spacer spacer spacer

Afontibus is an independent label and company for releasing of CD recordings and performance of music established by violinist Geir Inge Lotsberg and organist Kåre Nordstoga.

Lotsberg Nordstoga
Geir Inge Lotsberg Kåre Nordstoga

Ordering info:
Send e-mail: order at afontibus.no
The Afontibus cd's are all available as single tracks or complete albums at a.o. iTunes and Klicktrack.

Fabra is a label related to Afontibus. Learn more about the releases!


Þhorkell Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013) was born in Reykjavík. He studied the piano at the Reykjavík College of Music. Graduate studies took him to the United States, where he studied composition, first at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Among his theachers were R.G. Harris, Kenneth Gaburo and Lejaren Hiller. Þhorkell attended seminars in composition at Darmstadt in Germany and Nice, France.
Þhorkell Sigurbjörnsson is one of the best known and prolific of Icelandic composers today and his catalog is extensive. Besides composing, he was a theacher of therory and composition at the Reykjavík College of Music. Þhorkell Sigurbjörnsson has appeared as a pianist, both in concert and in recordings. He was a music critic for the Morgunblaðið newspaper and has also been a program host the National Broadcasting Service.
From 1983-88 Þhorkell Sigurbjörnsson was president of the Society of Icelandic Composers. On returning from abroad in 1962, Þhorkell participated in Musica Nova, a society for the promotion and perfomance of new music, and played an active role in the creation of modern Icelandic music culture.
Þhorkell Sigurbjörnsson´s music is extremely varied. In his extensive catalog one finds orchestral works, solo concertos, a variety of chamber works, electronic and computer music, solo pieces, chamber operas, songs and choral music,-both sacred and secular. His hymns are among his best known and most beloved works. Þorkell´s contribution to Icelandic music life is vast. This is clearly confirmed in his output of brilliant music, but also in his influence in many other ways. Since Þhorkell Sigurbjörnson came home from his studies abroad, he has been the theacher of the majority of Icelandic composers and professional musicians.



Isang Yun was born on September 17, 1917 near the southeastern seaport Tongyông, at a time when the Korean peninsula was under Japanese occupation. Yun took part in the resistence against Japan, and in 1943, he was imprisoned and tortured. After receiving the Seoul City Culture Award in 1955, he was able to study in Paris and Berlin from 1956 to 1959. In Berlin he studied with former Schönberg-disciple Josef Rufer, learning how to compose "with twelve tones related only to one another". From Germany, Yun was able to establish contact with and was a part of the international avant-garde.
His Buddhistic oratorio Om mani padme hum met with broad resonance in 1965; the premiere of the orchestral Réak at the Donaueschingen Festival in 1966 lead to his international breakthrough. In 1967 Yun was abducted form Berlin to Seoul by the Korean secret police, and was tortured and charged with high treason. In a political show trial he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the first instance, but released in 1969 after international protests. In 1971 he became a German citizen.
Yun taught composition at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin from 1970 to 1985, from 1974 on as a full professor. His oeuvre includes more than a hundred works, among them four operas and a number of instrumental concertos. In the 1980s he composed a series of five major, interrelated symphonies; during that period Yun also developed a new tone in his chamber works, which are characterised by the striving for harmony and peace. At the same time, reconciliation on the Korean peninsula was his political goal.
Isang Yun died on November 3, 1995 in Berlin, and was interred in a grave of honour provided by the City Senate (Landschaftsfriedhof Gatow). He was a member of the Hamburg and Berlin Academies of the Arts and of the European Academy of the Arts and Sciences in Salzburg, an honorary member of the International Society of Contemporary Music. He also held an honorary doctorate from the University of Tübingen, and was the recipient of the Goethe Medal of the Goethe Institute in Munich and the Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Article in norwegian

Hans Werner Henz (1926 - 2012) was born in Gütersloh, Westphalia, and began composing at the age of twelve. He studied at the Brunswick State Music School and, after military service, at the Institute for Church Music in Heidelberg and with Wolfgang Fortner. He attended the early Darmstadt International Summer Schools for New Music, where he met René Leibowitz, studying serial technique with him both there and in Paris.
Of Henze's huge catalogue of works the earliest acknowledged date from 1946: the Kammerkonzert for piano, flute and strings, and the sonata for violin and piano. The following year brought the first string quartet, violin concerto and symphony.
In 1948 he produced his first opera, the one-act 'Das Wundertheater', premiered in Heidelberg, and in 1949 his first acknowledged ballet, 'Ballett-Variationen'. His first full-scale opera, 'Boulevard Solitude', an updating of the Manon Lescaut story, was successfully launched in Hanover in 1952, but a year later Henze abandoned postwar German society to settle in Italy, where he still lives. His next opera, 'König Hirsch', and a whole series of pieces reflect the warming influence on him of the Italian environment.
Henze memorably described himself as 'a north German contrapuntal temperament projected into the arioso south'; and the modernist, Schoenbergian and Stravinskyan influences of his earlier work now submitted to the tender sway of a sensuous lyricism clearly evident in the ballet 'Ondine', the 'Fünf neapolitanische Lieder' for baritone and chamber orchestra, the 'Nachtstücke und Arien' for soprano and large orchestra. To this rich synthesis was added a more austere classical strain in works such as 'Cantata della fiaba estrema' for soprano, chamber chorus and instruments, or 'Ariosi' for soprano, violin and orchestra; while a constructivistic approach was brought to bear on such pieces as 'Antifone' for solo strings, wind and percussion, the cantata 'Novae de infinito laudes', and the Kleist-based opera 'Der Prinz von Homburg'.
Henze's operatic career reached a pitch of boldness and acclaim with 'The Bassarids', a two-hour single act conceived as a four-movement symphony, premiered in Salzburg in 1966; while his 45-minute second piano concerto of 1967 was a peak of his more abstract writing. But with the oratorio 'Das Floss der Medusa', and more conspicuously the 'Versuch über Schweine' for baritone-Sprechgesang and orchestra, both of the following year, and the exuberant, aleatory sixth symphony of 1969, a complete change came over Henze's work.
Political protest, deep-dyed into the very fabric of the music - and indicated by his periods of residence in Cuba - marks his output of the 1970s, as attested by the revolutionary 'recital for four musicians' of El Cimarrón, followed by a concerto for viola and small orchestra, entitled 'Compases', the quasi-theatrical second violin concerto, and the 'actions for music' 'We come to the River', a stage work to a libretto by Edward Bond. Since the appearance of this work, first performed at Covent Garden in 1976, the political ferment of Henze's creativity has tended to subside. Revolutionary ideals invariably lead to disillusion; but he does count the foundation that same year of the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte - a people's arts festival - in the Tuscan town of Montepulciano as 'one of my few political successes'.
Subsequent stage works include two other Bond collaborations, however: the comic parable of 'The English Cat' and the ballet 'Orpheus'; and if in the most recent two, 'Das verratene Meer' and 'Venus und Adonis', both to a libretto by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, attention is focused on personal and psychological experience - as it also is in the seventh symphony or the instrumental (wordless) 'Requiem' - the cantata-like Symphony No 9, 'dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of German antifascism', is there to remind us that vehement political protest still looms large in Henze's imagination.
After the completion of his tenth symphony he started working on his last opera 'L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe' which was premiered at the Salzburg Festival in summer 2003 to great international acclaim. It resulted in many future productions, such as at Teatro Real Madrid, Opera de Lyon, Hamburgische Staatsoper and Semperoper Dresden. In December 2005 the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam premiered the orchestral work 'Sebastian im Traum' which was followed by the opera ‘Phaedra’ premiered by Ensemble Modern, Michael Boder and Peter Mussbach at Staatsoper Berlin in September 2007 with subsequent performances in Brussels, Frankfurt, Vienna and Cologne.
He has received innumerable honours and was the first composer-in-residence of the Berlin Philharmonic and has twice been composer-in-residence at the Tanglewood Festival. Recently he has completed ‘Elogium musicum’ which was premiered on October 2 2008 with Ricardo Chailly, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the mdr choir. © Paul Driver

(c) Schott Promotion / Christopher Peter
Aulis Sallinen was born in 1935 in Salmi on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga (which the Soviet Union claimed in 1944). His early musical experience was playing the violin. Improvising (including jazz) on the piano led him to write his first compositions as a teenager. After studying with Aarre Merikanto and Joonas Kokkonen at the Sibelius Academy, he joined the staff there. He was Administrator of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (1960-69); Secretary and member of the Board (1958-73), then Chairman (1971-73) of the Finnish Composers' Society; member of the board of TEOSTO (Finnish copyright society) from 1970-84, then Chairman from 1988-90; he also served for several years on the Board of the Finnish National Opera.
In 1983 he shared the Wihuri International Sibelius prize with Penderecki. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy and Honorary Doctor of the Universities of Helsinki and Turku. The Finnish Government made him Professor of Arts for life in 1981 - the first appointment of its kind, thus making it possible for him to devote all of his time to composing.
His extensive catalogue of compositions includes eight acclaimed and distinctive symphonies, the latest of which was premiered by the Concertgebouw Orchestra in April 2004. In addition, he has written some major concert works involving voices, notably the Dies Irae (1978), an apocalyptic vision of our planet destroyed, Songs of Life and Death (1994), an expansive expression of Sallinen's humanitarian creed, and The Barabbas Dialogues (2003), an unconventional, touching medititation on the Easter story.
Sallinen is one of the foremost living opera composers, and he has written six important large-scale works in this genre, all of which have been revived on several occasions. The Horseman (1975) and The Red Line (1978) are social dramas rooted in Finnish culture, and played a crucial part in establishing Finland as the world's leading exporter of contemporary opera. The King Goes Forth To France (1983), commissioned jointly by the Savonlinna Festival, the Royal Opera House and the BBC; and The Palace (1991-3) introduce elements of satirical whimsy. However Kullervo (1988) and King Lear (1999), with a libretto adapted from Shakespeare's play, are heartfelt tragedies exploring familial relationships and the bleakest aspects of the human condition. The success of Sallinen's operatic technique is demonstrated by the fact that four of his operas - The Horseman, The King Goes Forth To France, Kullervo and The Red Line - are all receiving performances across Europe as Sallinen enters his eighth decade.
Since 2001, Aulis Sallinen has concentrated on writing works featuring solo instruments, ranging in size from the Cello Sonata (2005) to the Horn Concerto (2002). His latest work is an addition to his "Chamber Music" series for a variety of soloists with string orchestra: Chamber Music VI is scored for string quartet and string orchestra.
Sallinen's instrumental works are widely performed - indeed Some Aspects of Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March and Chamber Music III: The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juanquixote have been established as modern classics. In 2004 the German record label CPO released the first of a series of seven all-Sallinen CDs, featuring all of his major orchestral works.

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju/Fimic 2004
Synne Skouen - Biography
Synne Skouen was born in Oslo in 1950. From 1969 to 1973, she studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna. Her subjects were Composition and analysis with Professors Alfred Uhl and Erwin Ratz, and experimental composition at the academy's electronic studio under the composers Dieter Kaufmann and Friedrich Cerha. During her period in Vienna Skouen was also a member of the experimental music theatre group "Die Fremden". In 1976, following studies with Professor Finn Mortensen, she received her degree in composition from the Norwegian State Academy of Music.
In 1977, Skouen was appointed editor of a new periodical for contemporary music, Ballade, a position she held until 1986. She was for several years also a music critic for Arbeiderbladet. In 1993, after many years as a full-time composer, Skouen was appointed Music Director for Norwegian Broadcasting's cultural channel, and in 1999 promoted to Head of Culture. In 2002 she was elected President of the Society of Norwegian Composers.
Synne Skouen has increasingly placed her works - including her instrumental compositions - within a dramatic context. Conceptualizing music for the stage is, as a rule, her point of departure, and consequently influences all aspects of the work. The majority of her works are written in a free, atonal language, with tonality appearing and disappearing as do objects in a plot, or characters in a drama.
Amongst her best-known works, are the full-length ballet "Volven" (The Sibyl), in collaboration with the choreographer Kjersti Alveberg, commissioned by The Norwegian State Opera, the piano piece "Hils Domitila!" (Greet Dometila), the video-opera "Dusj" (Shower), the television fable "Froskeprinsen" (The Frog Prince)", and "ROSA" for soprano and tape, in which Alma Mahler-Werfel plays an important role.
Synne Skouen was Festival Composer for the Festival of Northern Norway in 1990, for which she composed the melodrama "Balladen om Anne Roggløy." In 1991 she was the festival Composer for the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, where her commissioned work "Une soirée d'eté", performed by the Director of the festival, Arve Tellefsen had it's premiere. In 1993, together with the author Cecelie Løveid and the director Nicole Macé, Synne Skouen won the Prix Italia for the radio production "Måkespiserne" (Gulleaters).
Synne Skuen articles in Aftenposten.


Klaus Sandvik:
Klaus Sandvik was born in Bergen in 1966. Bachelor degree in composition from the Norwegian Academy of Music, under the inspiring tutorship of professor and master Asbjørn Schaathun. Bachelor degree in mathematics and computer studies from the University of Oslo. Jazz-composition and improvisation at Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA.
Klaus Sandvik has received commissions from The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, violinist Geir Inge Lotsberg, Oslo String Quartet, experimental percussionist Kjell Tore Innervik, Telemark Brassensemble and Fannaråken Wind Quintet.
In 2003 Sandviks composition "How Fair is Thy Face" for choir was chosen one of the three winning works at the The International Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers. In 2004 Sandvik wrote the official fanfare for the norwegian Abel-prize organisation.
Klaus Sandviks music attempts to make a substantial impact on the listener and is based upon a wide understanding of possible listening experiences. His interest for formalized structures and their intrinsic qualities are often combined with a strong intention to create an organic and at the same time challenging development. One important ingredient in his treatment of different compositional material is to constantly evaluate and monitor the energetic capasity of its sound. Another key element in his compositional process is an acute awareness of when and how musical material relates to referential musical heritage.


spacer sandvik