Helge Hurum was born on the 1st August 1936. From 1960 to 1965 he studied clarinet, flute and saxophone at the Music Conservatory in Oslo. Helge Hurum has led many different jazzgroups and is considered one of Norway's foremost Big Band leaders. Amongst the ensembles he has led are the Oslo University Big Band ( 1969-1974), the Norwegian Radio Big Band (1970-1990), the Helge Hurum Sextet, the Helge Hurum Big Band (1965-70) and the Chateau Neuf Big Band. He has regualrly performed his own compositions with his ensembles at the Kongsberg and Molde Jazz Festivals in Norway, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1971. He performed with the Clark Terry Big Band in Montreux in 1970, and led the European Broadcasting Union Big Band in November 1973, with his own commissioned work "This time Oslo". His work with the Norwegian Radio Big Band, which he led together with Thorleif ěstereng throughout the 20 years it was active, was of particular significance for Norwegian Jazz music.
As a composer Hurum is basically self taught, with his major sources of inspiration drawn from a wide musical spectrum- Gil Evans, Quincy Jones, Maurice Ravel and Anton Bruckner. During recent years he has included Norwegian folk music in his compositions. His ability to work with combinations of various styles is characteristic of his work.
In addition to a large number of compositions for jazz groups, he has composed several larger works. "Concertus ad libitum" for jazz quintet and symphony orchestra had its world premiere with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1979. Other central works are "Hear Thou our Prayr" for mixed choir and big band (1978) and "Vind fer vide" for mixed choir and symphonic band. He has also written numerous works for symphonic band both with and without solists.
Helge Hurum is one of the most active and most performed composers of Norwegian music for band. His composition "Ballade for Solo Eb Alto Saxophone and Band", was awarded the first prize in the European Broadcasting Union's competition in 1987. Both his "Vind for Vide" and "Canto" for piccolo and string orchestra have received the Award of the Year prize from NOPA.
Helge Hurum has received commissions from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, is a member of the Norwegian Musician's Union, and the Norwegian Composer's Union, and has taught composition and saxophone at the Oslo Conservatory of Music. He is the present leader of the Big Band at the Institute for Music and Theatre, University of Oslo.
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