Gunnar Germeten was born in Oslo in 1947 and died in the same city in 1999. He studied guitar and composition at the Norwegian State Academy of Music, where he received his diploma in composition in 1974. His teacher in composition was Finn Mortensen. He later studied sonology, electronic music and composition at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht, Holland. From 1979 he received a guaranteed art salary by the Norwegian government.
Germeten composed chamber- , orchestral- and choral music, among others the choral work Grex Vocalis, commissioned for the 10th anniversary of the choir with the same name. He put a special emphasis on composing good music for children. Siokate and Applaus were both commissioned by the Norwegian Concert Institute (Rikskonsertene) for their school concert programs, - the latter was written for school concert No. 60.000.
In addition he composed music for the stage, among others for Den hvite selen (The white seal) for the marionette theatre of Oslo Nye Teater, in cooperation with his sister Kjersti Germeten. Inga anna tid, ingen annan stad (No other time, no other place) was a music dramatic joint project together with the author Paal-Helge Haugen and the composer Rolf Inge Godøy. Bloddropetrall, a music dramatic work based on poems by Kristofer Uppdal, was made in cooperation with the actor Ståle Bjørnhaug, the dramaturgist Ola E. Bø and the painter Jacob Weidemann. The two latter works were both performed at Det Norske Teateret in Oslo.
The string orchestral piece The Dance Through the Land of Shadows was commissioned by the Nordic Music Committee. The title is taken from Kristofer Uppdal's cycle of novels with the same name. Here Germeten uses elements from his music for the film Rallarblod, based on a part of that cycle.
Gunnar Germeten's musical style has been characterised as free and modern, impossible to classify.
In 1974 Gunnar Germeten shared the position as director of the Norwegian section of ISCM with John Persen. He also was a member of the advicery board of the Norwegian Society of Composers, the board of the educational program of the Norwegian Concert Intitute and the media board of the Norwegian Artists ' Council. In 1987-88 Germeten was appointed "regional composer" for Nothern Norway, based in Tromsø. He was also elected Festival composer of the Festival of Northern Norway 1987.