IVAR FROUNBERG               composer/biography

ivar@frounberg.dk                 (+47) 909 46 719       



IVAR FROUNBERG - born 1950- has composed works for orchestra as for example What did the Sirenes sing, as Ulysses sailed by? (1987-89, commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of the Danish Broadcasting System), a great number of works for bigger chamber ensembles and sinfonietta from Drei-Klang (1982) to the latest The Quantum Mechanics of my Life I-VI (2010) – the latter is such a thing as an autobiography in sound!



Many of the works of Ivar Frounbergs involves interaction between the instruments and the computer:

Time and the Bell (1990; performed at the ISCM Music Days in Zurich 1991

- at the ICMC in Banff, Canada 1995 and released on CD with the percussionist Christian Martines in 2010),

Waves and Velocities (2004 - 2008, CD-release 2011 with the percussionist Kjell Tore Innervik) as well as

Éand sank in Tumult into a Lifeless Ocean (2005, premiered by the organist Christian Pr¾stholm with technician Morten Elkj¾r on computer).

One of the composers most performed pieces is Embryo (1985), which was performed in several international festivals as the Peiling-festival in Stockholm and the ISCM Music Days in Cologne



The compositional point of departure for Frounberg was an attempt to revive and restituate the experiences of modernism after a time in the 70's where the danish music primarily defined itself in opposition to the international trends. In 1978 Frounberg, together with the composer Hans Abrahamsen set out to present the status of the then most recent international repertoire for the danish audience, through planning and executing a season of concerts in the then existing danish section of ISCM: DUT (Det Unge Tonekunstnerselskab). The very same year Frounberg attended the summer course at Accademia Chigiana in Siena, which gave him contacts with composers like Louis de Pablo and Iannis Xenakis. A year of studies in Buffalo, NY with the composer Morton Feldman played a determinate role for Frounbergs orientation and understanding for the position of the art of music within the artfield in general. The aesthetics of Feldman was of lesser importance for the musical works of Frounberg during his breakthrough in the 80's with Drei-Klang and Embryo. In these works elements (extended poly-rhythms) inspired by Iannis Xenakis mixed themselves with the extended harmony of Pierre Boulez. Soon after Ivar Frounberg presented the music of Boulez through six extensive broadcasts when he received the Sonning-price in 1985. Frounberg was in many years committed to the presentation of contemporary music through his ten years in the stearing committee of the Danish Section of ISCM (the 70's) and later through free-lance work for the Danish Broadcasting System (DR in the 80's). The periodical Dansk Musiktidskrift became another channel for presentations of a more theoretical art through a large number of articles about compositional techniques, music analysis and use of new computer technology in the field



From 1981 Frounberg became member of the board of The Danish Composer's Society and until about 1994 he was involved in political work with the key issues of the time: the position of copyright and performance right in the new technological media through his position in the danish performance rights society KODA, governmental committees and the Danish Institute for Electro-acoustical Music (DIEM). In 1994 Frounberg was artistic director of the International Computer Music Conference 1995 in rhus and the same year he became chairman of the organizing committee for the 1996 festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) in Copenhagen. In 1995 he received the prestigious Carl Nielsen-award.



After his debut in 1986 from the Royal Danish Academy of Music (DKDM) in Copenhagen Frounberg became lecturer in electro-acoustic music.

Later, in 1994, he was appointed assistant professor in composition at the DKDM.



Through the 90's a new orientation towards a more inward and concentrated expression in the work ...to arrive where we started (1993, written for the  ensemble Figura and later performed by the ensemble die Reihe at Wien Modern in 1998). In this work the musical material is varied on a micro-level through continuous repetitions. By these repetitions - earlier not included in his music - Frounberg intends to create a sharpened concentration from the audience. Another example of the same strategy is The Anatomy of a Point  (1990-1994) commissioned by the Choir of the Danish Broadcasting System (Radiokoret), and in 2006 nominated to the Music-prize of the Nordic Council.



In 2000 Ivar Frounberg was appointed senior professor in composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo. He has been active in creating an environment where the young composers meets the possible artistic challenges of the future, partly through contact to the visual arts, and partly through the National Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowships Programme in which he has been supervisor for more than  eight fellows. He is now research coordinator for one of the three strategic artistic research areas at the Norwegian Academy of Music Musikalsk nyskaping og fornyelse (2008-2013) As a part of this work he is member of the planning committee for the international NIME-konference, Oslo 2011.



Frounbergs recent musical works are influenced by the new geographical position of living in Norway. Most prominent is this in the work Prelude-Voyage-Jotunheim (2004 – released on CD with ensemble alternance) which is a movement in the project From the Diary of an Asylant not yet completed; but also in the hour long The Quantum Mechanics of my Life (2010) a manyfold of expressions aggregates to an eclectic statement with elements coming from as different sources as the classical contemporary music, heavy metal and improvisational praxis. His latest project is Material Investigations (see http://www.frounberg.dk/ivar/composer/MatInv.htm )


Émore to  come