Estonian Music Days

Tallinn / Tartu
Arne Nordheim

Arne Nordheim (1931–2010) was a Norwegian composer. He started out as an organ and theory student at the Oslo Conservatory (1948–1952), but later turned to composition, studying with Karl Andersen, Bjarne Brustad, Conrad Baden and Holmboe. He also studied musique concrète in Paris (1955) and electronic music in Bilthoven (1959). He subsequently spent much time between 1967 and 1972 studying electronic music in Warsaw, which resulted in Pace (1970), a commission from Polish Radio. Although Nordheim’s explorations into the potential of sound were far-reaching, he was never preoccupied with sound per se. Nordheim perceived sound as an expressive resource – a means of rediscovering forgotten spiritual truths, through a highly personal idiom that remained independent of any particular school or ideology. In 1968 he was awarded the Nordic Council’s Music Prize for his composition Eco. He has played a key role in Norwegian musical life as a member of a number of organising committees and councils. Nordheim gradually established a position as Norway’s national composer in the 1980s. In 2001 instigation of the annual Arne Nordheim Prize by the Norwegian Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Key works: Eco for soprano, chorus and orchestra (1968), Tenebrae for cello and orchestra (1982), Wirklicher Wald for orchestra (1983), Magma for orchestra (1988), Violin concerto (1996).