b. September 3, 1915 in Oslo, Norway
d. December 8, 2014
Knut Nystedt studied composition with Bjarne Brustad and Aaron Copland, organ with Arild Sandvold and Ernest White, and conducting with Oivin Fjeldstad. He was organist at Torshov Church in Oslo 1946-1982 and professor of choral conducting at the University of Oslo 1964-1985. He was conductor of, The Norwegian Soloists Choir from 1950-90, and has toured with them not only the Scandinavian countries, but also Germany, France and three times the United States (twice under the management of Colombia Artists in New York). A visit to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand in 1978 was followed by concerts in China (1982) and Israel (1984 and 1988).
As a composer, Knut Nystedt has held a central position throughout a long period of rapidly shifting musical currents. With unfailing artistry he has shown a remarkable ability to adapt essential new discoveries to his own, highly personal, style, which is rich in colors and, at the same time, delicately nuanced.
While most of his works, both orchestral and choral, have been premiered in Norway by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra or by his own choir, he is one of the few Norwegian composers of today whose works are performed world-wide. They have also earned him both national and international honors. In 1966 the King of Norway made him knight of the Order of St. Olav in recognition of his contribution of Norwegian music. In 1975 the Augsburg College in Minneapolis awarded him their Distinguished Service Citation for his innovative influence on choral composition in the United States. In 1980 the Norwegian Arts Counsil gave him their Music Prize. And in 1984, his choral work De Profundis was elected "Best work of the year" - all categories - by the Society of Norwegian Composeres. Professor Honorario, Mendoza University Argentina 1991.