Commotio, Oxford's leading performers of contemporary choral music, will be singing Norwegian composer Jon Mostad's 'The Lord is My Shepherd' in the city's Exeter College Chapel.
Commotio is one of Oxford's leading choral groups, formed in August 1999 to provide a refreshing alternative to the more readily available repertoire offered by most other chamber choirs, performing primarily lesser known material of the 20th and 21st centuries. Matthew Berry, the founder and conductor of the choir, enthusiastically promotes the work of a younger generation of composers, as well as bringing to the fore little known works of more established writers. In short, Commotio offers singers and audiences alike something a little different.
Norwegian composer Jon Mostad (born 1942) lives and works in Norway. His latest work 'The Lord is My Shepherd' will be performed by Commotio as part of the following programme on Sunday 2 December at the Exeter College Chapel in Oxford:
· Thomas Jennefelt: Claviante Brilioso
· Grace Williams: Ave Maris Stella
· Eric Whitacre: Lux Aurumque
· Ruth Byrchmore: A Birthday
· John Tavener: Away in a Manger
· Christopher Brown: Dormi Jesu!
· Rory Boyle: Flower of All
· Geoffrey Bush: Christmas Night
· Martin Watt: O Sacrum Convivium
· John Duggan Oh Babe, Born Bare (World Premiere)
· Alexander Campkin: Sleep, Holy Babe
Jon Mostad (21.04.1942). Education: Theological Candidate 1965. Bachelor in Music and Pedagogical Seminary 1969. Diploma in composition from the Norwegian State Academy of Music 1974, main teacher: Finn Mortensen. An important source of inspiration during his years of study was Olav Anton Thommessen’s private seminaries on sonology and Mahler. Shorter courses in electronic studio work at NSEM, Høvikodden (1975/76) and EMS, Stockholm (1983).
He received the Norwegian State grant for artists in 1982-84.
Mostad’s music has been played by the symphony orchestras of Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, and he has also been performed at the festivals in Elverum, Bergen as well as the Dartington International Summer School in Totnes, England. Mostad has represented Norway a number of times at the Nordic Music Days, and his music has been played at radio stations in the Nordic countries, Yugoslavia and England. He has received commissions form the Norwegian section of ISCM, the Norwegian Broadcasting Co., the Norwegian Youth Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdams Gitaartrio and Oslo Sinfonietta.
In his early compositions Mostad moved from a linear-expressionistic style towards a sonorous-based form of expression, with both Modernistic and Romantic music serving as inspirational sources. From app. 1975 onwards, the sonorous-harmonic aspects of Mostad’s compositions mostly relate to the harmonic row. During the 80s and 90s this approach is combined with other forms of modal and free techniques, sometimes resulting in a sliding transition between a “twelvetoneish” mode of expression and one that approaches harmonic spectres. At the same time Mostad has been occupied with more or less untraditional solutions of form in one-movement works as well as in cyclic ones.
Mostad has composed chamber music, including solo pieces for piano, guitar and organ and some electro-acoustic pieces. His main production, however, is orchestral and vocal, especially choral music. His largest work till now, the full-length programme work Were You There, When They Crucified my Lord? for mixed choir, narrator, vocal soloists and orchestra, combines these fields of interest.
Besides composing Mostad teaches at college levels. He has kept honorary offices in the municipal music scene, in the Norwegian section of ISCM, the Society of Norwegian Composers and in the Norwegian performing rights society TONO. He has also been active in a number of Christian organizations.