Major new commission for Norwegian composer

Renowned composer Ståle Kleiberg has received a commission to write a new opera that is set to be premiered in Washington DC in 2007.

Ståle Kleiberg

11 September 2004 saw Kleiberg’s work ‘Requiem for the victims of Nazi Persecution’ performed at the Washington National Cathedral. The reception of Kleiberg’s work was so positive that the Cathedral’s musical director Michael McCarthy has now commissioned a new work from the Norwegian composer.

The opera is titled ‘David and Bathsheba’ in reference to the Old Testament story of King David who fell in love with Uria’s wife Bathsheba and sent Uria to war in order to die.

‘David and Bathsheba’ is scheduled for a Washington DC premiere in summer 2007. McCarthy will conduct performances of the work both in Washington DC and in Trondheim, Norway.

Composer Ståle Kleiberg was born in Stavanger in 1958. He graduated from the University of Oslo with a degree in musicology and later from the Norwegian State Academy of Music with a diploma degree in composition. In addition Kleiberg has studied in England. His output ranges from chamber music to works for full orchestra; a number of these are the result of commissions from leading orchestras and ensembles. In 1999 Kleiberg was awarded the Fartein Valen Prize, and was composer-in-residence during the Valen Days the following year. Valen’s output ranges from chamber music to works for full orchestra; a number of these are the result of commissions form leading orchestras and ensembles. Kleiberg’s works are often to be found on concert programmes. Among his works for full orchestra is the symphony “Klokkeskjæret” (The Bell Reef), commissioned by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Kleiberg has also completed a number of major works commissioned by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, and was their composer in residence for the 2000/2001 season. Three of his works that were performed during that season have been recorded on a portrait CD with Kleiberg’s orchestral music, An other portrait CD features five of his chamber works, and he is also represented a t other recordings with single pieces.

Many of Kleiberg’s works have a literary source. Poetic images often give rise to musical associations, and these imagined sounds and sound-textures form the basis of the inspiration for the composer’s work. One excellent example of this is the hour-long “Rosevinduet” (“The Rose Window”) for narrator and chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Olavsfestdagene in Trondheim in 1992, and later released on CD.

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