Composers / Arne Nordheim / Routes
Trasa Oslo II
This route around Arne Nordheim’s Oslo begins at the cathedral, where the composer was a frequent guest at the organ concerts regularly organised by the cantor Arild Sandvold. Here, many of his own works were performed. It was also here that the whole country, including the Norwegian royal family, bade farewell to him forever after his death, on 5 June 2010. From here, the route leads to the new building of the Norwegian Theatre. This was the venue for a performance of Nordheim’s oratorio Draumkvedet, one of the pinnacles of his compositional work. Next to this, on the grand Karl Johan Street, we find the old buildings of Oslo University. During his studies and later as a music critic, Nordheim often visited the university’s concert hall. Many of his own works were also performed here.
On the opposite side of Karl Johans gate stands the National Theatre, where Nordheim first displayed his skills as a composer of stage music. On the other side of the theatre, on Stortingsgata, we find the theatre cafe, which Nordheim periodically frequented, meeting a great range of artists. On this same street also stands a building where the Norwegian Theatre was housed for many years and where Nordheim’s music was also played. Nearby is the capital’s city hall, with which many events in the composer’s life are associated. The most important feature, however, is the carillon in the tower, which he used many times.
During the 60s, Nordheim campaigned for a separate building for the Oslo Philharmonic. And he ultimately won. Many of his works have been performed in the Oslo Konserthus, and the gong that he made still resounds after the intermission during concerts today.
Our trail in Nordheim’s footsteps next leads across the square by the royal palace. Situated on the other side of the palace park, on Wergelandsveien, is the Grotto, the honorary state residence where the composer lived for the last thirty years of his life. The Artists’ House on the other side of Wergelandsveien was also the venue for performances of Nordheim’s works. The next stop on this route is the National Observatory and Library, where as a student Nordheim would borrow scores; today, the music collection includes many of his own works.
From here, we can take a tram to Majorstuen and the Norwegian College of Music, where in 2006 the composer was awarded an honorary doctorate and where the Arne Nordheim Centre can now be found.
A little farther in the direction of Blindern stands the headquarters of Norwegian Radio and Television (NRK). Here, Nordheim presented radio programmes on music, first experimented with electronic music and composed music for many radio plays. Radio and television in general were crucial media for the dissemination of his music.
Notam (the Norwegian Centre for Technology in Music and Art) possesses a Nordheim Studio, and some of the composer’s electronic works were prepared here.
The last stop on this route is the Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Bærum, which during the 70s had its own electronic music studio, where many of Nordheim’s musical projects were realised. (jc)