Henning Sommerro artist

Henning Sommerro (1952) was born in Surnadal in the west of Norway, and won his way into the hearts of many with his song Vårsøg (Longing for Spring) in 1977. Since then the melody has been included in NRK’s (Norwegain Broadcasting Corporation) daily program Nattønske (Night-Wish), which makes it one of the most used Norwegian vignettes ever. This was the start of what has been, and remains, a long and varied career as a composer, performer and teacher. Sommerro has become an institution in the musical life of the nation. He studied piano, organ and composition in Norway, Holland and Switzerland. Throughout the 1980s he worked as an arranger for artists and performers and wrote a large amount of music for theatres. He was also associated with NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) plus the theatre companies «Teatret Vårt» in Molde and «Trøndelag Teater». Since 1990 he has been working at the Department of Music of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU) where he is a Full professor in counterpoint, organ-improvisation and composition. Sommerro’s compositions transcend the borders of style and range from songs to chamber music, choral music and works for orchestra. He has composed more than 100 works for film and stage and three operas. He has appeared with such diverse performers as the percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, and Chœur Gregorienne de Paris. Sommerro has constantly sought to develop his skills in both classical and popular music, and does not really consider these styles of music to be very different in essence. He is also focusing on folk music and improvisation. In recent years he has received commissions from the USA, France, Scotland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Denmark as well as Norway. Sommerro often explores historical themes and takes inspiration from areas connected to the North Sea, from countries further east like Russia and Central- Asia, as well as from the Middle East. Topics from these scenes includes his opera Olav Engelbrektsson (libretto Edvard Hoem) which is the most frequently performed Norwegian opera ever with yearly performances for more than 20 years, and after a success in 2012 his opera «Querini» (libretto Ragnar Olsen) had a repeat performance in 2014. In 1994 Henning Sommerro was chosen as Artistic Director for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games at Lillehammer due to his central position in the musical life of Norway. As a performer, Sommerro has toured many countries in Europe, Russia and the USA. His own songs and music for orchestras or choirs are usually in- cluded in the performances, often in collaborations with performers like The Trondheim Soloists, the saxophone player John Pål Inderberg, the violinist Arve Tellefsen and the fiddle player Aly Bain, the Norwegian legend Erik Bye, the harmonica player Sigmund Groven and choirs like Chœur Gregorienne de Paris, SKRUK, Cantus and Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir. In 2013 he was awarded the Royal Norwegian order Commanders of the Order of St. Olav, in recognition of services to his country and people, which is one of the highest distinctions in Norway.