Ketil Bjørnstad, a prominent figure in European culture, is celebrating five decades of his artistic career this year. He was educated as a classical pianist, beginning his career with the performance of Bela Bartok’s Third Piano Concerto, but jazz quickly swayed him to a different direction. Along with Arild Andersen, Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen, he was among the leading Scandinavian artists in search of the European path to jazz. Bjørnstad’s music is known for its melancholy atmosphere with strong flavours of the classics, making him one of the favourite artists of Manfred Eicher, producer of the ECM Records, thus recording a string of records for this label. He also writes music for film, Jean-Luc Godard loves working with him and asked him six times to compose for his films. He released over fifty albums, many of them as solo pianist, and he will perform solo in Belgrade.
Besides music, Bjørnstad is also a very prolific writer. He published over fifty novels and poetry collections, winning several literature awards. Therefore, it’s no wonder that his most recent work is music inspired by literature – on his latest album he presented pieces inspired by Lars Saabye Christensen‘s travel poems and earlier he wrote music inspired by Edvard Munch’s texts and John Donne’s poetry.