Sverre Bergh (1915-1980) was born at Hamar a little north of Oslo. During the years 1935-37 he studied music theory with Fartein Valen. He also had a shorter stay in Vienna. From 1937 - 1946 he worked as a free lance musician in Oslo. After that he was employed as arranger in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.
From 1952 on he was conductor at various theatres, the most important one was The National Theatre of Bergen. His name is today closely linked to musical theatre. He has arranged and composed a tremendous amount of music for the stage, movies, radio and television. His two most important works in this field are the television opera "Lyrikkens verkefinger" (The Swollen Finger of the Poetry) and the pop musical "Alice in Underworld", utilising the fairytale with a similar name to describe the world of advertising. (Underworld in Norwegian means both underworld and wonderland).
He has also composed chamber-, choral and orchestral music. His serious compositions are mostly held in a neo classical style, but an even stronger characteristic of his list of works is humour.
During most of his life Sverre Bergh was active as an organiser and artistic consultant. He had lots of honorary offices in Norwegian musical life, and to a great degree contributed to having contemporary music on the repertory of Norwegian performing institutions. His latest years he spent as the director of the Bergen International Festival.
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