Jan Martin Smørdal wins Arne Nordheim Composer Prize 2022
This year’s Nordheim Prize will be handed over at MUNCH in Oslo on 16 September, alongside a portrait concert of the winning composer.
The Prize will be given out by Secretary of State Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann from the Department of Culture and Equality. The winner will receive a certificate and a cash prize of 200,000 Norwegian kroner.
Jan Martin Smørdal is a composer, musician, and a co-founder and member of Ensemble neoN. Smørdal’s background was originally playing in bands, mostly of an experimental and improvisational nature. During the past 15 years he has become a prolific, sought-after composer. He writes for soloists, chamber groups, sinfonietta, choir, orchestra and installations. His works often have a starting point in ideas around herd mentality, and are inspired by flocking movements in nature.
From the jury’s statement on the prize winner: ‘The winner of this year’s prize is a pioneer in his open-minded relationship with musical genres and music production. His experience and prowess in different styles of music, as well as being a performer in the pop and jazz scenes, add to his sonic sensitivity and originality. In some of his best pieces, his roles as composer and producer (in a pop music sense) are impossible to separate. This often leads to a unique sound universe, in which every detail seems consciously chosen and reflected-upon musically.
‘He is inclusive in his collaborations with musicians and soloists, who frequently contribute significantly and creatively to his compositions. Within this inclusive and open attitude lies an accessibility, an immediacy, as if the music itself is saying please, get on board, come in, there’s room for you too! The prizewinner’s original compositions help to activate the music scene.’
About the Nordheim Prize: Arne Nordheim’s Composer Prize was instigated by the Department of Culture in 2001 in tandem with the composer’s 70th birthday. The prize is given out every other year during Ultima Festival.