Composer Nils Henrik Asheim (b.1960) combines his work with a career as a performer, as well as regularly collaborating with other artists on projects integrating spatial and theatrical elements. Asheim started out as a pupil of Olav Anton Thommessen and made his début as a composer at the early age of fifteen. In 1978 he was awarded the EBU Rostrum prize for his work Ensemblemusikk for 5. He subsequently
went on to study organ and composing at the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.
From about the year 2000 onwards Asheim’s music displays a stronger focus on texture and the physical and tactile qualities of sound. His music presents parallel temporal proportions; Asheim works with layers of closeness and distance. Recurring material undergoes variation, thereby creating a form that appears open and self-generating. In the course of this same period Asheim makes his mark as a performer with his free-improvisation disc 16 pieces for organ and its sequel 19.03.04, Oslo Cathedral, and a collaboration with soprano Anne-Lise Berntsen resulting in the recordings Engleskyts and Kom regn. Asheim also appears as a pianist in various projects.
Nils Henrik Asheim has written several chamber music pieces including Vannspeil, Navigo, Chase, Nicht and Broken Line; his output for orchestra includes the works Speil, Turba , Wind Songs and Degrees of White. He has also written a number of large-scale sacred works. Since 1991 Asheim has lived in Stavanger where he is active as a composer, performer and organizer, and not least as the principal initiator of the founding of Tou Scene, an alternative centre for contemporary arts. From September 2012, Asheim is appointed organist at Stavanger Concert Hall.