Bjørnar Utne-Reitan
Image of Bjørnar Utne-Reitan

As a music researcher my main interests include music history and music theory in the tradition of western classical music. In the period 2019-2022 I’m focusing on writing a PhD thesis on the history of music theory education in Norway. Another research interest of mine is Edvard Grieg’s music. I’ve published and lectured on his years as a student and their possible influence on his musical style.

I also do work as a composer and arranger from time to time. I have experience writing for orchestra, wind band, big band and chamber groups. My own musical background is from school bands, where I started playing drums and percussion as a child and later advanced to teaching, conducting, arranging and composing.

Image of Bjørnar Utne-Reitan


Scholarly writings
2018 “Edvard Griegs øvelser i harmonilære og kontrapunkt”. Peer reviewed article in Studia Musicologica Norvegica no. 44. Fulltext
2018 Edvard Griegs studier i musikkteori: Kontrapunktøvelser som grobunn for innovativ harmonikk. Master’s thesis, Norwegian Academy of Music. Fulltext
Other writings
2018 “Norsk musikks gullalder ifølge Ringve”. Exhibition review in Museumsnytt 2018/3. Fulltext
2017 “Har teorifagene utspilt sin rolle i klassisk musikkutdanning?”. Comment on music theory education in Ballade October 23, 2017. Fulltext
Lectures & talks
2020 “Music Theory in Higher Music Education: Introducing the Contours of a PhD Project”. Paper read March 2, 2020, in Copenhagen. Conference: Nordic Network for Research in Music Education – Pre-conference for PhD projects in progress.
2019 “Grieg’s Gratitude: An analysis exemplifying linear foundations for Grieg’s harmony”. Paper read October 26, 2019, in Bergen. Conference: Grieg Now! International Conference and Workshop 2019 arranged by the International Edvard Grieg Society (IGS) together with the Grieg Academy Department of Music and Grieg Research Centre at University of Bergen, and the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen.
2019 “Partimento i lærebokform” (together with H. Støring, A.M. Christensen & J.B. Hvattum). Book review presented September 26, 2019, in Oslo. Conference: Nordisk konferanse for musikkteori- og hørelærepedagoger arranged by CEMPE/Norwegian Academy of Music.
2019 “Om de underliggende kreftene i Griegs harmonikk”. Guest lecture given March 29, 2019, at the University of Oslo. Course: Musikkhistoriske temaer 1 (MUS2665/MUS4665).
2017 “Edvard Griegs studietid i Leipzig: Med særlig henblikk på studiene i musikkteori”. Talk given May 9, 2017, at Musikkteoriforum arranged by the Norwegian Academy of Music.
2016 “Counterpoint exercises as basis for innovative harmony? An introduction to a new project on Grieg’s studies in music theory”. Paper read November 22, 2016, in Bergen. Research seminar: Sketches and Exercises: History and Theory of Compositional Writing arranged by Centre for Grieg Research.


Compositions (selections)
2018 Havet vester ute – For wind band [13:30].
Commissioned by Haugesund janitsjarorkester. Premiered October 26, 2019.
2017 The Deceitful Love – Film music [16:13]
Short film directed by Ali Al-Tobi.
More info
2017 Det våres i Oslo – For euphonium, marimba and piano [01:40]
Chamber music.
2016 Eventyrlig ouverture – For orchestra [03:00]
Performed by Nord-Rogaland symfoniorkester. Premiered January 14, 2017.
2016 Rytmisk fantasi – For wind band [10:00]
Commissioned by Hauge skolekorps. Premiered March 18, 2017.
2016 Fire miniatyrer – For clarinet and cello [05:00]
Chamber music, four short movements.
2015 Klagesang – For orchestra [02:45]
Revised in 2018 for a workshop with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Arrangements (selections)
2020 Haugesundssangen (I. Rojahn) – For wind band
Commissioned by Haugesund janitsjarorkester.
2019 Ballade (A. B. Grøndahl) – For wind band
Performed by Sinsen konsertorkester.
2017 Fuga over navnet GADE (E. Grieg) – For wind band
Performed by Sinsen musikkorps.
2017 Ås to i Osjlo; Høi; Saikåu Djåu (Ravi) – For wind band w/ vocal soloist
Commissioned by Sinsen musikkorps.
2015 Batum (Fläsket brinner) – For big band
Performed by Skeisvang vgs’ big band.

Curriculum vitae

Higher education
Year Degree
Doctor of philosophy (PhD) – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2019 Teacher training (PPU) – University of Oslo (60 credits)
Subjects: Music & Norwegian
2018 Master of music theory (MM) – The Norwegian Academy of Music (120 credits)
Thesis: Edvard Griegs studier i musikkteori (grade: A)
2016 Bachelor of musicology (BA) – University of Oslo (210 credits)
Musicology (major) & Nordic language and literature (minor)
Work experience
From To Description
2019 PhD research fellow – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2014 Arranger and composer – Freelance
2018 2018 Research assistant – Centre for Grieg Research, University of Bergen
2018 2018 Guide – Edvard Grieg Museum, Troldhaugen (KODE)
2012 2013 Conductor – Grinde skulemusikkorps
2008 2010 Percussion teacher – Hauge skolekorps
Other experience

On several occasions I’ve worked as a substitute teacher in music history at high school level (Skeisvang vgs. and Foss vgs.). Spring 2019 I was hired as a consultant on Grieg for the EU-supported project European Music Trails. I’ve also worked part-time in different electronic shops for almost 10 years, mainly in the computer section and as a PC technician: Lefdal Haugesund (2010–2012), Eplehuset Haugesund (2012–2013) and Power City (2013–2019).