Fongaard, Björn

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Fongaard, Björn

Fongaard, Björn, Norwegian composer and guitarist; b. Christiania, March 2, 1919; d. there (Oslo), Oct. 26, 1980. He took up the guitar at an early age before pursuing his musical training at the Oslo Cons, with Per Steenberg, Bjarne Brustad, and Karl Andersen. He appeared as a guitarist and also taught guitar at the Oslo Cons. His interest in the potentialities of fractional intervals led him to devise special guitars for playing microtonal music with the aid of electronic techniques which he described as “orchestra microtonalis.” He composed a prolific corpus of works in every conceivable genre.

Works

DRAMATIC Skapelse II (Creation II), church opera (1972); Andromeda, ballet music (1972); Dimensions, ballet music (1974). ORCH.: 2 sinfoniettas (1951,1968); Sonata Concertante for Guitar and Orch. (1963); 12 symphonic poems (1963–71); Orchestral Antiphonalis (1968); Symphony of Space I-III (1969); Sinfonia Geo-Paleontologica I-V (1970); Relativity: Symphony I-III (1970); 23 piano concertos (1973–76); 3 flute concertos (1973–76); 7 violin concertos (1973–77); 3 horn concertos (1973–77); 2 oboe concertos (1976); 2 clarinet concertos (1976); 2 trumpet concertos (1977); 5 organ concertos (1977–78); many other concertos; 7 syms. for Strings (1980). CHAMBER: 2 guitar sonatas (1947, 1963); 2 microtonal guitar sonatas (1965, 1975); 2 sonatas for Solo Oboe (1967,1968); Sonata for Electronically Metamorphosed Tam-tam (1968); Sonata for Saxophone and Microtonal Guitar (1970); Sonata for Solo Bassoon (1972); Trio for Flute, Viola, and Harp (1971); 21 string quartets (1973); 9 wind quintets (1974); 9 wind trios (1975); 6 wind quartets (1975); 12 string trios (1975); numerous other works, including 57 solo sonatas. Additional works include a vast amount of piano music, organ pieces, vocal music, and tape pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire