Terje Bjørklund - Biography

Terje Bjørklund

Terje Bjørklund was born in Narvik, Norway (1945). After obtaining his Masters Degree in Musicology at the University of Oslo (1971) he studied composition with Finn Mortensen at the Norwegian Academy of Music (1971-1973). Since then he has been employed at the Conservatory of Music in Trondheim (NTNU) where he is presently Assistant Professor with a special responsibility for courses in composition and theory. In 1979 he started the Jazz Program at the Conservatory.

Bjørklund was an active jazz pianist up until approximately 1980. He has collected his experiences in the text book “Modern Jazz Improvisation” (1983, Norsk Musikkforlag). In 1983 he was awarded the Norwegian Jazz Association’s highest award: the Buddy statue. Since 1980 Terje Bjørklund has concentrated on composing and has primarily been oriented toward serious art music. In many of his works harmony is a main element. The way in which he handles harmony and sound is reminiscent of modern jazz.

Bjørklund has written a series of works on commission for choirs, orchestra and diverse solo and chamber music groups. He has in particular written for strings, partially because of the rich string milieu in Trondheim. “Sarek”, written for string orchestra in 1992, received the following review in the well-known American music magazine “Fanfare”: “This music has lyrical passages that take your breath away, and the strong melodic profile sounds like an up-dated Grieg.” This work was played as the opening piece for Anne Sophie Mutter’s USA tour in 2002. It was played for a full house at Carnegie Hall in New York and was warmly received by both the audience and the press. “Carmina” for strings was released in 2008 on the TrondheimSoloists’ CD “Divertimenti.” This CD was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards in 2009.

Additional works include ”Morene” and “Narvik 2002” for symphony orchestra; “Magnificat”, “Requiem” and “Norwegian Sanctus” for soloists, chorus and orchestra; the violin concerto “Arctos” and the opera “Frøken Victoria” – based on Knut Hamsun’s novel “Victoria.” In the last few years Terje Bjørklund has also composed two full-evening so-called “crossover works”: “Norwegian Sanctus” (2006), and “The Wedding” (2009). Norwegian Sanctus, for jazz soloists, chorus and chamber orchestra had its premiere at the Molde Jazz Festival in 2006. It was also performed during the Olav’s Festival in Trondheim the same year and during the Oslo International Church Music Festival in 2009. "The Wedding" written for jazz soloists and chamber orchestra was a commission from the Trondheim Jazz Festival on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Jazz Program at the Conservatory of Music in Trondheim. Terje Bjørklund has recently finished a new violin concerto, commissioned by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in cooperation with Concerts Norway (Rikskonsertene). The work is scheduled for its premiere on 30 September 2010.

Bjørklund has received commissions from a series of leading musicians, ensembles, choirs and orchestras: Ole Edvard Antonsen, Christian Lindberg, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Chilingerian String Quartet, TrondheimSoloists, Marianne Thorsen, Nidaros Cathedral Boys Choir, Aage Kvalbein, Stig Nilsson, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Bjarne Fiskum, and others.

Terje Bjørklund’s music was performed at the LOOC Festival “Olympic Winter Land” in Tokyo in 1993. He was the festival composer during the Arts Festival of North-Norway in 1993 and at the Chamber Music Festival in Røros in 2004. He was “Artist/Composer of the Week” in the national radio station NRK P2 in both 1991 and 2004. His music has been featured on three dedicated CD’s: “Music for Strings” (Hemera HCD 2923), “Sacred Music” (MIT CD 0197), “Silent Tracks” (Arctos CD 0104). In addition, many of his works are included on other CD’s.

Music and scores are available from the following publishers: Pizzicato Editione (Italy/Switzerland), Warner Chappell, Norwegian Music Publishers (Norsk Musikkforlag), Music House Publishers (Musikkhusets forlag), Music Information Center Norway (MIC).

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