Composers / Arne Nordheim / Places catalog

Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Baerum

The Henie-Onstad Art Centre (HOK) in Baerum near Oslo was opened in 1968. It was founded thanks to a donation made by the world-famous ice skater Sonia Henie and her husband, the shipowner Niels Onstad. Both were art collectors, but they wanted the centre to become something more than just a gallery. It was to function as an area for the creation of modern art.

The collection numbers over 4000 paintings, including by such well-known artists as Pierre Soulanges, Picasso and Joan Gris. The sculpture park, surrounding the building, contains works by Norwegian and international artists, such as Arnold Haukeland and Henry Moore.

In 1972, on the recommendation of Arne Nordheim, the Centre hired the composer and sound engineer Harold (Hal) Clark. As the Centre's producer and sound manager, in 1974 Clark established the Norwegian Studio of Electronic Music (NSEM). Over the following years, Nordheim used the studio's facilities numerous times, including during his work on Forbindelser, music for five cities, radio and television. In 1979, when the studio was moved to the Music Academy, Clark built a smaller unit at the Centre.

Nordheim's interest went far beyond purely musical areas, working at the Centre with other artists and in other fields of art.

Much of the music commissioned by the Centre or performed there was later released on CD or made available on electronic distribution platforms.

A good example of such an intermedia project, bringing together various dimensions of art, is Solitaire for electroacoustic sounds and light design by Terje Moe. In this work, Nordheim wanted to combine music with text and light. The music, played in quadrophonic arrangement, is based on the poem "Les Bijoux" by Charles Baudelaire:

Ce monde rayonnant de métal et de pierre
Me ravit en extase, et j´aime avec fureur
Les choses où le son se mèle à la lumière.

This radiant world of metal and of gems
Transports me with delight;
I passionately love
All things in which sound is mingled with light.

(transl. William Aggeler)

The work was commissioned for the opening of the Henie-Onstad Art Centre, on 23 August 1968. Illuminated shards of mirrors were hung from the Centre’s ceiling on a number of small electric engines. The engines started and stopped in accordance with a system of signals. Thus the “radiation” and metal from the text metamorphosed into light. Nordheim recorded a female voice reading the text and processed it in such a way that one can only hear fragments of words.

Other works written for the Centre by Nordheim include H20, electroacoustic music for Henry Moore's sculpture Standing Figure Knife Edge (1976) and Zwitschern mit Donner [Twittering with thunder], an electroacoustic composition for Paul Klee's painting Die Zwitcher-maschine [The twitter machine) (1985). Partita fur Paul for solo violin with digital delay unit (1985) was composed for an exhibition of works by Klee referring to music.

Høvikodden has been the venue for the world premieres of such works as the following:

1970: Tillitspolka [Trust polka] for vocalist, jazz quartet and electroacoustics.

A Forum of the arts – The Sonja Henie and Niels Onstad Foundations in Norway, a film about the centre with electroacoustic music by Nordheim

Telefonbar, a three-dimensional installation made of twenty telephones and electroacoustic sounds, created for the exhibition "Our World of Things";

1971: Ohm for lur and tape,

1976: Electroacoustic music for the unveiling of Henry Moore’s sculpture Standing Figure Knife Edge. 

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