Ketil Bjørnstad, described as “a cultural prodigy” by The Guardian’s John Fordham, started out as a classical pianist, making his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic, playing Bartók. Encounters with jazz of the late 1960s, especially Miles and Coltrane, changed his priorities and he was fascinated also by the new Norwegian improvising scene that ECM was documenting. Soon he switched streams and began playing with the jazz men. Simultaneously he has maintained a career as a respected writer with many books to his credit – novels, poems, essays and more.
Ketil Bjørnstad’s recent ECM releases have included “Life In Leipzig” with Terje Rypdal, the song cycle “The Light” with Randi Stene and Lars Anders Tomter, and “Remembrance” with Tore Brunborg and Jon Christensen.
Bjørnstad’s recordings have been incorporated in the soundtracks of numerous films, including several by Jean-Luc Godard: “Notre Musique”, “The Old Place”,
“Histoire(s) du Cinéma”, “Forever Mozart” and “Eloge de L’amour”.
After playing double-bass with the Oslo Philharmonic Orcherstra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Svante Henryson (born in Stockholm in 1963) effected an about-turn in his career and joined Yngwie Malmsteen’s band as bass guitarist in 1989. This led to much session work and collaborations in the pop world, and Henryson has appeared on recordings of Stevie Wonder, Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello, amongst others.
Self-taught as cellist, he has collaborated with many jazz musicians including Jon Balke, Nils Petter Molvaer, Trygve Seim, Arve Henriksen, Marilyn Mazur and Arild Andersen. In classical contexts he often works with Anne Sofie von Otter and has directed her tours of North America, Europe and Asia. As a composer he has written music for ensembles of all sizes – from symphony orchestra to chamber groups.