Home of Nils Henrik Asheim, composer/organist/pianist.

To see/hear/buy CDs and audio tracks go to the CDs page
To hear a random selection of sounds go to the Sounds page
For live projects (piano, organ, collaborations) go to the Projects page
For list of works and info on compositions go to the Works page


Grader av hvitt

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra are performing Grader av Hvitt, the monodrama for orchestra, narrator & electronic sounds to a text by Johan Harstad. Lisa Kristin Ellingsen has the main role. Kyrre Heldal Karlsen and Carsten Aniksdal do the visuals. Christian Eggen is conducting. Grader_annonse_2014


Opening at Rudersdal

Nils Henrik Asheim is featured festival composer at Rudersdal Sommerkoncerter 2014.
Ensemble Nordlys performs the piano trio "Game of Three" at the opening concert of the festival. Festival leader Christine Prym on violin, Øystein Sonstad on cello and Kristoffer Hyldig on piano. Game_of_three_Rudersdal


"Stormen" - a new opera

Stormen - the Tempest - the story of Ferdinand and Miranda

Sted:  The Norwegian Opera, Oslo
Tidspunkt:  June 12, 2014

Nils Henrik Asheim's new opera
to a libretto by Rune Belsvik draws its inspiration from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and Arne Nordheim's ballet music.

This unique project is a joint effort by the Norwegian Opera and Ballet's Childrens' Choir and Childrens' Ballet. In the orchestra pit of Scene 2 in the Norwegian Opera you will also find members of the Barratt-Due Junior Orchestra in addition to professional musicians.

The story starts with Miranda on her 12th birthday. Her daddy is always working in his laboratory, and her toys and dolls are boring her. The Fairy brings her a mystical present that could foresee something for the future, and a certain boy called Ferdinand appears.


Sudden Landscapes - an organ concerto

Monday, 14 April 2014

Part One of "Sudden Landscapes" was premiered on March 20, with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christian Vasquez. Nils Henrik Asheim played the organ part, which instead of featuring independent solo passages engages in a tight and constant interplay with the orchestra.

Listen to sample: start of Sudden Landscapes

The full version of the piece is planned to last 30-40 minutes. Part One, which was ready for the premiere, lasted 20 minutes. 

Choir and Organ Magazine published this article about the piece:



Mazurka release

Release og minikonsert: "Mazurka - reseaching Chopin"

Chopins Mazurkaer spilt på et nyrestaurert Pleyel taffelpiano fra ca.1830. Hør denne henrivende musikken i et intimt format som er nærmere slik den opprinnelig ble skapt. Nils Henrik Asheim presenterer og signerer sin nye CD "Mazurka - researching Chopin"  (en oppfølger av den tidligere Spellemannsprisvinner-platen han utga i 2010)

Album på iTunes



Organ improvisations on Soundcloud

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A growing compilation of episodes from my past live concerts.

soon to be released: Mazurka - researching Chopin

Friday, 20 September 2013

This recording is a by-product of Mazurka – Remaking Chopin, my collaborative project with Gjertrud’s Gypsy Orchestra, which was released as a CD in 2010. On it we explored Frédéric Chopin’s Mazurkas and created new versions with traditional dance music from Central Europe as our most important point of reference.

We used a Collard & Collard square piano from the 1830s, which we found at Ulefos Hovedgård in Telemark. This instrument gave a lot of input to the very playing of Chopin's music.

With that arose the idea of recording the Mazurkas in their original editions — on the square piano.  Release: October 2013. Lawo Classics.

Here is a preview where you can compare the solo version (from the new release) with the "remake" version.


Autumn: working on two large commissions

Saturday, 17 August 2013

I'm back from long and sunny summer's stay in the Valdres valley, where I combined mountain walks with working sessions. The project on my desk is "Stormen" - the Tempest - a children's opera commissioned by the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, due to be performed in June 2014. Rune Belsvik wrote the libretto, with a loose connection to Shakespeare's drama.


There are a couple of deadlines this autumn - the first one being a meeting and try-out with the choir on September 7. I have already said hello to these kids and heard them perform, and I am really thrilled, they are very talented and well trained.

The other project I am doing in parallel is writing my new Organ concerto, for the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra March 20 next year.

Two organ performances I am doing myself in Stavanger Concert Hall this Autumn: Faust, improvisation to a silent movie, Sept.1, and Orgelnatt, Oct.25. The new organ works very well, its colors are rich and warm, the touch is very much to my taste. Already now we notice that the instrument sounds louder and fuller than at the opening in February. It's a magnificent 65-stop organ by Ryde & Berg that matches the sound of the orchestra very successfully.

I am curating and presenting the organ's concert series. It's a great pleasure to welcome the world's finest artists here. Jean Guillou is coming this October - Thomas Trotter, Kevin Bowyer and Wayne Marshall already played here in Spring. And the instrument has been heard by more than 10.000 people. I feel I am holding a privileged position.

A different event this Autumn will be the release of "Mazurka - researching Chopin". A spinoff-project of my former Mazurka-project (the one labeled "remaking"). Why I choose to do a plain classical piano CD? I hope the recording, made on a 1830 square piano, will answer.


Happy 2013 ! and looking back.

Monday, 31 December 2012

One of my best memories from 2012 is the trip to Arkhangelsk and Naryan Mar, Russia, to perform "Travelling Songs". And this takes me right to the saddest memory - the loss of my close collaborator through almost 20 years, singer Anne-Lise Berntsen. She was the mastermind of this project, so typical for her, that created a meeting between singers and musicians from two countries. Anne-Lise passed away on November 3rd. We managed to record three CDs together: Engleskyts, Kom Regn and Orkan. Anne-Lise has been such an important catalyst for my creative work, and a rare friend. Rest in peace, beloved voice.

Back home, 2012 saw the grand opening of Stavanger Konserthus. So far, the new house is a success and attracts lots of audience, projects and collaborations. Myself I have been appointed Concert Hall Organist, a position that involves curating the programme for the 65-stop instrument, and taking care of its basic maintenance.  Become a friend of the organ on facebook!  We are creating a three-day opening festival, ORGELFEST, for 22-24 February 2013.  Some informal concerts for limited audiences have already taken place, the most special one being Nautofon - an "inside organ" event where my performance on valves and pipe-tuning was streamed to the concert venue a the lighthouse of Tungenes where Lasse Marhaug played along with it.

Other organ appearances of mine during 2012 have been:

- Nordisk Nushü, a spectacular project in Esbjerg and Sønderborg, Denmark, Oct 6 and 7.  A girls' choir, a butoh dancer, singing actress, 3-D sound installation, and of course a pipe organ. The author is Trine Louise Kortermand, and next performance will be in Odense, April 20. 2013.
- Duo with Daniel Buner Formo on the Hammond organ, myself on the pipe organ of Vor Frue Kirke, Trondheim, Jan 25.
- Silent movie improvisation to Faust (Murnau), April 28 at the Bodø international organ festival. In the same festival I appeared at the opening concert together with Susanne Lundeng, and gave workshops. 
- The 200 years celebration of Norwegian organ "father" Ludvig Mathias Lindeman gave me the opportunity to play two improvisation concert inspired by his legendary Royal Albert Hall performances: At Stavanger Organ Festival, Sept 11, and Oslo Cathedral Nov 17.
- Collaboration with Oslo Chamber Choir, Fagerborg Church, Oslo, Nov 7

As a composer, my main project for 2012/13 is to write the music to Miranda and Ferdinand, a childrens' opera for The Norwegian Opera and Ballet. The libretto is by Rune Belsvik.  Premiere: June 2014.

My "remakes" of classical repertoire are moving on. We performed Mazurka with Gjertruds Gypsy Orchestra in Hamar Nov 15, and Crossing Grieg with my brother Håkon Asheim in Flekkefjord and Østerås Oct 31 and Nov 1.  The sequel solo CD "Mazurka - researching Chopin" is still in the editing and can be expected before summer 2013.  A demo of the raw material for next project (Schubert waltzes and dances) is now recorded.

I took part in a few of Kitchen Orchestras projects in 2012, the biggest one being the "pre-opening" of Stavanger Concert Hall on Sept 14. Sound Safari was my idea, and here we lead about 600 people through the new premises with musicians popping up all over the place in different roles, the whole thing topped by visual arts of Andreas Paleologos (featuring a concert hall built of Lego and immersed in milk!).  

Kitchen Orchestra's residency at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo, five nights of improvisations, collaborations, turned out very nicely  And our (un)traditional mid-December craze at Tou Scene this year broke a top review in the local newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad as "The ultimate Christmas Concert".

Young Pianist Øyvind Dale and myself launched our new piano duo May 13 at Maijazz festival. 

And let's not forget the audience-participation installation "Organ Machine" in Stavanger May 4-5 and at Tou Camp across the whole month of June.

Speaking of: My organizational and programming work at Tou Scene has come to a pause after Tou Camp 2012. This second edition of the festival, that boasted a 100 events and gathered 7.500 people, included dance, theatre, visual arts, interactive installations, workshops, kids' programme, seminars and of course a great number of excellent concerts by local, national and international artists.  The main project ID-Camp was based on interviews with 30 Stavanger residents and evolved on the theme of identity. I am still on the board of Tou Scene, but not active at a daily basis.

Besides, I am still organizing concerts for Ny Musikk Stavanger, slowly planning to hand over the responsibility to some of the other good guys.

Thanks to all of you that I have had the pleasure to work with - welcome to all new friends, and hope to see you in 2013!
Best wishes, yours  

Nils Henrik


Page 1 of 10