Composers / Arne Nordheim / Places catalog

City Hall

The erection of the City Hall was completed in 1950. It houses the office of the mayor, the chair of the city council and the officers of the city's central administration. The City Hall is often used as a venue for official ceremonies, including the annual award ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize and the gala reception during the Ultima Festival every September.

In 1989, the municipal government of Oslo commissioned a work from Arne Nordheim to celebrate the 175th anniversary of its status as the capital city, falling on 9 May. Acantus Firmus Osloensis for Hardanger fiddle (hardingfele), electric guitar, orchestra and tape is a rework of Acantus Firmus, composed two years earlier (1987).

The eastern tower of the City Hall houses a carillon of forty-nine bells, considered to be the biggest instrument of its type in the North. Church bells and carillons always played an important role in the life of Arne Nordheim and occupied an important place in his works. It is no wonder then that he wanted to use the City Hall’s carillon whenever the opportunity arose. The first such occasion was his marriage to Rannveig Getz on 20 June 1981. He played a waltz himself on the carillon in the tower, while the bride and guests listened below.

For the 75th anniversary of the National Academy of Arts, on 25 May 1984, Nordheim composed a three-minute piece entitled Utposter [Outposts] for 24 trumpets, brass orchestra and carillon on the tower. For the performance, the musicians were placed on the roofs of the Academy, the City Hall and the Parliament. Some of them had to sit on the ground in the space between the National Theatre and the Parliament (Stortinget) called “Spikersuppa” [Nail soup].

In connection with the official visit of Pope John Paul II to Oslo, on 1 June 1989, Nordheim composed a four-minute piece that he called Johannesgangaren [John’s walking dance] for hardingfele solo, female choir, three trumpets, double percussion, synthesiser and carillon.

On 13 May 1990, when the pianist Kjell Bækkelund celebrated his sixtieth birthday, the guests were accompanied to the party by Kjellsgangaren [Kjell’s walking dance], played on the City Hall’s carillon.

In 1996, Nordheim wrote Partitaper Carillon. In the commentary to this work, the composer wrote:

"The sound of bells accompanies humans from the cradle to the grave. Their constant presence reminds one of the passing – or the coming – of time.

All these sounds can be found in the Oslo City Hall carillon, the signals of which flow down upon us as we hurry past the Hall. For a long time, I wanted to compose music for this instrument, and here it is. I know it will reach many people hurrying somewhere on their business, as well as those who will just listen to it calmly”.

Place Category
13 Øvre Jegerborggate, Larvik Other
3 Olavsgate, Larvik Other
Artists' House Other
Arts Council Norway Other
Bayreuth Appearances
Bekkelaget Sewage Treatment Plant Other
Bergen Festival Appearances
Brekstad in Ørland commune Other
British Broadcasting Corporation Radio / TV
Calmeyergaten Mission House Appearances
City Hall Other
Concertgebouw Appearances
Concert Palace Appearances
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Den Nationale Scene Appearances
Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Publishers / Bookshops
Feliks Nowowiejski Warmia and Masuria Philharmonic Appearances
Festiviteten Other
Grieghallen Appearances
“Grotto” Flats
Håkonshallen Appearances
Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Baerum Education
Hergisheim Flats
International Bach Academy Appearances
Israeli Radio Radio / TV
Israel Music Institute Other
Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance Other
Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra Appearances
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Appearances
Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music Education
Larvik church Churches / Places of worship
Lillehammer – Winter Olympic Games Other
Lodge Theatre Performance spaces
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Appearances
National Library Education
National Theatre Performance spaces
Netherlands Dance Theatre
New Music Association
Nidaros Cathedral Churches / Places of worship
Norwegian Academy of Music Education
Norwegian Opera Other
Norwegian Opera at the Folk Theatre Appearances
Norwegian Society of Composers Other
Norwegian Theatre I Other
Norwegian Theatre II Other
Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU Education
NOTAM Education
NRK radio and television Radio / TV
Observatory Other
Old Lodge (Gamle Logen) Appearances
Orchester der Württembergischen Staatsoper Appearances
Osaka Congress Hall (EXPO 70)
Oslo Cathedral Churches / Places of worship
Oslo Conservatory of Music Education
Oslo Philharmonic Appearances
Polish Radio Experimental Studio Radio / TV
Quality Hotel Grand Farris Hotels / Inns
“Rendezvous” for strings Appearances
Rombergata School Education, Other
Royal Norwegian Consulate General, New York Other
Royal Swedish Academy of Music Education
Santori Horu (Suntory Hall) Appearances
Storedal Cultural Centre Other
Swedish Radio Radio / TV
SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg Appearances
Teatro La Fenice Performance spaces
Theatre Café Coffeehouses
Town Hall in Gdańsk Other
Trento Other
University Aula Other
Wailing Wall Churches / Places of worship
Warsaw Autumn Performance spaces
Witold Lutosławski Society Other