Born: 25 April 1952 in Oslo.

Piano-studies with Amalie Christie and Professor Robert Riefling, Oslo. Further studies in London and Paris.

Debut January 1969 with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Bartok pianoconcerto nr. 3). Experimental music with the avant-garde group Svein Finnerud Trio in 1971 and with the Norwegian singer/author Ole Paus. Different performances with jazz and rock musicians 1971-1973. First album with own music released by Philips/Phonogram 1973, with Jon Eberson (g), Arild Andersen (b) and Jon Christensen (d), produced by Svein Erik Børja.

Debut as author in 1972 with poems on Aschehoug. His books are translated to Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch, Finnish, English, French, Czech, Polish, Korean, Russian, Bengali, Greek and Turkish.

Ketil Bjørnstad received the Norwegian language prize "Riksmålsprisen" for his novel "Nåde", and he received the Norwegian Grammy award "Spellemannsprisen" for "Berget det blå".

"Winner of the French Prix des Lecteurs in 2008".

Ketil Bjørnstad has been touring in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, United Kingdom, US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Japan, Taiwan, China, Bangladesh, India and Colombia - alone and with groups.

Jazz festivals: London, Frankfurt, Nancy, Vienna, Kongsberg, Molde, Montreal, Shanghai, Warszawa and others.

Literary festivals: Hay-on-Wye, Bjørnson-festivalen, Undset-dagene.

Music- and literary critic for Aftenposten between 1972 and 1998

Plays: "Ildlandet" (musical) directed by Bentein Baardson,
Den nationale Scene, Bergen, Norway, 1984
"Forestillinger", directed by Britt Lossius, Haugesund Teater, Haugesund, Norway, 1997
"Spill", directed by Edith Roger & Barthold Halle, Teater Ibsen, Skien, Norway, 1995
Ballett: "Minotauros" for The Norwegian Ballet, The Norwegian Opera, Oslo, Norway, 1997

Music for films:
Jean Luc Godard:"Forever Mozart" (1996)
Jean Luc Godard: "Museum of Modern art" (1999)
Jean Luc Godard: "Eloge d’amour" (2001)
Jean Luc Godard: "Histoire(s) du Cinéma" (1999)
Jean Luc Godard: "The Old Place" (1999)
Jean Luc Godard: "Notre Musique" (2004)
Anne Marie Mieville: "Nous sommes tous encore ici" (1997)
Lea Pool: "Emporte moi" (1999)
Haakon Sandøy: "Engler i sneen" (1983)
Trond Aurvaag/Iram Haq: "Trofast" (2004)
Ken Loach: "Ae Fond Kiss"
Witold Adamek: Samotnosc W Sieci (2006)

Collaboration with the producer Erik Hillestad for KKV since 1989 (The Shadow), and with Manfred Eicher/ECM since 1993 (Waterstories). Duo with American cellist David Darling (The River). Quartet ("The Sea") with Terje Rypdal (g), Jon Christensen (d), David Darling (c). Duo with Terje Rypdal since 1999.

Literary Agent: Oslo Literary Agency
Musical Management: Kjell Kalleklev

Ketil Bjørnstads works are published by the following publishing houses:
Aschehoug, Norway
Gyldendal, Norway
Cicero, Denmark
Trevi (Forum), Sweden
Norsteds, Sweden
WSOY, Finland
Suhrkamp/Insel, Germany
Arcadia, England
Maia Press, England
Signature, The Netherlands
JC Lattès, France
Polis, Greece
Munhakdongne, Korea
KompasGid, Russia,
NLN, Praha, Czech Republic
Random House, Germany
Wydawnictwo Slowo, Poland
Sandesh, Bangladesh
JP Libros, Spain
Chiuku, Taiwan

Alene ut (poetry) 1972 (Aschehoug)
Nærmere (poetry) 1973 (Aschehoug)
Nattsvermere (novel) 1974 (Aschehoug)
Kråker og Krigere (novel) 1975 (Aschehoug)
Pavane (novel) 1976 (Aschehoug)
Vinterbyen (novel) 1977 (Aschehoug)
Landet på andre siden (novel) 1979 (Aschehoug)
Bingo (novel) 1981 (Aschehoug)
Oda! (novel) 1983 (Gyldendal)
Det personlige motiv (novel) 1985 (Aschehoug)
G-moll-balladen (novel) 1986 (Gyldendal)
Oppstigning fra det usynlig (novel) 1988 (Aschehoug)
Stormen (novel) 1989 (Aschehoug)
Skumringsmulighetene (novel) 1990 (Aschehoug)
Villa Europa (novel) 1992 (Aschehoug)
Historien om Edvard Munch (novel) 1993 (Gyldendal)
Barnevakt (novel) 1994 (Aschehoug)
Spill (play) 1995 (Aschehoug)
Blåmann (collected music) 1995 (Aschehoug)
Drift (novel) 1996 (Aschehoug)
Drømmen om havet (novel) 1996 (Aschehoug)
Veien til Dhaka (novel) 1997 (Aschehoug)
Nåde (novel) 1998 (Aschehoug)
Reisen til Gallia (essays, with Ole Paus) 1998 (Stenersen)
Fall (novel) 1999 (Aschehoug)
Ludvig Hassels tusenårsskifte (novel) 2000 (Aschehoug)
Jæger (novel) 2001 (Aschehoug)
Mannen som gikk på jorden (collaboration with Lage Fosheim and Torstein Bieler) (novel) 2002 (Gyldendal)
Tesman (novel) 2003 (Aschehoug)
Til Musikken (novel) 2004 (Aschehoug)
Flammeslukeren - (Ole Bull, en livshistorie) 2005 (Aschehoug)
Liv Ullmann - Livslinjer 2005 (Aschehoug)
Historier om sårbarhet (with Catharina Jacobsen) 2007 (Dinamo Forlag)
Elven (novel) 2007 (Aschehoug)
Kolbein Falkeid - et nærbilde. 2008 (Cappelen Damm)
Damen i Dalen (novel) 2009 (Aschehoug)
De udødelige (novel) 2011 (Aschehoug)
Drømmemesteren - Bendik Riis 2011 (Aschehoug)
Belonging - 2011 (Falck Forlag)
Verdens Ende (novel) 2012 (Aschehoug)
Ensomheten (novel) 2013 (Aschehoug)
Veien til Mozart 2014 (Aschehoug)
Sekstitallet (novel) 2015 (Aschehoug)
Syttitallet (novel) 2016 (Aschehoug)
Åttitallet (novel) 2017 (Aschehoug)
Nittitallet (novel) 2018 (Aschehoug)
Tyvetallet (novel) 2019 (Aschehoug)
Siste tiåret (novel) 2020 (Aschehoug)
Båt på fjorden (poetry) 2021 (Aschehoug)
Downhill 2021 (Aschehoug)
Sommernatt ved fjorden (love poems) 2022 (Aschehoug)
Beundringen (poetry) 2023 (Aschehoug)

Åpning (1973) Philips
Berget det blå (1974) Philips
Tredje dag (1975) Philips
Lise Madsen, Moses & de andre (with Ole Paus) (1975) Zarepta
Finnes du noensteds ikveld (1976) Philips
Selena (1977) Philips
Musikk for en lang natt (with Sigmund Groven) (1977) Polydor
Leve Patagonia (with Cornelis Vreeswijk, Lill Lindfors, etc) (1978) Philips
Svart Piano (1979) Philips
Tidevann (1980) Philips
Och människor ser igen (with Lill Lindfors) (1980) Metronome
30-års-krigen (with Stavangerenseblet) 1981 Philips
Engler i sneen (1982) Philips
Bjørnstad/Paus/Hamsun (1982) Slagerfabrikken
Aniara (with Lindfors/Fristorp) (1983) Slagerfabrikken
Mine dager i Paris (1983) Slagerfabrikken
Preludes vol. 1 (1984) Uniton/Hermitage
Människors makt (with Lill Lindfors) (1985) Slagerfabrikken
Natten (with Sissel I. Andersen) (1985) Slagerfabrikken
Preludes vol. 2 (1986) Uniton/Hermitage
Three Ballets (1987) Uniton/Hermitage
Karen Mowat-suite (1988) Hot Club Records
The Shadow (with Randi Stene) (1990) KKV
Odyssey (1991) KKV
Rift (with Anne Grete Preus, Jørn Hoel, Lynni Treekrem, etc) (1991) Slagerfabrikken
Messe for en såret jord (with Randi Stene and Lars Anders Tomter) (1992) KKV
Løsrivelse (with Kari Bremnes) (1993) KKV
Water Stories (with Rypdal/Christensen/Hillestad/Kjellemyr) (1993) ECM
For den som elsker (with Frøydis Armand) (1994) KKV
Sanger fra en klode (with Per Vollestad) (1995) Grappa
Salomos Høysang (with Lill Lindfors & Tommy Nilsson)(1995) KKV
The Sea (with Rypdal/Christensen/Darling) (1995) ECM
Haugtussa (with Lynni Treekrem) (1996) KKV
The River (with David Darling) (1997) ECM
Reisetid (1997) Grappa
The Sea II (1997) ECM
Ett Liv (with Lill Lindfors) (1998) KKV
The Rosenborg Tapes vol. 1 (1998) Tylden & co
The Rosenborg Tapes vol 2. (1999) Tylden & co
Himmelrand - Tusenårsoratoriet (with Stein Mehren) (1999) BMG
Epigraphs (with David Darling) (2000) ECM
Grace (2001) Universal
Old (2001) Universal
Kildens bredd (with Ole Paus) (2002) Universal
The Nest (2003) Universal
Seafarer’s Song (2004) Universal
Floating (2005) Universal
Before The Light (2005) Universal
Samotnosc W Sieci (soundtrack w/ Bugge Wesseltoft) (2006) Universal Poland
Rainbow Sessions (2007) Universal
Devotions (2007) Universal
Life in Lepizig (2008) ECM
The Light - Songs of Love and Fear (2008) ECM
Coastlines (with Lill Lindfors) (2008) Grappa
Remembrance (with Tore Brunborg and Jon Christensen) (2010) ECM
Hvalenes Sang (oratorium with Anneli Drecker and others) (2010) Grappa
Night Song (2011) ECM
Early Piano Music (2011) Hubro/Grappa
Vindings Music (2011) ECM
La Notte (2013) ECM
Sunrise (2013) ECM
A Passion For John Donne (2014) ECM
Frolandia (with Ole Paus) (2015) Grappa
Bartok/Debussy/Ravel (2015) Grappa
Shimmering (2015) Grappa
Images (2015) Grappa
Sanger om tilhørighet (2016) Grappa
A Suite Of Poems – Lars Saabye Christensen (with Anneli Drecker) (2018) ECM
Hun som kjenner tristheten ved ting (2018) (with Eva Bjerga Haugen) Grappa
Rainbow Sessions – New Edition (2019) Grappa
The World I Used To Know (2019) Grappa
The World I Used To Know (Box Set) (2019) Grappa
The Beginning – And The End (2019) Grappa
The Personal Gallery (with Guro Kleven Hagen) (2020) Grappa
Lofotoratoriet (with Marianne Beate Kielland a.o.) (2020) Lawo
Flagstad – An Opera (with Birgitte Christensen a.o.) (2021) Simax
New Morning (2022) Grappa
Between Hotels And Time (with Anneli Drecker and poems by Lars Saabye Christensen) (2022) Grappa
The Seventies (17 CD Box Set) (2022) C+C Records
Sanger ved havets begynnelse (with Solveig Andsnes, Nils Økland, Rune Arnesen) (2023) Grappa
Nightwalker (2023) Grappa

Ketil Bjørnstad lives in Oslo