Nordheim, Arne

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Nordheim, Arne

Nordheim, Arne, significant Norwegian composer; b. Larvik, June 20, 1931. He studied at the Oslo Cons. (1948–52). His principal mentors in composition were Andersen, Baden, and Brustad. Following further studies with Holmboe in Copenhagen, he returned to Oslo and wrote music criticism for the Morgenpost (1959–63) and Dagbladet (1963–69). In 1960 he was awarded the Bergen Festival prize. His Eco for Soprano, Choruses, and Orch. took the Nordic Council Music Prize in 1972. He was made a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm in 1975 and in 1982 he was named a knight first class in the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. In 1990 he received the Norwegian Cultural Council’s prize. Nordheim is one of Norway’s most important composers, one long in the forefront of avant-garde developments in his country. His works are marked by extraordinary craftsmanship and imagination, and are notable for their experimental use of pointillistic tone colors and for their motivic method of seemingly spontaneous melorhythmic structures.


dramatic: ballet:Katharsis (1962); Stages (1971); Strender (1974); Stoolgame (1974); Greening (1975); Ariadne (1977); The Tempest (1979; also as a suite for Soprano, Baritone, and Orch.). other: Incidental music; film scores. orch.:Nachruf for Strings (1956); Canzona (1961); Epitaffio for Chamber Orch. and Tape (1964); Floating (Graz, Oct. 20, 1970); Greening (Los Angeles, April 12, 1973); Spur for Accordion and Orch. (1975); Tenebrae, cello concerto (Washington, D.C., Nov. 23, 1982); Boomerang for Oboe and Chamber Orch. (1985); Rendezvous for Strings (1986; orchestration of the String Quartet, 1956); Tractatus for Flute and Chamber Ensemble (1986); Magma (1988); Monolith (1990); Acantus Firmus Olympiadis for Hardan-ger Fiddle, Trumpets, Strings, and Electroacoustic Sounds (1992; Lillehammer, Ian. 1993); Ad fontes for Orch. and Electroacoustic Sounds (1993); Adieu for Strings and Bells (Warsaw, Sept. 9, 1994); Jubel for Winds, Percussion, and Carillon (1995). chamber: String Quartet (1956; orch. as Rendezvous for Strings, 1986); Response for 2 Percussionists and Tape (1966; also for Organ, 4 Percussionists, and Tape, 1967–75, Percussionist and Tape, 1968, and 4 Percussionists and Tape, 1977); Signals for Accordion, Percussion, and Electric Guitar (1968); Partita II for Electric Guitar (1969); Dinosauros for Accordion and Tape (1971); Listen for Piano (1971); The Hunting of the Snark for Trombone (1976); Clamavi for Cello (1980); Partita für Paul for Violin and Electronic Delay (1985); Flashing for Accordion (1986); Duplex for Violin and Viola (1990). vocal:Aftonland (Evening Land) for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1959); Eco for Soprano, Chorus, Children’s Chorus, and Orch. (1968); Doria for Tenor and Orch. (1975); Tempora Noctis for 2 Sopranos and Orch. (1979); Aurora for 4 Singers, Chotales, and Tape (1983; also for 4 Singers, Chorus, Percussion, and Tape); Wirklicher Wald for Soprano, Cello, Chorus, and Orch. (1983); Music to 2 Fragments to Music by Shelley for Women’s Chorus (1985); Très Lamenta-tiones for Chorus (1985); Tre Voci for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1988); Be Not Afeard for Soprano, Baritone, and Orch. (1989); Draumkvedet for 9 Voices, Chorus, and Electroacoustic Sounds (Oslo, Feb. 1, 1994); Lacrimosa, a movement for the international Requiem of Reconciliation, for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (Stuttgart, Aug. 16, 1995). electronic:Evolution (1966); Warszawa (1968); Solitaire (1968); Pace (1970); Lux et tenebrae (1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire

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