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Guttorm Kittelsen


Guttorm Kittelsen (1951 - )
Norwegian composer and musician
(Flute, piccolo flute, guitars, el-bass and double bass)

4 years of flutestudies under Professor Ørnulf Gulbransen at the Norwegian State Academy of Music. Graduated in 1976. Diploma in composition in 1978 after 6 years of compositional studies under Professor Finn Mortensen.

In 1982, summerprograms in the USA. «Techniques of Computer Sound Synthesis» at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston under Professor Barry Vercoe. Some of the basic material on the tapes used in the multimedia/music-theatrework «The Window» was made at MIT. Course in arranging, composing and improvising at Stanford University of California under Stan Getz and Lanny Morgan.

In 1986/87 pedagogical subjects at the Norwegian State Academy of Music.

Kittelsen was the initiator of the contemporary group «Octoband», which combines elements from contemporary music, jazz and rock. The multimedia/music-theatrework «The Window» and «Movements II-version» are both written for the group.

Guttorm Kittelsen has been playing in wind quintets, symphonic bands, orchestras, rock bands, big bands, cabarets, in theatres, ballets, churches and others.

Kittelsen was attached to the National Theatre in Oslo as a musician and composer for several years, most frequently between 1976 and 1982. He has been working as a studio musician and arranger in Norwegian TV and radio, and in recording companies, and he is writing for and working with his trio Moguma.

From 1983-1998 he taught guitar, electric bass and theory at the Asker Kommunale Musikkskole (Asker Communal Music School).

Kittelsen's music reflects his stylistic diversity. His early works number two large-scale sacred music works, «Credo» and «Kyrie». Beyond this, other orchestral music, ballets and multimedia as well as music for ensembles and bands, several short pieces for various instruments and electronic music.

Kittelsen's works have been performed in Norway and abroad. The multimedia/theatre-work «The Window» won two prizes in the «International New Music Composers Competition» in the USA: In 1988 «Award of Merit», and in 1990 first prize in the category «Outstanding Original Achievement». In 1990 also first prize for «Concert Piece for Symphonic Band & Percussion» in the «11th International Competition for Original Composition for Band» in Italy.

His postgraduate thesis at the Norwegian State Academy of Music is a comprehensive textbook on compositional technique (1978) based on twelve-tone technique and serialism.

Other works include several large-scale compositions employing electronic effects, such as «Movements II-version», two midi-based ballets and the prize-winning multimedia/theatre work «The Window». In 2000 he finished a commissioned ballet, «For each one’s chasing happiness, But happiness is always just behind», for the Norwegian National Opera & Ballett. It is scored for a full symphonic orchestra. The idea for the work is taken from Bertolt Brechts text to the 3. verse of «The Song About Inadequacy» from the 3. act of «The Threepenny Opera».

Since 1987 Guttorm Kittelsen receives as a composer guarantee wages from the Norwegian Government.

Kittelsen is currently working on a 30 minutes composition for 6 percussion players and live electronics commissioned by the Norwegian Percussion Society and a grand 50 minutes symphonic work.

«Movements II-version» is released on the LP: «Octoband» (AR 1903) on the label Aurora, Norwegian Music Production Ltd (NMP) - 1986. The work is a concert for flute, keyboards, el-bass, percussion and «live electronics». The composer plays the flute part.

«Jubilee Duet for 2 Piccolo Flutes» is recorded on the CD «BIT 20 Miniatures» (Aurora ACD 4985). BIT 20 is an ensemble mostly based on members of the «Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra».

«Concert Piece for Symphonic Band & Percussion» can be heard on the CD «Corciano in Banda» (CNB 051). The work is performed by «The Royal Norwegian Army Band» conducted by Terje Boye Hansen.

Guttorm Kittelsen