Knut Nystedt

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Knut Nystedt
Knut Nystedt.jpg
Background information
Birth name Knut Nystedt
Born (1915-09-03)3 September 1915
Kristiania, Norway
Died 8 December 2014(2014-12-08) (aged 99)
Oslo, Norway

Knut Nystedt (3 September 1915 – 8 December 2014) was a Norwegian orchestral and choral composer.

Early life[edit]

Nystedt was born in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway, and grew up in a Christian home where hymns and classical music were an important part of everyday life. His major compositions for choir and vocal soloists are mainly based on texts from the Bible or sacred themes. Old church music, especially Palestrina and Gregorian chants, have had a major influence on his compositions.

He studied with Aaron Copland among others. Nystedt was organist in Torshov kirke (no) (Torshov Church) in Oslo from 1946 to 1982 and taught choir conducting at the University of Oslo from 1964 to 1985.


Nystedt founded and conducted Det Norske Solistkor (de) from 1950 to 1990. He also founded and conducted Schola Cantorum from 1964 to 1985. The choir Ensemble 96 published "Immortal Nystedt" in 2005. This CD was nominated in two categories in the 2007 Grammy Awards. This was the first Norwegian CD nominated in two categories. It was also the first CD with a Norwegian composer nominated for a Grammy. On the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2005, there were several concerts around the world held in his honour.

In 1966, the King of Norway made Nystedt a Knight of the Order of St. Olav in recognition of his contributions to Norwegian music,[1] and in 2002 the King of Norway made him Commander of St. Olav. He received the Spellemann Award in 1978 for his album Contemporary Music From Norway and received the music prize of the Arts Council Norway in 1980. De Profundis was the work of the year of the Norsk Komponistforening (no). Nystedt was awarded an honorary professorship ('Professor Honorario') by Mendoza University Argentina in 1991. In 2002 he received Årets Korpris from Norges Korforbund and in 2005 the Oslo bys Kunstnerpris (The Artists prize by the City of Oslo).

Most of his compositions are published by Norsk Musikforlag. His compositions also appear on several CDs in Norway and several other countries.


Nystedt died in his sleep at his home in Oslo on 8 December 2014 at the age of 99.[2][3]


Choral works[edit]

  • A hymn of human rights, op. 95 for mixed choir, organ and percussion
  • A song as in the night, op. 149 for soli, chorus, flute, strings and percussion
  • Apocalypsis Joannis, op. 155, symphony for soli, chorus and orchestra
  • Adoro te, op. 107, for mixed choir (SSAATTBB) a cappella
  • Landstad-kantate, op. 27 for mezzo-soprano, baritone, SATB chorus and organ
  • All the Ways of a Man for mixed choir (SATB) a cappella
  • Astri, mi Astri, Norwegian folk songs for mixed choir
  • Christmas Carols, for mixed choir and watches
  • Cry Out and Shout, for mixed choir SSATTB (Festival) a cappella
  • But the Path of the Just for mixed choir


  • Concerto Arctandriae, op. 128 for strings
  • Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, op. 114
  • Concerto Grosso, op. 17b for three trumpets and organ/piano
  • Concerto Sacro, op. 137 for violin and organ

Orchestra works[edit]

  • Apocalypsis Joannis, op. 155, symphony for soli, chorus and orchestra
  • Festival Overture, op. 25

Organ solo[edit]

  • Exultate, op. 74
  • Le verbe eternel, op. 133
  • Prélude Héroïque, op. 123
  • Resurrexit, op.68
  • Suite d'orgue, op. 84
  • Toccata, op. 9
  • Tu es Petrus
  • Two Organ Pieces (from Apocalypsis Joannis, op. 155)
    • Amazing Grace
    • Beati
  • Variasjoner over folketonen "Med Jesus vil eg fara", op. 4
  • Veni Creator Spiritus Partita, op. 75


  1. ^ "Knut Nystedt - Biography". Listen to Norway / Music Information Centre Norway. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "– Han var en gnistrende kraft" (in Norwegian). Vårt Land (Norwegian newspaper). 9 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Knut Nystedt Dies at Age 99". Classical Minnesota Public Radio. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

External links[edit]