Magne Furuholmen

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Sir Magne Furuholmen
MagneF Fredrikstad2007.JPG
Background information
Also known as Magne F, Mags
Born (1962-11-01) November 1, 1962 (age 52)
Oslo, Norway
Genres Synthpop, new wave, alternative rock, indie rock
Occupation(s) Musician, artist, singer, songwriter & painter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboard, harmonica, piano, bass guitar, percussion
Labels Passionfruit
Associated acts A-ha

Magne Furuholmen (Norwegian pronunciation: [mɑŋnə fʉ:ɾʉhɔlmən]) (born November 1, 1962 in Oslo, Norway), better known by his stage name Mags, is a Norwegian musician and visual arts artist. He is best known as the keyboardist of the synthpop/rock band A-ha.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Furuholmen is the son of jazz trumpeter Kåre Furuholmen (1940–67) and Anne-Lise Furuholmen (b. 1940).[3] He was raised in Manglerud, Oslo (along with A-ha colleague and co-writer Paul Waaktaar-Savoy). He has one sister, Line, and two half brothers, Thorstein and Trygve Christian. His father, a jazz musician who played trumpet with Bent Sølves Orkester, was killed in an aeroplane crash over Drammen, south of Oslo in 1967, when Magne was just five. Remarkably, this very accident was witnessed by an eight-year-old Morten Harket, thirteen years before the two were to meet for the first time.[2][4]

Furuholmen married Heidi Rydjord, his high school sweetheart, on August 8, 1992, in the garden of their Nesøya home. They have two sons, Thomas Vincent (born April 20, 1990) and Filip Clements (born October 2, 1993).[2]

Furuholmen has also revealed in an interview published by Norway's third largest newspaper Dagbladet (in its additional magazine Magasinet) that he is suffering from a heart disease. The news was picked up the same day by Side-Line music magazine.[5]

Along with fellow band member Morten Harket, Furuholmen is a supporter of English premier League football club Stoke City.



Furuholmen has been the keyboardist with A-ha since their formation in 1982, though he also plays guitar. He has co-written many of the band's hits with Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, including "Stay on These Roads", "Manhattan Skyline", and the band's first and biggest hit "Take on Me". When A-ha went on hiatus in 1994, Furuholmen began working on other music projects. The band reconvened in 1998, though announced they would split in 2010.[1]

In 2012 the three members of a-ha, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar Savoy, were appointed Knights of the 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for their contribution to Norwegian music. The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav is granted as a reward for distinguished services to their country and mankind. The official ceremony took place on November 6, 2012.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Solo projects and collaborations[edit]

Furuholmen's projects outside of A-ha include Timbersound, formed in 1994 with Kjetil Bjerkestrand, and later, Swedish singer, Freddie Wadling. Their work has been used on film soundtracks such as Ti Kniver I Hjertet (1994), "Hotel Oslo" (1997) which also featured vocals by Anneli Drecker, 1732 Høtten (1998) where the album Hermetic is featured.

Furuholmen also recorded "Past Perfect Future Tense" in 2004, with appearances from Guy Berryman and Will Champion of Coldplay, and from Andy Dunlop of the Scottish band Travis.

In 2008 Furuholmen collaborated with Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman and Mew vocalist Jonas Bjerre under the band name of Apparatjik for the theme to the BBC Two series, Amazon.[14] The theme was made available (along with exclusive tracks from various other artists) on the Survival International charity album, Songs for Survival.

In 2010 Apparatjik released their first album We Are Here, a digital album also available physically via their website.

Magne announced on Jo Wiley's show on BBC Radio 2 in October 2010 that he intends to work with his friends in MEW and Coldplay after retiring from A-ha in December.[15]

In 2012 Magne Furuholmen was a mentor on the show The Voice – Norges beste stemme. His talent Martin Halla won the contest and had his first album produced by Furuholmen himself who is also an estimated songwriter/producer for other artists.

In 2014 Furuholmen agreed to compose the songs and supervise the recordings for the Norwegian film "Beatles".[16][17]

Visual arts[edit]

Magne Furuholmen is also a well known visual arts artist working with glass, paint, etching and woodcut and has exhibited his works all around the world. His art has been displayed at The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo, and he has also shown his work at The London Art Fair. In 2001, Furuholmen was commissioned to design an official Norwegian postage stamp. In 2005 he decorated the 11 floors of the Royal Caribbean International cruiseship Adventure of the Seas with sheets of glass of his work.[1][3]

Main solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 1989 Maleri
  • 1995 Kutt / Cuts
  • 1997 In Concert
  • 1996, 1998 Y Project
  • 1998 Credit
  • 1999 New Works
  • 2001 Pincette
  • 2003 Foci
  • 2004 Payne's Gray
  • 2004 Stjerneskutt
  • 2006 Building Ruins
  • 2006 Morceaux Choisis
  • 2007 Monologues
  • 2007 Scrabble
  • 2007 Anticlimax
  • 2007 Climax
  • 2009 Camera
  • 2009 Alpha Beta
  • 2011 Echo
  • 2011 Futura Plus
  • 2012 Bouquet
  • 2013 Norwegian Wood
  • 2014 Norwegian Wood Remix
  • 2014 Self-Portraits
  • 2015 Peeling a Glass Onion[18]


  • 2007 Climax The Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway
  • 2009 Climax Sculpture Hydro, Norway
  • 2009 Confusion, Bølgen & Moi (with Snøhetta), Oslo, Norway
  • 2010 Umsteiger, commission, Berlin, Germany
  • 2012 Bouquet Wall Painting, Asker, Norway
  • 2012 Code One, commission, Aglaia
  • 2012–2013 Aker Solutions, Fornebu, Norway

Works on permanent display[edit]



  • 1995 Kutt / Cuts, Henie Onstad Art Center
  • 1997Blue Note Boulevards, Grøndahl Dreyer,
  • 2002 Lerkrukker & Glasmosaik, Liebeskind, Denmark
  • 2004 Foci, Lillehammer Art Museum
  • 2004 Stjerneskudt, Nansensgades Antikvariat
  • 2004 Stjerneskutt, Press Forlag
  • 2004 Payne's Gray, Hatje Cantz Verlag
  • 2004 Art in the Statoil Collection
  • 2005 Norwegian Artist Yearbook
  • 2005 Paul Stolper Editions
  • 2006 Gap Hanoi, OCA
  • 2007 Monologues
  • 2009 This Is The Way We See It, Erich Weiss
  • 2010 Alphabets – A miscellany of letters, black dog publishing UK, ISBN 978-1-907317-09-5
  • Landscape and Room, a selection from H.M. Queen Sonja's art collection ISBN 978-82-8294-001-6
  • 2011 Electric – Some Magazine ISBN ISBN 978-3-86019-083-8
  • 2012 Illustration in Norwegian Books
  • 2012 Music, Some magazine ISBN 978-3-86019-092-0
  • 2012 I wish this was a Song, Museet for Samtidskunst, ISBN 978-82-8154-068-2
  • 2013 In Transit (Monograph), 2013 Press Publishing, ISBN 978-82-7547-413-9


  1. ^ a b c "Magne Furuholmen Biography". Store Norske Leksikon. Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  2. ^ a b c "Magne Furuholmen Biography". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  3. ^ a b Danielsen, Guro (June 19, 2009). "Multi-Magne: Magne Furuholmen (46) hviler aldri, han bare finner på noe nytt. Ellers kan det gå skikkelig galt" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  4. ^ Vogt, Henrik (May 13, 2008). "De døde foreldres klubb" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  5. ^ "A-ha member Magne Furuholmen struck with heart disease – The real reason behind the end of A-ha?". July 24, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  6. ^ "A-HA RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  7. ^ "Utnevnelse til St. Olavs Orden" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  8. ^ "A-HA TILDELES ST. OLAVS ORDEN" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  9. ^ Gjestad, Robert Hoftun (November 6, 2012). "Morten Harket: Jeg føler meg stolt, men kanskje mest forlegen" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  10. ^ Steen, Thea (November 6, 2012). "Nå er de riddere av 1. klasse – a-Ha hyllet med St. Olavs Orden" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  11. ^ "a-ha fikk St. Olavs Orden: – Jeg er mer forlegen enn stolt" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. November 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  12. ^ "Kommentar: Ridderlige a-ha" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. November 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  13. ^ Ratvik, Elise Hellem (November 6, 2012). "Kongens orden til kongene av pop" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  14. ^ "Coldplay and A-ha team up". Teletext. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  15. ^ Whiley, Jo (October 21, 2010). "a-ha in concert". BBC. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  16. ^ "Magne Furuholmen to score music for Norwegian Blockbuster". Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Magne at Abbey Road Studios recording music for 'Beatles' movie". Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Peeling a Glass Onion". Retrieved 29 January 2015. 

External links[edit]