work for flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, contrabass and piano which will be performed on June 24 during the mise-en music festival. See program here. I will also be giving a composer talk on the 23rd.
Ålesund Chamber Music Festival has commissioned a new concerto for solo violinist Ai-Ling Chiu and Ålesund Chamber Strings. To be premiered in June 2017. The commission is supported by Det norske komponistfond.
New work for choir and orchestra
Ensemble 96 and conductor Nina T. Karlsen have commissioned a new work for choir and chamber orchestra. This will be a response to Haydn’s Nelson Mass. Both works will be performed in October 2016 in Oslo. The commission is supported by Arts Council Norway.
I completed my PhD degree today with a disputation on my thesis Panoramic Constraints: A Study of Johan Svendsen’s Musical Sketches and Exercises at the University of Oslo. Opponents were Professor Daniel Grimley (Oxford University), Associate Professor Owe Ander (Stockholm University) and Professor Hallgjerd Aksnes (University of Oslo).
I am nominated to the Norwegian Music Publisher’s Prize in the category «Break through of the year».
Oak and Mayfly released with video
Schola Cantorum, conducted by Tone Bianca Dahl, recorded by 2L, video by Frigge Fri
Mise-en Music Festival 2016 in New York
I have been selected to compose a new work for flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, contrabass and piano for the mise-en music festival in New York in June 2016.
Datarock: The Musical
with orchestral arrangements by Christophersen. Released on vinyl.
Sentimental Pebbles, version for brass band is published on Norsk Musikforlag
New work for Berit Norbakken Solset (soprano) and Geir Davidsen (euphonium and electronics)
I have been granted a scholarship fro Komponistenes vederlagsfond to compose a new work for these wonderful musicians.
Bræen (The Glacier) premiere
My performance version of the sketches for Johan Svendsen’s third Icelandic melody for string orchestra is premiered in the Levinsalen, Norwegian Academy of Music at 18:00
Oak and Mayfly recorded by Schola Cantorum on 2L
The 6 part a cappella work Oak and Mayfly is recorded Uranienborg kirke by Schola Cantorum and Tone Bianca Dahl for 2L and producer Morten Lindberg.
Oak and Mayfly performed by Schola Cantorum
The 6 part a cappella work Oak and Mayfly is performed by Schola Cantorum and Tone Bianca Dahl in Majorstuen kirke at 16.00
A Just-Finishing Candle, new performance 23.11.14
A Just-Finishing Candle will be performed by Ensemble 96, conducted by Nina T. Karlsen at Ridehuset, Akershus Fortres on 23.11.14.
Listen to Schola Cantorums recording here.
New Choral Piece based on a H.C.Andersen fairytale
My latest a cappella work called Oak and Mayfly is commissioned by Schola Cantorum will be premiered on the choir’s 50th Anniversary Concert on the 14th November 2014 at 19.00 in the University of Oslo Aula.
Oslo filharmoniske orkester og Eli Kristin Hanssveen framfører to Prøysen-sanger jeg har arrangert til deres sommerkonsert på Myraløkka 15.6 2014
Konserten kan sees her . Mine bidrag mellom 27 og 37 minutter.
Fafafa med Datarock og gigakoret
Datarock held a concert with a choir of 400 children during the Bergen International Festival 2014 with my choral arrangements
Datarock the Musical
The Norwegian band Datarock and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra will premiere Datarock The Musical September 6th in the new concert hall in Stavanger. I have arranged all the songs for orchestra. This will be a crazy meeting between a rock band and vigorous Hollywoodian orchestral sound.
The Lapse of Time
On commission from Ensemble Dali and conductor Eirik Sørborg I have composed a large-scaled work for two soloists, choir, orchestra and electro acoustics. It will be premiered 2. and 3. November 2013 in Kristiansund and Ålesund. The project is supported by Arts Council Norway.
The work is based on Charles Darwin: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). For a long time I have filtered a number of passages that I find both beautiful and important to the understanding of evolution. The core of this work is the beauty of human knowledge through natural science.
More details will follow.
Flaska som hylte på alt mulig
Hvorfor heter «tenke» «tenke»? Hvorfor kan ikke «tenke» hete «hyle»? Denne forestillingen er basert på Trond Brænnes bok Fru Andersen har hump i halen og hadde premiere i 2011. I uke 9 drar den på turné i Hedmark som avsluttes 4. mars på Hamar teater kl. 14.00. Hillevi Skalmerud Larson og Trine Nyhus Lørum har skrevet manus, og sammen med Solveig Lagos Andersen spiller de alle rollene. Jeg har forsynt forestillingen med pussige og muntre sanger.
Haugtussa – ei vandring i Veslemøy sitt rike
1. – 4. september spilles denne forestillingen ute i landskapet ved Arne Garborgs dikterbolig i Knudaheio. Jeg skrev musikken til en oppsetning på samme sted i 2008. Årets versjon er en videreutvikling av dette.
Musikken består av både elektroniske lydkulisser og sanger akkompagnert av strykekvartett og horn. Jeg bruker også flere av Griegs Haugtussa sanger i ny drakt og nytt arrangement.
Regi: Hallgjerd Byrkjeland, Koreograf: Siri Dybwik. Medvirkende: Rita Heigre, Sigve Bøe, Gerd Elin Birkeland, lokalt kor, dansere fra Universitetet i Stavanger o.a.
Se bilder fra forestillingen:
Johan Svendsen: Unfinished symphony: Performance version
Jeg har bearbeidet deler av skissematerialet til en symfoni av Johan Svendsen som vil bli urfremført under en festkonsert i anledning 100-årsminnet for hans død med Bergen filharmoniske orkester og dirigent Bjarte Engeset 9. og 10. februar 2011.
Johan Svendsen (1840–1911) was probably the most important contributor to a symphonic tradition in Norway in the second half of the 19th century. His works, including two notable symphonies, were performed regularly during his lifetime. Several sources have claimed that Svendsen worked on a third symphony, but it may seem that he was un-able to complete the work as his compositional activity waned in the 1880s. However, a famous anecdote would have it that his wife, in a fit of jealousy, burned the completed manuscript. In 2007, conductor Bjarte Engeset identified sketches for a cyclic symphonic work by Svendsen. I have elaborated and arranged parts of the material for a celebratory concert marking the centenary of Svendsen’s death. A performable version, so to speak, of the sketches, to my mind throws new light not only on an unfinished or lost symphony but may also be a valuable contribution to understanding artistic development, as this material demonstrates a more dramatic musical language than most of his earlier works.
Recitatives for Orchestra
Orkesterverket Recitatives ble urfremført av Kristiansand Symfoniorkester og Rolf Gupta på deres Tysklandsturné 30.9 (Kristiansand) og 4.10 (Duisburg). Verket er bestilt av KSO. Her er noen hyggelige tilbakemeldinger
..dieses brillante Orchesterstück…. Schöpfung und Nachschöpfung schienen hier aus den gleichen glasklaren Quellen zu kommen. (Ingo Hoddick, Rheinische Post, 6.10.10)
Ein kontrastreiches Variationswerk mit einer, dem Titel gemäß, unmittelbar ansprechenden rhetorischen Kraft und einer belebenden Klangvielfalt. (Pedro Obiera, NRZ, 6.10.10)