Artistic Research

About artistic research at NTNU department of music

The faculty at the department of music are engaged in performing and creative activity. Both in  quality and quantity the department makes it's mark on the national and international scene.

Most of the artistic research at the department deal with performing issues. The issues in question could be refining one's excisting practise and developing new forms of musical performance. This could be related to the development of new instruments and technologies, but also dealing with a more traditional genre-based expression. The work often involves interdisciplinary questions that naturally links it to other disciplines within both the humanities and NTNU's more technically related fields. 

Several of our faculty members at the department are artistic directors of an array of festivals, such as Trondheim jazzfestivalStangvikfestivalenKyrkjehola kulturbeite, Vårsøgfestivalen et al.

Artistic research at the department of music can be devided into the categories classical performance, improvisation, music technology and composition, in addition to combinations of these.

Areas in artistic research

Areas in artistic research

The department’s performers of vocal and instrumental classical music contribute to the development and preservation of western classical music traditions, from early music up to contemporary music. Our employees perform hundreds of concerts during a typical year, and participate in local, domestic and international festivals. They’re also active recording artists as soloists, ensemble musicians and ensemble leaders.

Examples of classical music performance as research and development:

Øyvind Gimse, cellist and former artistic director of the Trondheim Soloists / TrondheimSolistene (TS) from 2002 to 2017. He’s performed on an impressive string of concerts, tours and recordings, featuring guest soloists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter. There’s a high international level of activity. Several of the Trondheim Soloists’ recordings have been awarded the Norwegian Spellemannsprisen, and/or been nominated for the Grammys.

Marianne Thorsen, violinist and former musical director for the Nash Ensemble from 2000 to 2017, is active as a chamber musician and soloist domestically and internationally, with an impressive track record of concerts, tours and recordings. Marianne currently plays on a violin by J.B. Guadagnini, made available by Dextra Musica.

Our staff within improvised music is big and versatile. The jazz department houses several improvising and creative musicians who combine performance and composition.

Examples of improvised music as research and development:

Eirik Hegdal, jazz saxophonist and composer, artistic director of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (TJO) for more than 10 years. Hegdal has performed many concerts, tours and recordings with TJO, and he’s written several works that combine improvising musicians with classicaly trained performers. See this article from a research concert with Eirik Hegdal (in Norwegian).

Eldbjørg Raknes is a singer and improvising musician. She develops improvisation to explore electronics.

T-EMP Ensemble investigates ensemble improvisation in an electro-acoustic setting. The Ensemble concists of employees from the fields of music technology, music performance and musicology at the department of music.

NTNU’s Department of music employs several productive composers from a range of genres such as contemporary music, vocal music, jazz composition, oratorios, opera, chamber music, theatre music and musical theatre.

Examples of composition as research and development:

Trygve Brøske has composed theatre music for Trøndelag Teater (among others), contemporary music for the Trondheim Sinfonietta, «The Death Of The Great Aulk» for the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian Society of Composers, and a blogger mini-opera for the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival.

Ståle Kleiberg has composed large-scale works of musical drama such as «David and Batsheeba» (nominated for a Grammy award in 2013), and «Requiem – For The Victims Of Nazi Persecution». Many of his works have been recorded and released by prestigious record companies, gaining multiple award nominations.

Syrian composer Zaid Jabri spent the academic year of 2017-18 as a composer-in-residence at the NTNU. From his beginnings in a progressive-artistic family in Damascus, he’s encapsulated a wide world of influences, including composition studies under Zbigniew Bujarski and Krzystof Penderecki in Poland, as well as numerous prestigious commissions, resedencies and lectures in Poland, Turkey, Germany, Greece, Ukraine, Canada, the USA and elsewhere.

American-Dutch composer Ellen Lindquist is our current composer-in-residence at the department at NTNU department of music. Her music has been performed throughout the world. Lindquist finds inspiration in the discovery of unique sound-worlds and thrives on collaboration, with dance, theatre, poetry, performance art and devised music theatre. Watch the documentary about Ellen's piece Mantra on our blog. (In Norwegian, English subtitles available.)

Performance-oriented use of technology is an area of focus for the NTNU’s department of music. This definition ranges widely, and includes concerts, studio work, art installations and web-based ensemble playing in real time. Interdisciplinarity is a common thread, as are the various concepts of artistic research. Several of our staff members combine artistic research with the use and development of music technology. We’ve hosted several Ph.d. projects in the former Norwegian Artistic research Programme, including Tone Åse, Trond Engum, Daniel Formo and Hilmar Thordarson.

Examples of music technology as artistic research and development:

In the project Cross adaptive processing as musical intervention, new technology is developed in order to allow sonic parameters from interacting musicians govern the other performers’ sound processing. The project has explored the various ways in which this technology affects ensemble playing and improvisation.

T-EMP ensemble investigates ensemble improvisation in an electro-acoustic setting. The ensemble consists of employees from the fields of music technology, music performance and musicology at the department of music.

VIBRA-prosjektet explores ways of connecting dance movement to music and video projections in a physical space through sensor technology.



YouTube: Øyvind Gimse and TrondheimSolistene's recording of REFLECTIONS summer 2015.

Eldbjørg Raknes

Eldbjørg Raknes & Oscar Grönberg

YouTube: Eldbjørg Raknes and Oscar Grönberg, JazzExpo at Dokkhuset, Trondheim 18 November 2015.

Nash Ensemble

Nash Ensemble

YouTube: Brahms with Marianne Thorsen and Nash Ensemble, Trondheim 25 September 2015.


T-EMP Ensemble

Vimeo: T-EMP with guests, Rockheim in Trondheim 29 August 2012.

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra

YouTube: Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Eirik Hegdal and Joshua Redman, Live in Sevilla 29 March 2016.

Trygve Brøske

Oslo Kammerakademi

Vimeo: Oslo Kammerakademi with Trygve Brøske's political satire «G8», 2016.