The composer Peter Tornquist, born in 1963, comes from a Swedish background, but grew up in Switzerland and Brazil. He moved to Norway in 1984 to study composition with Lasse Thoresen at the Norwegian State Academy of Music. From 1989 to 1991 he studied at the Royal College of Music in London under the guidance of the British composer George Benjamin.
Most of his student works received their first performance at the 'Ung Nordisk Musikk' ('Young Nordic Music') festivals towards the end of the 1980s; these works include Poemas (1986), La Céremonie du Kuarup (1987) and Annus Mirabilis (1988). More recently, Tornquist has completed commissions for the Norwegian Concert Institute (Actus Mutuus, 1992), the Norwegian Choir Association (Gjest på jorden, 1995), Copenhagen Guitar Festival (Spins/Quiver, 1996) and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Acalanto, 1994).
As a member of the composers' group 'Absolute Pling Plong', Tornquist contributed to the CD Definititely Pling Plong with the work Acalanto for orchestra. This work was chosen as one of the Norwegian contributions for the international festival Rostrum in Paris in 1996. Acalanto has also been performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and opened the ISCM festival in Bucarest in 1999. Tornquist has received commissions from the Cikada Trio, Oslo Sinfonietta, and the Norwegian Soloists Choir.
Peter Tornquist has taught a wide variety of music theory subjects at the Norwegian State Academy of Music. He collaborated with the composer Lasse Thoresen on the development of 'sonology', a method for auditive analysis of music. Tornquist has also led a number of courses on computer technology and modern music notation in collaboration with the University of Oslo and NoTAM.
Ever since his student days, Peter Tornquist has involved himself both politically and administratively in the music life of Norway's capital. He began as leader of the Norwegian 'Ung Nordisk Musikk' committee, and later became administrative leader for the Oslo Sinfonietta. He is currently president of Ny Musikk, the Norwegian section of the ISCM, vice-chairman of the Norwegian Society of Composers, and a board member of TONO, the Norwegian performing rights society. He was awarded a state working grant for 1998 - 2000.