Ola Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. An accomplished pianist, improvisations over his own published choral pieces have become a trademark of his collaborations across the world.
Ola Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. An accomplished pianist, improvisations over his own published choral pieces have become a trademark of his collaborations. Although Norwegian by birth, it is perhaps Ola’s adopted country of America that has influenced the composer’s distinctive soundworld the most, evolving a style that is often described as cinematic and evocative, with a lush, harmonious sound.
Ola grew up in a musically eclectic home listening to classical, jazz, pop and folk, a broad background he later incorporated into his classical composition studies at The Juilliard School, the Royal College of Music in London, and currently as a New York City-based freelance composer. He is especially inspired by the improvisational art of film composer Thomas Newman, jazz legends Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny, glass artist Dale Chihuly and architect Frank Gehry.
Ola’s albums include the bestselling Ola Gjeilo and Winter Songs on the Decca Classics label, featuring Tenebrae, Voces8 and the Choir of Royal Holloway. He also has two piano albums on the 2L label; Stone Rose and Piano Improvisations. All four recordings are available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and all major platforms.
In 2015, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge performed Ola’s Serenity (O Magnum Mysterium) at the annual BBC-televised Christmas Eve service. He is currently composer-in-residence with DCINY and Albany Pro Musica.
Ola’s music is published by Walton Music, Boosey & Hawkes and Edition Peters. For more information, please visit olagjeilo.com, or find Ola on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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. . . [a] stunning new Norwegian choral work that might be the next big thing in classical music . . . Ola Gjeilo draws on influences from Norwegian culture to create modern choral music of exquisite beauty. Radiant vocal textures are backed by shimmering strings and a hypnotic piano, performed by Gjeilo himself.Aled Jones, ClassicFM
. . . Gjeilo enjoys the attention here of two world-class ensembles -- Tenebrae and VOCES8, whose flawless singing will impress all listeners . . .David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Two of the best choirs on the planet, teamed with one of Norway's brightest young talents: it almost sounds too good to be true, but delivers even beyond expectation . . . the highlights of the set are sections from larger works: "The Ground" from Gjeilo's "Sunrise Mass" and "The Crossing" from "Dreamweaver". A perfect introduction to an emerging major talent, flawlessly sung and recorded.Brian Morton, Choir & Organ
. . . it is a very satisfying experience . . . the music is exceptionally engaging and non-threatening while at the same time alluring and enticing in a very subtle manner . . . The performers are top-notch . . . Nicely done, and well worth considering.Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition
. . . performed by some top-notch singers in the form of Tenebree and VOCES8 . . . a wonderfully detailed and ethereal sound well-suited to the content, especially in the tracks evoking the landscape so familiar to the composer . . . hugely enjoyable.Hi-Fi News (London)
. . . the young Norwegian composer and friends lure you into his atmospheric soundworld . . .BBC Music Magazine
. . . ["Tundra"]: a perfect snapshot of its Norwegian composer's strongest features: crunchy suspensions, ethereal chord constructions and an almost wordless vocal quality.Classic FM (London)
. . . top-notch singers . . . [the programme's music] is treated to a wonderfully detailed and ethereal sound well-suited to the content . . . it's definitely hugely enjoyable.Hi-Fi News (London)
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- Robin Tyson