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NEWS

 

MUSICIAN

 

Winter, Spring, Summer 2017: KB on tour: Wien (Porgy and Bess) and Rottenmann 3-4 January (postponed from December 2016), Istanbul (with Terje Rypdal) 13 February, Mosjøen (solo) 1 March, Lørenskog Kulturhus (with Anne Grosvold) 2 March, Schorndorf and Marburg (solo) 17-18 March, Prøysen-huset (solo) 26 March, Schloss Elmau (solo) 29-30 April, Ringelien gård, Søndre Land 24 May, Valdres Sommersymfoni (with Guro Kleven Hagen, Anne Grosvold a.o.) Fagernes, 25 June, Fjæreheia, Grimstad (Terje Vigen) 4-12 July, Kabelvåg Kirke (Lofotoratoriet) 15 July, Baroniet Rosendal (solo) 28 July, Wesel (solo) 27 August.

 

May 2017: The students at Tonheim Folkehøgskole, outside Hamar are making a stage version of Leve Patagonia (KB 1978) at Hamar Kulturhus, 12 May.

 

January 2017: Lofoten Voices, conducted by the distinguished mezzo soprano Marianne Beate Kielland, starts rehearsing KB’s new oratorio Lofotoratoriet, with Kielland herself as soloist and local musicians in the ensemble. The composition, with texts by local poets, will have its world-premiere at The Lofoten Festival (www.lofotenfestival.com) 15 July 2017 in Lofotkatedralen, Vågan kirke, Kabelvåg, Norway.

 

December 2016: KB finishes composing the music score for Kilden Teater’s stage production of Henrik Ibsen’s poem Terje Vigen at Fjæreheia Amfi outside Grimstad, Norway, where the original drama took place, according to Ibsen himself. Kilden’s theatre director Amalie Nilssen has written the script and is also directing the play. More info about the musicians, dancers and singers can be found at www.kilden.com Terje Vigen will be performed between 4 and 12 July 2017.

 

July 2016: The producer Manfred Eicher and KB agrees on making a new ECM-album, the first since A Passion for John Donne in 2014.

 

January 2016: KB releases the concert-recording of Sanger om tilhørighet/Songs of belonging on Grappa, featuring Håkon Kornstad, Anja Lechner, Birger Mistereggen and Nidarosdomen oratoriekor . Weltmusik-Magazin writes that the album is special, with “wonderful music”. Tor Hammerø writes that the music is “very special and grandiose” and that the oratorium invites to “a journey that provides as many afterthoughts that I have rarely been confronted with during a music experience”.

 

Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn 2016: KB on tour: München, Innsbruck, Langenau 20-23 January, Stavanger (with Ole Paus) 24 January, Moster (solo piano) 6 March, Fredrikstad (solo piano) 9 March, Drammen (solo piano) 10 March, Sandnessjøen (with Ole Paus) 12 March, Schwäbisch Hall 17 March, Flekkefjord (solo piano) 27 April, Balestrand (Frolandia) 6 May, Oslo (with Svante Henryson) 12 May, Sandefjord (solo piano) 23 May, Tønsberg (solo piano) 22 June, Baroniet Rosendal (solo piano) 1 July, Lofoten Int. Pianofestival (lectures) 12-19 July, Froland (Frolandia) 23 July, Rockefeller (with Anne Grosvold and Ole Paus) 1 September, Nord-Aurdal (solo piano) 3 September, Herne (solo piano and reading) 8 September, Berlin (solo piano and book-launch) 9 September, Tynset 14 and Stavanger 16 September (with Anne Grosvold), Oslo 19-20 September, Landsberg (solo piano) 24 September, Leipzig Opera Haus (solo piano) 29 September, Bergen (with Anne Grosvold) 14 October, Trondheim 20, Haugesund 21 and Asker 22 October (with Anne Grosvold), Skien (with Anne Grosvold) 26 October, Sandnes 29-30 October (Grace with choir), Stange (with Anne Grosvold) 2 November, Oslo (solo piano) 8 November, Sarpsborg (with Anne Grosvold) 9 November, Svelvik (with Anne Grosvold) 10 November, Stockholm (solo piano) 16 November, Kristiansand (with Håkon Kornstad) 17 November, Narvik/Harstad 18 and 19 November (with Anne Grosvold), Kalkmølla/Sandvika (with Håkon Kornstad) 14 November, Rottenman 9 December, Wien 10 December.

 

October 2015: KB releases his two solo piano albums Shimmering and Images on Grappa. In Jazznytt, Maren Ørstavik writes that both albums are “deeply satisfying”. And in Leipziger Volkzeitung, Ulrich Steinmetzger gives the album much praise, writing that KB “is a storyteller” and that both albums has “power and intimacy”. At the same time, KB releases a live-recording of his concert with Oslo Philharmonic in January 1969, when he was still sixteen years old, playing Bartok’s Piano Concerto no. 3. KB also plays pieces by Ravel and Debussy, recorded by NRK the same year. This album also on the Grappa label.

 

 

May 2015: Frolandia (GRAPPA) gets much attention and critical acclaim in Norway. In Aftenposten, Svein Andersen gives the CD 5 stars and calls the recording “some of this duo’s best moments ever”. In Dagsavisen, Geir Rakvaag also gives the recording 5 stars and says it is “a great piece of music”. The CD reached the top of the charts at Platekompaniet and the first live performance, in the Kongsberg Cathedral, during the International Jazz Festival was sold out.December 2014: KB changes his Germany, Austria, Switzerland management to Werner Oberender in Neuwied (ref. Contact).

 

November 2014: A Passion for John Donne (ECM) gets praise from two of Norway’s leading jazz critics. On torhammero.blogg.no, Tor Hammerø writes that this could be KB’s greatest masterpiece so far, and that KB always finds the right melody making his beautiful music. He also praises Håkon Kornstad, Birgier Mistereggen and the Oslo Chamber Choir conducted by Håkon Daniel Nystedt. In Jazzinorge.no, the former Dagbladet newspaper critic Terje Mosnes calls the cd “vital and beautiful”. He recommends the recording, saying that it could be this year’s Christmas gift.

 

Autumn 2014: KB on tour: Gjerdrum 22 October, Salzburg 26 October (with Svante Henryson), Oslo (Universitetets Aula) 31 October (A Passion For John Donne, ECM-release), Innsbruck 4 November (solo piano), Rottenmann 5 November (solo piano), Marburg 6 November (solo piano), Neuwied 7 November (solo piano), München 8 November (solo piano), Spanish-Norwegian days in Villajoyosa, L’Alfàs del Pi and Torrevieja 16-19 November (solo piano and with Ole Paus), Mosjøen 2 December (solo piano), Sandnessjøen 3 December (solo piano), Mo i Rana 4 December (solo piano), Mainz 11 December (with Tore Brunborg and Jon Christensen).

 

July 2014: First performance of KBs oratorio Sanger om Tilhørighet in Nidaros Cathedral 26 July gets five stars in Adresseavisen. Hroar Klempe writes that Bjørnstad is “a mature oratorio-composer”, that he is at his best with his melodies, when he also can be “very advanced” and “moving”. He gives much praise to the soloists Håkon Kornstad, Tora Augestad and Anja Lechner, and concludes his review with writing that Sanger om Tilhørighet is a “memorable” piece of music.

 

Summer 2014: More praise for Sunrise (ECM). In Gramophone, Pwyll ap Siön writes that Bjørnstad “steers clear of providing a musical analogue to Munch’s texts. His style is rooted in jazz-style modal and harmonic inflections, reminiscent at times of ECM stablemates Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays … Bjørnstad’s style is expressive rather than expressionist; lyrical, reflective, sometimes beautifully so, such as in the songs that feature vocalist Kari Bremnes … There are also some very telling contributions from cellist Aage Kvalbein and dynamic double bassist Bjørn Kjellemyr, as well as the composer himself on piano. The Oslo Chamber Choir sings with an intelligence and understanding for both the words and the music” In Aesthetica, Hannah Clugston writes that vocalist Kari Bremnes and the Oslo Chamber Choir renders Bjørnstad’s musical interpretation of Munch’s writing truly magical. In Independent On Sunday, Phil Johnson writes that “Bjørnstad is the perfect interpreter of this (Munch’s) legacy”, and in Jasswise, Stuart Nicholson writes that Sunrise is “a remarkable album that numbers among Bjørnstad’s finest achievments.”

 

May 2014: The ECM-release Sunrise gets praise in England. Stephen Graham in Marlbank writes that “You might think of Munch in a very different way after listening to Sunrise, the sheer elementalism of the words and honesty of the performance striking and immediate.”  He also writes that “You come away from the album with an overriding glimpse of the vividness and extremeties of Munch’s sheer passion and even terror in his texts. It’s Bjørnstad’s keenness in observing these and channelling them thrugh voices and his small group that is so remarkable.” And in The Jazz Breakfast, Peter Bacon writes that the album is “a delicious success”.

 

Spring/Summer/Autumn 2014: KB on tour: Warszawa Radio House (Komeda Festival) 8 March (with Tore Brunborg. Flekkefjord 11 June (solo piano). Sarpsborg Church 22 June (Sunrise/Edvard Munch). Harstad (North Norway Festival) 25 June (duo with Paolo Fresu).

Tyssnes Festival 10 July (solo piano). Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim 26 July (Songs of Belonging, commissioned work for Olavsfestdagene, with Anja Lechner, Håkon Kornstad, Tora Augestad, Birger Mistereggen and Nidaros Oratorie Choir, conducted by Petra Bjørkhaug). Rosendal Barony 1 August (solo piano). Moster Amfi 21 September (solo piano).

Jarasum Int. Jazzfestival, Korea 4 October (with Terje Rypdal). University Aula, Oslo 31 October (A Passion For John Donne – ECM release concert). Southampton, England 21 November (solo piano). Bristol, England 22 November (solo piano).

 

December 2013: The ECM production A Passion For John Donne, with KB (composer and pianist), Håkon Kornstad (sax and vocals), Birger Mistereggen (percussion), Håkon Daniel Nystedt (conductor) and Oslo Kammerkor (Oslo Chamber Choir) is planned for release on All Saints Day, 2 November 2014.

 

December 2013- March 2014: Except for a concert in Reykjavik (Iceland) 30 January and in Kristiansund 2 February, KB will not be touring this winter. He will be writing new music as well as a book about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, called Mozart’s roads – The roads to Mozart.

 

December 2013: KB is engaged to write the commissioned work for Olavsfestdagene in Trondheim, 26 July 2014, Sanger om tilhørighet (Songs of belonging), for soloist, choir and small ensemble in Nidarosdomen (The Nidaros Cathedral). Tora Augestad will sing the main vocal part.

 

November 2013: The Norwegian singer Kari Bremnes and KB honoured Edvard Munch as a writer in South Banks Purcell Room on 21 November at the London Jazz Festival.  In Jazz Journal, Michael Tucker writes: “Beautifully measured, Bjørnstad’s classical touch and adagio-tinged phrasing served many a lyrically turned open-voiced melody but there were also some thunderous passages of clustered improvisation deep in the bass register, during a violently expressive reading of The Scream. Throughout, Bremnes’ lucid, soulfully pitched phrasing delivered the direct and often very moving lyrics of love and death, longing, belonging and loss with consummate poetic understanding – and, where needed, controlled drama. Warmly acknowledged by the two participants at one point, sound man Sven Persson was very much the (unseen) third person of the performance, his excellent work throughout enabling the audience to relish a consistently arresting yet never overforced blend of voice, lyric and piano in a thought-provoking program of considerable dynamic range.”

 

November 2013: KB’s ECM production Sunrise gets critical acclaim in Norway. In Nettavisen, Tor Hammerø gives five stars and writes: “What a birthday present! Nobody can honour Edvard Munch in a musical way better than KB and Kari Bremnes. Nobody!” In Audiophile, Karl Erik Sylthe writes that the cd “joins the ranks of KB’s huge range of good and interesting music releases. Warmly recommended!” In Klassekampen, Arvid Skancke-Knudsen writes that Sunrise is “succesful” with “many strong elements”, and that KB’s piano-playing is “delicate and detailed, smooth and full of fascinating phrasing.” And in Romeriks blad, Rune Westergren also gives five stars and writes that the work is “magnificent and vital”. The international release will follow in March 2014.

 

August 2013: ECM has decided to release Sunrise in Norway 11 October 2013 in connection with the Edvard Munch 150th Anniversary. The international release will follow early 2014.

 

Autumn 2013: KB on tour: Bakkenteigen 19 September (Munch & Solo Piano). Haugesund 21 September (Munch & Solo Piano). Sunndalsøra 24 September (Munch w/Kari Bremnes).  Ålesund 28 September (Soloppgang/Sunrise). Tønsberg and Oslo 13 and 15 October (Munch reading w/ The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra). Moster Amfi 20 October (Munch & Solo Piano). Nes 21 October (Munch & Solo Piano). Asker 25 October (Munch & Solo Piano). Åsgårdstrand/Bakkenteigen 27 October (Munch Evening). Grue 2 November (Munch & Solo Piano). Voksenåsen 3 November (Munch & Solo Piano). Tønsberg 4 November (Munch & Solo Piano). Holmestrand 5 November (Munch & Solo Piano). Sande 6 November (Munch & Solo Piano). Sarpsborg 7 November (w/ Ole Paus). Sarpsborg 8 November (w/ Terje Rypdal). Sarpsborg  9 November (Soloppgang/Sunrise). Oslo Concert House 14 November (Munch reading w/ Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra). The Munch Museum 15 November (Munch reading w/ Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra). Universitetets Aula 16 November (Munch reading w/ Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra). London, Purcell Room 21 November (Munch w/Kari Bremnes). Berlin 24 November (Munch & Solo Piano). Tokke 8 December (Munch w/ Kari Bremnes). Oslo, Universitetets Aula 12 December (Soloppgang/Sunrise – Munch’s 150th birthday). Stockholm 13 December (Munch & Solo Piano).

 

May 2013: La Notte (ECM) gets exceptional reviews. In the London Jazz News, Chris Parker writes that the “musicians are also sensitive enough, when negotiating Bjørnstad’s more restrained, graceful moments, to ensure that the truth of his statement ‘visual art creates music in our minds, and music creates pictures and visual expressions with the same intensity’  is borne out throughout this consistently affecting, sometimes downright mesmerising live performance.” The Independent’s Nick Coleman writes that the ensemble is “impressive” and in Dagbladet, Terje Mosnes gives the album maximum rating and writes that the album has a kind of “melancholic elegance” and has to be placed on the highest possible level in KB’s discography.

 

April 2013: The Munch cantata Soloppgang is performed in a sold out Oslo Cathedral 20 April. The CD album will be released in Norway in October in connection with the 150th Anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth. The international release will follow in 2014.

 

April 2013: ECM will release The Antonioni Project with the new title La Notte.

 

March 2013: In connection with the Edvard Munch jubilee, KB is touring with his concert lecture The Story Of Edvard Munch and gets six stars in the newspaper Varden. Fredrik Nordahl writes that the concert and the lecture are “outstanding”.

 

March 2013: Premiere of Otto Homlung’s new play Tvillingsjeler about Gunvor Hofmo and Ruth Maier for Riksteatret, starring Marit Østbye, Silje Storstein and Janne Heltberg. Ketil Bjørnstad writes the music for solo piano.

 

Winter/Spring/Summer 2013: KB on tour: Løten 12 January (solo piano), Sørum 29/30 January (solo piano) Stavanger, Fjaler, Meløy, Sandnessjøen, Mosjøen and Fredrikstad, 26 February-3 March (solo piano). Lillestrøm and Os 7-8 March (solo piano). Skien 14 March (solo piano). Bodø 20 March (with Svante Henryson), Bodø 21 March (solo piano), Voss 22 March (with Kari Bremnes). Lørenskog 9 April (solo piano) Fredrikstad (solo piano) 13 April. Oslo, The Ibsen Museum, 14 April (solo piano). Oslo domkirke/Cathedral 20 April (Soloppgang/Sunrise with Munch koret, Solveig Andsnes, a.o.) Sandvika, Bergen, Stavanger, Balestrand, Notodden 8-12 May (with Kari Bremnes). Trondheim/Byneset 14 May (with Randi Stene), Tallin 23 May (solo piano), Copenhagen 25 May (solo piano), Moss 1 June (with Kari Bremnes), Leipzig 14 June (solo piano), Åsgårdsstrand 22 June (with Kari Bremnes Band), Harstad 24 June (with Kari Bremnes Band) Risør Chamber Music Festival 28-30 June (solo piano), Skåtøy 14 July (with Anneli Drecker), The Barony, Rosendal, 18 July (solo piano), Grimstad , The Hamsun Days, 8 August (solo piano). Oslo, Pianothon, 23 August (solo piano), Bjørkelangen 31 August (with Tore Brunborg and Jon Christensen).

 

October 2012: KB’s producer Manfred Eicher (ECM) has decided to release The Antonioni Project in March 2013. The Edvard Munch cantata Soloppgang  will be released by ECM in October the same year. A Passion for John Donne will be released by ECM in March 2014.

 

May/June 2012: The ECM double cd Vinding's Music receives glowing reviews. In The Independent Phil Johnsons writes that the cds are “lovely” and “great”. And the English music critic Robert Hutton writes that the first cd is: “A brilliant set of music from an outstanding artist. ECM give Bjornstad a fine, dry, transparent recording that is an honest and faithful representation of his piano tone. Highly, highly recommended. This must be among the very best solo piano recordings to come along in many years.” In the Norwegian Nettavisen, Tor Hammerø gives the albums 5 stars and says that the cd is “a masterwork”. He calls the music “beautiful, heartfelt, melodic, unique”.

 

April 2012: ECM will release the double album Songs From The Alder Thicket. KB’s publishing house Aschehoug will at the same time release the three novels about Aksel Vinding in one volume. The music on the ECM-cd is closely related to the books.

  

February 2012: KB and Oslo Kammerkor have reached agreement on a cd-recording of Soloppgang in Rainbow Studio with the original musicians and the singer Kari Bremnes in April 2012. The cd will be released in 2013, during the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth.

 

December 2011/January 2012: KB writes A Passion for John Donne for the Oslo International Church Music Festival. It will be performed in Sofienberg Kirke in Oslo on 16 March 2012. The concert will also be recorded for a possible cd-release in the future. KB collaborates with Oslo Kammerkor, conductor Håkon Nystedt and percussionist Birger Mistereggen. Håkon Kornstad both sings and plays saxophone.

 

12 November 2011: First performance of Soloppgang, with text by Edvard Munch and music by KB at the Universitetets Aula, in front of Munch’s famous painting. The concert was totally sold out and many people didn’t get tickets. New performances and a cd-recording are being discussed.

 

October/November 2011: Riksteateret’s re-production of the huge success “Undset”, with Ellen Horn as Sigrid Undset. KB writes the music.

 

19 October 2011: First performance of the musical Amanda fra Haugesund at Haugesund Teater. KB’s music to Birgit Amalie Nielssen’s play, casting Solveig Andsnæs, Jørgen Langhelle, Linn Løvvik and Jon Eikemo, a. o.

 

1 October 2011: KB plays outdoor solo piano for more than 12.000 people at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival outside Seoul, Korea. He also records a solo piano live concert for Korean television.

 

Autumn 2011/Winter 2012: KB on tour: Nyksund Brygge 6 August (solo piano), Fredrikstad 1 September (solo piano), Asker 18 September (with Tore Brunborg & Jon Christensen), Trondheim 22 September (solo piano), Korea 30 September-1 October (Television concert and Jarasum International Jazz Festival – solo piano), Köln 11 October (with Svante Henryson), Haugesund 27 October (solo piano), Neuwied (with Terje Rypdal) 4 November, Karmøy (with Ole Paus) 6 november, Mjøndalen 10 November (solo piano), Oslo 12 November (First performance of Soloppgang at the Universitetets Aula, under the “The Sun”-picture of Edvard Munch), Gjøvik 16 November (solo piano), Oslo (with Kari Bremnes) 22 November, Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Frankfurt 23-27 November (Lesung-tour). 2012: Kongsberg 18 January (solo piano), Oslo, Torshov 19 & 26 January (solo piano), Langenau 11 February (solo piano), Oslo 16 March (First performance of A Passion for John Donne, with Håkon Kornstad (sax), Birger Mistereggen (percussion) and Oslo Kammerkor, conducted by Håkon Nystedt – Oslo International Church Music Festival), Lørenskog 12 April (with Kari Bremnes), Oslo 5 May (with Ole Paus at the National Library), Rosendal Barony 21 July (solo piano), Arendal 25 July (with Kari Bremnes).

 

July 2011: KB completes Soloppgang (Sunrise), a cantata written on the texts by Edvard Munch for Nordstrand Musikkselskaps Kor, conducted by Egil Fossum. The cantata will be performed at Universitetets Aula, Oslo, Saturday 12 November 2011, with Kari Bremnes (vocal), Aage Kvalbein (cello), Matias Bjørnstad (sax) and Bjørn Kjellemyr (double bass).

 

May 2011: KBs three solo recitals at the Spoleto Festival in U.S. is a huge success.

In Charleston City Newspaper T. Ballard Lesemann writes that KB gives the piano ”a special sonic treatment”, also writing that his technique was terrific, and “at times, it sounded like three pianists playing simultaneously”. The critic also praised the “gorgeous, refined moments of tenderness”. In The Post And Courier, Jack McCray writes that KB kept the “growing tradition” after Dave Brubeck and Horace Silver, a.o., intact: “His execution was flawless. He created moods that were at once delightful and profound.” He compared KB with Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Charles Lloyd, “bringing fresh treatments to classic structures”.

 

Spring/Summer 2011: KB on tour: Engø Gård 8 April (solo piano), Lyngør Fyr 7 May (solo piano), Mai-Jazz Stavanger 13 May (with Tore Brunborg & Jon Christensen), Spoleto Festival, Charleston, USA 29-31 May (solo piano), Lørenskog kulturhus 3 June & Junikveld Børli/Eidskog 5 June (both with Lill Lindfors), Sunndal 21 June (with Terje Rypdal & Ole Paus), Elba, Italy 7 July (with Svante Henryson), Skåtøy 14 July & Engø 17 July (both with Kari Bremnes), The Barony Rosendal 29 July (with Ole Paus).

 

April 2011: At last KB’s praised and very much demanded solo albums from the eighties, Preludes I & II and Pianology are once again becoming available on Hubro Records on the double CD Early Piano Music.

 

April 2011: KB and Svante Henryson’s Night Song gets an excellent review in All About Jazz by John Kelman. He writes that “The ease with which Franz Schubert created a substantive body of work that still rings true nearly two centuries after the Austrian composer’s death at the age of 31, is the stuff of legends, and while it might be hubris to suggest, at this point, that Ketil Bjørnstad will be remembered the same way, the Norwegian pianist’s career certainly bears comparison in its seemingly effortless prolificacy.” Kelman also writes that the album is “defined by stark simplicity.” Bjørnstad’s “touch has never been more delicate or assured,” and he concludes that “both Night Song and Remembrance stand as career highlights amongst his extensive discography.”

 

January 2011: The ECM album “Night Song”, with Svante Henryson, receives glowing reviews in the Nordic press. In the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter Martin Nyström compares the music with a Franz Schubert sonata, and in his opinion the music also has “an intriguingly close connection with Nordic folk music”. In Dagbladet Terje Mosnes writes that “the music is so sonorously and beautifully executed that it acquires a sort of timelessness, rising above changing ideals of style and genre. Quite simply superb music and sublime playing.” Tor Hammerø writes in Nettavisen that “the collaboration of Svante Henryson and Ketil Bjørnstad was one of last year’s top festival experiences. Now the rest of the world will be able to enjoy it, too.” According to Adresseavisen’s Trygve Lundemo, “Bjørnstad’s piano and Henryson’s cello together are greater than the sum of their parts.” And in Vårt Land, Bjørn Olav Nordahl writes that “Night Song is at times radiantly beautiful.”

 

May 2011: KB gives 3 solo-concerts at the American Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina,  29-30 May. (Cathedral church of St. Luke and St. Paul.)

 

Winter/Spring 2011: KB on tour: Kalkmølla, Bærum 10 February (with Jon Christensen and Tore Brunborg), Haugesund 11 February (with Kari Bremnes), Kolbotn (Kolben) 29 March and Hov i Land 30 March (both with Kari Bremnes).

 

January 2011: Night Song with Svante Henryson released worldwide by ECM. KB and Henryson will give a concert at Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm 7 March.

 

January 2011: KB visits the Hay Cartagena Festival in Colombia Saturday 29 January (solo piano and author-interview).

 

November/December 2010: KB on tour: Berlin 3 November (Lesung). Oberursel 4 November (Lesung with Moritz Stoepel). Fürth 6 November (Lesung). Nittedal 21 November (solo piano), Hamar 2 December (solo piano). Vilnius 14 December (solo piano).

 

Autumn 2010: KB on tour: Berlin 6 September (presenting the German version of Damen i Dalen – Die Frau im Tal). Nordhausen 7 September (Lesung), Köln 8 September (solo piano. St. Mauritius Kirche). Sortland 15, Lørenskog 16, Ørsta 17 Stryn 18 and Sandvika 25 September (all with Lill Lindfors.) Tønsberg 25 September (Lecture about Oda Krohg). Madrid 27 September (presenting the Spanish version of To Music). Kvinesdal 29 September (solo piano). Frankfurt Book-Fair, 6-8 October (presenting Die Frau im Tal). Eidsvoll 16. October (solo piano). Moster 24 October (solo piano). Notodden 26 October (solo piano). Neuwied 29 October (solo Piano).

 

July 2010: KB and his powerful ensemble (Shepard, Lechner, Mazur, Aarset, Andersen) got standing ovations after their performance of The Antonioni Project at Molde Int. Jazzfestival. The reviews gave unison praise to the musicians, and in a huge and detailed review in All About Jazz, John Kelman wrote about “the feeling of having been there ... in this very specific place, at this very particular point in time.” The concert was recorded for ECM, and Kelman wrote that the recording “will, no doubt, be a terrific one – perhaps, even, the best recording of Bjørnstad’s career.”

 

July 2010: John Kelman from All About Jazz visits Norway’s most famous jazz-festivals, and after KB and Svante Henryson’s concert at Kongsberg Jazzfestival, where the duo for the first time presented music from their upcoming Night Song­-album (ECM, January 2011), he wrote that it was “a show that was largely gentle, occationally majestic and always elegant ... Nearing 60, Bjørnstad continues at a pace that would put many younger musicians to shame ... Henryson’s understated passion created a dramatic undercurrent to Bjørnstad that made their performance a trancendent experience.”

 

Summer 2010: Unison praise for Remembrance in German, French, Italian, English and Canadian magazines and newspapers. In Jazzpodium, Heribert Ickerott writes that it is “klang- und formschönen Jazz-Kammermusik". In Daily Express, Chris Pearson writes that the album is “exquisite, intriguing and, in its quiet way, life-affirming,” In The Irish Times, Ray Comiskey concludes that “it’s all undeniably lovely ... It takes class musicians to bring off the artful simplicity of this sumptuously melodic album.” And in Jazz Journal, Michael Tucker writes: “Sometimes an album comes along that simply – really – stops you in your tracks, that demands your attention time and time again ... Many thank’s gentlemen.” In Jazzwise, Stuart Nicholson writes that “it is an absorbing musical  journey.” And in All About Jazz,  Dan McClenaghan compares the album to Paul Motian’s Lost in a Dream, and writes that Remembrance is “cool, spacious, unhurried, unfailingly lovely.”

 

 April 2010: KBs new ECM-recording Remembrance, with drummer Jon Christensen and saxophone-player Tore Brunborg gets very good reviews in Scandinavian newspapers. In Sweedish Dagens Nyheter, Johannes Cornell writes that the music has “a poetic closeness to nature” and gives much praise to the trio. In Dagbladet, Terje Mosnes gives the album top score and writes that the album could become a classic, and in Dagens Næringsliv, Per A. Risnes jr. compares Ketil Bjørnstad with Arvo Pärth, and writes that the music has a timeless quality.

 

Spring 2010: KB works on The Antonioni-project, a commissioned work for the Molde International Festival, in collaboration with Manfred Eicher. ECM has earlier released albums connected to Tarkovsky and Pasolini. KB will perform the music together with Andy Sheppard (sax), Eivind Aarset (guitars), Anja Lechner (cello), Arild Andersen (bass) and Marilyn Mazur (percussion) the 21 July 2010.

 

Christmas 2009: The producer Manfred Eicher edits KB’s new album Remembrance (ECM) in Rainbow Studio. The album is recorded together with the drummer Jon Christensen and the saxophone player Tore Brunborg, and will be released worldwide in spring 2010. The album Night Song (ECM) with the Swedish cello player Svante Henryson will be released in September 2010.

 

December 2009: Lars Müller Publishers (Switzerland) release Windfall Light – The Visual Language of ECM. KB contributes with his essay about ECM, Manfred Eicher and his cd covers: Landscapes and Soundscapes.

 

19 September 2009: Det Norske Teatret, Scene 2. ”Ikkje lenger enn min kjærleik rekk”. The Norwegian actor Jon Eikemo celebrates his 70th anniversary with a new play about the Norwegian author and journalist Per Sivle, written by Ola E. Bø/Jon Eikemo. KB has written the music to the play. The Russian pianist Olga Konkova will perform the music live on stage.

 

Summer 2009: KB gives an outdoor-concert in Kragerø 2 July, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Edvard Munch's arrival to the city in 1909, after his mental breakdown in 1908. The concert was the city’s gift to its inhabitants. KB also gives a solo piano concert at Baroniet Rosendal on 10 July, and in Moss (with Lill Lindfors) on 14 August.

 

28 June 2009  “Hvalenes Sang” (“Song of the Whales”) is performed at Oseberg Kulturhus, Tønsberg. Svein-Erik Tandberg writes in Tønsberg Blad: ‘The Song of the Whales’ – an engrossing oratorio in the style of a ballad … a powerful musical and rhetorical testimonial to the complexity of life and the human mind. This is an intriguing work of documentation, featuring richly contrasting sound colours, uncomplicated narrative, heartfelt poetry and visual impressions. An extremely original interaction of brutality, nature mysticism and Christian piety. At the core is Ketil Bjørnstad’s unique ability to create beautiful melodies, and here he offers a wealth of these. We predict that several of the melodies in this work will live independent lives in the future, beyond the framework of the piece as a whole. Here there are gems in abundance.”

 

In January 2009, KB will record a new album for ECM together with Svante Henryson.  Manfred Eicher is the producer and the duo-album has an expected release late Fall 2009 or winter 2009/2010.

 

January 2009 excerpts from Bjørnstad's 3CD solo-piano set Rainbow Sessions is released by Universal Music.

 

October 2008

“The Light – Songs Of Love And Fair” (ECM) gets critical acclaim both in Norway, Great Britain and in Germany. In the issue of Gramophone, Richard Whitehouse writes: “Ketil Bjørnstad has followed a distinctive creative course from classical piano prodigy to jazz pianist and sui generis composer, while not forgetting his success as a poet, lyricist and novelist. They are attributes that puts one in mind of a latter-day Leonard Cohen, and the song-cycles on this disc are redolent of the Canadian master in their fastidious alignment between words and music … listening of the deepest, most thought-provoking kind.” In Jazzwise, Stuart Nicholson writes that “Bjørnstad creates an album of wonderfully understated passions … Once again his melodies allow the voice to invest each word with rich, personal meaning in an album that, like so much of Bjørnstad’s work, can not be easily set aside.”  Ray Comiskey of Irish Times writes that the album is “gorgeous”, and in Norwegian DN, Trond Jensen compares the music of KB with Gorecki and writes: “Always beautiful. And, at the same time, reliefingly abstract.”

  

Together with the Swedish cello-player Svante Henryson, KB is expected to record a new album for ECM in January 2009. The two musicians worked together on KBs “Seafarer’s Song” (Universal 2004) and have also given a recital at the Bath Festival.

  

24 November 2008

The live-recording of “Coastlines” with Lill Lindfors (Canal Street, Arendal 2007) will be released on Grappa (Norwegian ECM-distributors).

 

A one-cd excerpt of KBs tripple-album “Rainbow Sessions” will be released by EmArcy/Universal in 2009. The limited edition of the tripple-box is sold out.

  

EmArcy label in November 2006. The soundtrack is Life in Leipzig (KB and Terje Rypdal) and is very well received, getting 5 stars in many major newspapers. Mode Steinkjær in Dagsavisen calls the recording a "first-rate" album, "challenging, exciting, playful and sincere." Dagbladet’s Terje Mosnes calls Terje Rypdal and KB "two of the most characteristic voices in contemporary music". He also writes that the concert-cd is "one of the most ecstatic celebrations of melody and inspired romantic expressiveness ever made." In Bergens Tidende, Hanne Farestvedt writes: "Intensely beautiful".

 

May 2008
The album "The Light - Songs of Love and Fear", with KB, Randi Stene and Lars Anders Tomter, was released by ECM. The album is produced by Manfred Eicher.

 

February/March 2008
ECM released a live-recording from Leipziger Jazztage 2005. KB plays together with guitarist Terje Rypdal.

 

KB’s album "Devotions" (EmArcy) was very well received in European newspapers and jazz-magazines. Rolf Thomas in German Jazzthetic says it is a timeless album where everything is in tune. Terje Mosnes in Norwegian Dagbladet gives it 5 stars and calls it "a tribute to the melodic narration" and Olav Gorseth in Bergens Tidende also giving it 5 stars, calling it "elegant, melodic and poetic jazz". 

 

February 2007

Ketil Bjørnstad recorded "The Light" (texts by John Donne) and "Four Nordic Songs" (texts by KB), written by KB for Randi Stene (mezzo soprano) and Lars Anders Tomter (viola) in Rainbow Studio. The trio's first album together with "The Shadow” was a big success on the KKV-label in 1990.

 

The triple-album "Rainbow Sessions", where KB plays solo piano, was sold out immediately after the limited release of the box set in January/February 2007, and got excellent reviews from many countries. In Norway, jazz-critics Terje Mosnes (Dagbladet) and Tor Hammerø (Nettavisen) both gave it 5 stars, together with a very enthusiastic review by Johan Hauknes in the Norwegian Jazznytt-magazine, comparing KB's music with Erik Satie. A 1-cd-version of the sessions is considered.

 


Ketil Bjørnstad’s new EmArcy-album "Devotions" was recorded in Rainbow Studio in January 2007, with Wolfgang Puschnig on sax, clarinet and flutes, Arild Andersen on double bass, Alex Riel on drums and KB on piano. The album was released in 2007, starting with Italy, Austria and the Netherlands in the spring, and Germany, England, Norway, Asia, etc in the fall. The quartet will perform at the North Sea festival in Rotterdam 14 July 2007

 

Ketil Bjørnstad’s triple-cd-box Rainbow Sessions is released by Universal as a tribute to the Rainbow Studio in Oslo and is also Bjørnstad’s first solo piano-recording since The Rosenborg Tapes from 1998.

 

Autumn 2006

The sountrack to the film S@motnosc W Sieci, with music by Bugge Wesseltoft and Ketil Bjørnstad, has been several weeks at the top 10-chart in Poland.

 

Ketil Bjørnstad has delivered most of the music to Witold Adameks film Loneliness In the Net (S@motnosc w Sieci) based on the bestseller by Janusza L. Wisniewskiego. On the soundtrack-cd from the film (Universal Music), he appeared together with Bugge Wesseltoft.

 

3 March 2006
Ketil Bjørnstad's youth opera IZZAT had it's  premiere at Den norske Opera (The Norwegian Opera). The libretto is written by the Norwegian poet Gro Dahle. All musical arrangements by Svein Dag Hauge (LAVA). Director: Terje Hartvigsen.

  

2005

Ketil Bjørnstad is getting excellent reviews for his trio-album FLOATING. Mojo calls it “a beauty” . Jazzwise says it is one of KB’s best albums ever. Adresseavisen calls it the best cd of the year.

 

September 2005
KETIL BJØRNSTADs latest recording FLOATING was released on EmArcy (Universal) 12 September in Norway, and later this autumn in other countries - featuring Palle Danielsson on double bass and Marilyn Mazur on drums & percussion. He was touring in Norway in September 2005 - Sortland 15, Trondheim 16 and Oslo 17 Alex Riel will play instead of Marilyn Mazur on that tour.

February 2005 
KETIL BJØRNSTADs album "Before The Light" (November Music, Taiwan) was re-released by EmArcy/Universal  

 

 

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