Oddvar S. Kvam (1927-2016) received his basic music education in Oslo at the Music Conservatory. Later he learned conducting with Odd Grüner Hegge, and composition, first with David Monrad Johansen and afterwards with Herman D.Koppel in Copenhagen. Kvam has written a number of orchestra works, a piano concerto and many pieces for various chamber music groups. He has also composed a rich body of choral music for all types of choirs, and has won several prizes in the yearly contest for choir compositions arranged by the rwegian Broadcasting Corporation.
Two of his orchestra works, won prizes in a contest for composers held to celebrate the opening of the Oslo Concert Hall in 1977, including his Opening, which launched the inaugural concert.
Among other main compositions of his are Three Contrasts for Orchestra, first performed in Bergen in 1974, the piano concerto Suffragette, first performed in Trondheim in 1977, Epinikion, a work for chorus and orchestra, first performed in Bergen in 1977, Ostinato Festoso, first performed at the opening of the Elverum Festival in 1977, Att döda ett Barn (Afterwards Everything is Too Late), first performed in Gothenburg in 1979, Symphony No.2, first performed in Gothenburg in 1982, Querela pacis (Appeal for peace) for two choirs and orchestra, first performed in Moscow 1984, the opera The Dream of the 13th Hour, which had its premičre 1987 at The Norwegian Opera, and the cello concerto Phoenix, first performet in Norwegian National Radio 1991. In 1998 NORGEnius reached the finale of the Grieg Society International Competition for piano and orchestra. The concerto was premiered in 1999 by Einar Steen-Nřkleberg and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
In 2001 he was prize-awarded in the Grieg Society International Composition Contest for String Quartets for his work "Paintings". The quartet was premiered by "Ametri" the same year in the Norwegian National Gallery and transmitted by the Norwegian State Radio. In 2001 he won the Seoul International Competition for Composers with his work "Moods" for clarinet, French horn and cello, which was premiered in Seoul, South Korea, after the result of the competition was announced. Kvam was composer-in-residence at Bergen Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and at Oslo Grieg Fesitval 2002, where he won the prize for the Best Nordic Piece in the international composition contest for his work "6+7" for cello and piano.