Ketil Hvoslef – Piano Solo (1999, rev. 2002)
(b. 19. July 1939)
First performance: Einar Røttingen, Bergen 10. November 2000
Ketil Hvoslef was born in Bergen on July 19th 1939. He is the youngest son of Harald Sæverud and Marie Hvoslef. His birth coincided with the completion of Siljustøl, the great mansion in the outskirts of Bergen where the Sæverud family settled and where Harald Sæverud lived until his passing in 1992.
Being the son of a great composer, music was naturally very present during Hvoslef’s upbringing. He learned to play the piano and the viola and, in his teens, he became heavily involved in Bergen’s jazz and pop music environment, becoming a member of what was, reportedly, Bergen’s first rock band. Hvoslef (who retained the Sæverud surname until his 40th birthday, when he decided to adopt that of his mother) had, however, plans to become a painter and took serious steps in that direction. It was in the Bergen Art Academy that he met the painter Inger Bergitte Flatebø (1938 – 2008), who would become his wife and adopt the Sæverud surname.
With the birth of their first child, Trond, in 1962, Hvoslef abandoned his dreams of becoming either a pop star or a painter and he took an organist’s diploma at the Bergen Music Conservatoire. Upon finishing his studies, he was offered a position as theory teacher at the Conservatoire by its director, the legendary Gunnar Sævig (1924 – 1969).
Hvoslef became a composer almost by accident. In his 25th year he composed a piano concertino for his own satisfaction. Shortly after, his father passed on to him a commission for a woodwind quintet he had no time or inclination to write. And after that he simply kept going. He had study periods in Stockholm (with Karl-Birger Blomdahl and Ingvar Lindholm) and in London (with Henri Lazarof and Thomas Rajna). …
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