(Photo: Karette Stensæth)
Born 1946 in London, England, but grew up in England, USA and Norway, with studies at UCLA, California, and The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, receiving his BA (clarinet major) in 1975 and his Diploma in Composition two years later. Has taught at the academy since 1976, becoming professor of composition in 1997. In Sep 2013 he retired from the Academy as Professor Emeritus. He has written two books on jazz theory and one on composition and drama, “Thinking Art – An Interdisciplinary Approach to Applied Aesthetics”(ISBN 978-82-7853-214-0). “Thinking Art” was released at the symposium Unfolding the Process II at the Norwegian Academy of Music on Nov 15, 2016. To order, please go to Norwegian Academy of Music book order. Or haugenbok.no
Norwegian version: http://www.akademikaforlag.no/node/2123
Bjørn Kruse lectures extensively throughout Norway on the subject of interdisciplinary aesthetics, addressing students and educators within all expressions of art. The basic topic deals with concepts and models of understanding that all artists employ, and that this type of broad insight enriches the individual artist in his own discipline, as well as develops the aesthetical competence of all those who enjoy experiencing art, regardless of a particular expression. The lectures are offered in either the Norwegian or English language.
Besides composing music, painting, and activity as a freelance academic, he is also supervisor for research fellows within the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (http://artistic-research.no/en/organisasjon/)
From teenage years, Bjørn Kruse was active for about 25 years as jazz musician (saxophone), composer/arranger, producer and studio musician within most areas of music, while teaching and composing preoccupied him more and more. His list of works now numbers more that 150, including compositions for choir, chamber ensembles, several concertos and orchestra works, and four operas, and his compositions are performed ever more often in Norway and abroad. His latest major work for stage was the opera “Den Grøne Riddaren” (“The Green Knight” / libretto by Paal-Helge Haugen), which was premiered in Kristiansand, Agder Teater, on March 10, 2004. Among prizes won may be mentioned the Fernseh Opern Preis der Stadt Salzburg 1983, for the TV opera “A Game of Chess”, and several of his works have won the Work of the Year award in Norway. The concerto for alto sax and orchestra, “Timaios”, was awarded the Jury’s Special Prize by NOPA 2010.
Bjørn Kruse was featured composer at amongs others, Festspillene i Nord-Norge 1994, Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden 2003, Risør Chamber Music Festival 2005, and MusikA Toulouse, France 2010.
A new CD album with chamber music featuring the soprano Eir Inderhaug, “Portrait with Hidden Face”, was released Nov 15, 2016 on Lablabel (in conjunction with the release of his book, Thinking Art). To order, go to Lablabel
His latest major work, the 50 min. clarinet concerto “Chronotope”, was premiered January 21, 2016, with the Oslo Phil. Orch. (cond. Han-Na Chang) and soloist Fredrik Fors. It was recorded June 6 – 8, 2016 to be released in May 2017 on LAWO Classics label.
To order the score, please go to Norsk Musikforlag
His latest major exhibitions of paintings were both at the gallery Albin Upp in Oslo, titled “Chaos and Order” (2009) and “Space and Time” (2010). Nine large paintings were also exhibited Jan 14 2015, at a concert in the Chamber Hall, Oslo Concert House, with Bjørn’s chamber works.
Bjørn is married to Karette Stensæth, music therapy researcher.