Terje Rypdal was born in Oslo, August 23rd 1947. He is known as one of the leading modern jazz guitarists in Europe. At the same time he is regarded to be an outstanding composer of contemporary art music. Rypdal has has a multifarious musical career since he started his pop band "The Vanguards" in the 1960'ies. He later started up "Dream" where his interest for jazz was awakened. In 1969 he joined the Jan Garbarek Quartet. At the same time he even played in George Russell's Sextet and big band. Rypdal has up through the years composed numerous jazz compositions for own as well as other groups.
Terje Rypdal played the piano from he was five years old, and started up with guitar from the age of 13. As a guitaist he is selftaught. He has studied musicology at the University in Oslo. During the years 1970-72 he studied composition with Finn Mortensen at the Music Conservatory in Oslo (Later the Norwegian State Academy of Music). He has also studied improvisation with George Russell.
As a composer Rypdal received his first impulses from Ligeti, Penderecki and Mahler and he soon developed his own style. His début as a composer was with "Eternal Circulation" (1971), performed with Jan Garbarek Quartet and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Among his works can be mentioned: Symphony No. 1 (1975) commissioned by the Norwegian Television. His opera "Orfeo Turns Around and Watches Eurydice", premiered in 1972 at the Henie Onstad Art Centre outside Oslo. For the American bass player Barre Phillipps we wrote his "Concerto per violbasso e orchestra" (1973). His violin concerto "Undisonus" received the prize "Work of the Year" by the Society of Norwegian Composers. He has composed six symphonies, several works for solo instruments with orchestra, two operas and a large number of contemporary works with participation of jazz musicians.
Terje Rypdal's compositions witness his versatile musical work, his rich imagination and solid knowledge. One can find poetic moments with an almost impressionistic colour as well as constellations of sound with elements from jazz, late romanticism and avantgardism. In addition to his large production of modern art music he has also a great number of jazz and rock compositions.