Gunnar Gjerstrøm - Biography

Gunnar Gjerstrøm

Gunnar Gjerstrøm (10 June 1891 - 9 August 1951) was born in Oslo (then named Kritiania). He studied piano with Nanne Storm and Halfdan Cleve and made his debut as a pianist on 24 March 1916. He studied instrumentation and composition with Iver Holter and Gustav Lange. Richard Strauss became his teacher at the State Academy in Vienna. Here he began working on his first Piano Concerto in F Minor, which won first Prize in a composition competition with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in 1930.

In 1930 he took his exam as an organist after studies with Arild Sandvold. He was organist in the Margareta Church in Oslo in 1937-49. He taught at the Music Conservatory in Oslo 1939-43 and was chairman of Oslo Music Teachers' Association 1936-38. In 1943 his textbook on musical form was published.

In the Norwegian music dictionary Musikkens Verden Gunnar Gjerstrøm presented the following works as his main oeuvre: Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Minor, Piano Concerto No. 2 The Sea, Orchestral Suite in D Minor, Piano Suite i B Minor and Piano Sonata in E Minor. Gunnar Gjerstrøm also made a number of Lieder.

A selection of his chamber music is presented on the CD Two Composers - Two Generations released by the record company Thema. The pianist Kjell Bækkelund has recorded the Piano Suite on his CD 5 Norske Portretter (Five Norwegian Portraits).

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