Composers / Arne Nordheim / Routes


Trasa Larvik, Stavern

This route passes through Arne Nordheim’s home town of Larvik. It was here that the composer was born, on 20 June 1931, and here that he lived – for his first few years at 3 Olavsgate, then at 13 Øvre Jegersborggate – in a typical working class district. He attended school on Romberggata. The school building is now used as the town hall.

Of considerable significance in Arne Nordheim’s life was the church in Larvik. Here, he had the opportunity to set the church bells in motion, to play the organ and also to walk among the graves in the cemetery, reading the inscriptions on the gravestones and philosophising on life. Nordheim’s father worked as a watchman at the Festiviteten, a building housing a theatre-concert hall, and he also lived there. The Quality Grand Farris hotel was where the composer stayed when in town, wrote letters on the hotel’s notepaper and, in his youth, held conversations with the poet Herman Wildenvey, who lived in nearby Stavern, where Nordheim was also a frequent visitor. Those meetings were of huge importance for his literary interests and his further path as a composer. (jc)