Tord Gustavsen, Det Norske Jentekor, Anne Karin Sundal-Ask


Biography Tord Gustavsen, Det Norske Jentekor, Anne Karin Sundal-Ask



The Norwegian Girls Choir
directed by Anne Karin Sundal-Ask, is a choir with proud traditions and high artistic standards. The choir is composed of singers from the Oslo area who are admitted through auditions.

The Norwegian Girls Choir is an independent continuation of The Norwegian Broadcasting Company’s Girls Choir, which was established in 1947. The choir has long been a strong institution in Norwegian cultural life, and it has fostered a number of great singers, musicians and artists.

The choir’s ambition is to be a learning environment that helps the girls develop into independent musicians and artists, with strong musical expressiveness that can touch both the audience and the singers themselves. In this environment the girls develop their understanding, experience, and interest in music, with some subsequently performing at a high professional level. Norway’s foremost contemporary composers have written new music for the choir, leading to acclaimed performances of these works across Norway as well as abroad.

Anne Karin Sundal-Ask has been the conductor and artistic director of The Norwegian Girls Choir since the spring of 2005. She has training as a conductor, flutist, and music teacher. In addition to directing The Norwegian Girls Choir, she teaches conducting at The Norwegian Academy of Music. She has also served as a judge for international choir competitions. Sundal-Ask has received several prizes and awards for her work, and has led a number of choirs to victories in international competitions. She is committed to the pursuit of excellence, and is inspiring as a leader.

She has a unique ability to communicate her musical vision to the singers so that each one performs to her utmost. Sundal-Ask’s focus on intonation, quality of sound, and ensemble performance has become a trademark. Together with the choir she continuously strives to create moving and expressive performances.

Anne Karin Sundal-Ask
has been the conductor and artistic director of The Norwegian Girls Choir since the spring of 2005. She has training as a conductor, flutist, and music teacher. In addition to conducting The Norwegian Girls Choir, she has conducted some of Norways finest choirs such as The Norwegian National Youth Choir, NOVA chamber choir and Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening. She has also been teaching conducting at The Norwegian Academy of Music and served as a judge for international choir competitions.

Sundal-Ask and The Norwegian Girls Choir has commissioned a large number of works by Norway´s finest composers. Sundal-Ask has received several prizes and awards for her work, and has led a number of choirs to victories in international competitions.

She is committed to the pursuit of excellence, and is inspiring as a leader. She has a unique ability to communicate her musical vision to the singers so that each one performs to her utmost. Sundal-Ask’s focus on intonation, quality of sound, and ensemble performance has become a trademark. Together with her choirs she continuously strives to create moving and expressive performances.

Tord Gustavsen
has released eight albums on ECM Records with his ensemble and trio; "Changing Places" (2003), "The Ground" (2005), "Being There" (2007), "Restored, Returned" (2009/2010), "The Well" (2012); "Extended Circle" (2014); "What was said" (2016); and "The Other Side" (2018). His music has been met by a huge volume of critical approval around the world (cf. Critics). He has won the Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannsprisen) and numerous other awards and prizes (cf. extended CV).

After playing primarily in trio format for several years, Tord launched his new project, Tord Gustavsen Ensemble, in 2008 with a commissioned work for the Vossajazz Festival in Norway, followed by a new recording in 2009. In 2011-2015, the quartet was Tord's major touring ensemble formation, alongside duo and trio formats with the musicians in the ensemble. He did extended projects with Kristin Asbjørnsen and Susanna Wallumrød joining the ensemble on vocals, with Cecilie Jørstad doing spoken word, and with Nils Økland on fiddle/violin. In 2016, the ensemble was supplmented with a new, alternative trio featuring Afghan-German singer Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad on drums, for album release and extensive touring.

In 2018, it was again time to release an album in piano trio format, featuring bass player Sigurd Hole and drummer Jarle Vespestad. While relating to his first trilogy of trio albums, Tord's new album also integrates subtle electronics, and it paradoxically sounds both deeper, darker and more open than the first trio did.

Before starting his solo career, Tord had already been an important part of the Norwegian jazz scene for several years. His playing has formed a cornerstone in projects featuring some of the finest Norwegian singers, including Solveig Slettahjell, Silje Nergaard, Siri Gjære, and Kristin Asbjørnsen. The urge for individual expression fuses with acutely attentive listening in creative interplay, making Tord a very special experience both as a soloist and as an ensemble player. While relating to fields like Scandinavian folk music, gospel, Caribbean music and cool jazz alike, Tord's ensembles present a unique universe of lyricism and subtle funkiness. His way of melding jazz history with 'Nordic' reflective moods and lyrical beauty brings about an intriguing voice on today's music scene.

Tord tours extensively world-wide with his projects (cf. Live). He can be heard on several albums; in addition to his own releases there are releases with Solveig Slettahjell, Kristin Asbjørnsen, Mahsa Vahdat, Silje Nergaard, the Nymark Collective, the Ulrich Drechsler Quartet, Carl Petter Opsahl, and the duo aire & angels.

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