Ola Gjeilo

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Ola Gjeilo
Ola Gjeilo 400px.jpg
Gjeilo in 2011
Background information
Born (1978-05-05) May 5, 1978 (age 44)
Skui, Bærum, Norway
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) composer, pianist
Website olagjeilo.com

Ola Gjeilo ( /ˈjl/ YAY-loh, [1] Norwegian:  [ˈûːlɑ ˈjæ̀ɪlʊ] ; born May 5, 1978) is a Norwegian composer and pianist, living in the United States. [2]


He writes choral music, and has written for piano and wind symphony, publishing through Walton Music, Edition Peters, and Boosey and Hawkes. [2] [3]


Ola Gjeilo was born to Inge and Anne-May Gjeilo, and grew up in Skui, Norway. He began playing piano and composing when he was five years old and learned to read music when he was seven years old. [4] Gjeilo studied classical composition with Wolfgang Plagge. [4] In his undergraduate career, Gjeilo studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music (1999–2001), transferred to the Juilliard School (2001), and studied at the Royal College of Music, London (2002–2004) to receive a bachelor's degree in composition. [5] He continued his education at Juilliard (2004–06) where he received his master's degree in 2006, also in composition. From 2009 to 2010, Gjeilo was composer-in-residence for Phoenix Chorale. [4]

He currently resides in Manhattan, working as a freelance composer. He is currently composer-in-residence with DCINY [6] and Albany Pro Musica. [7]

Major compositions

Sunrise Mass
Orchestrated for strings and choir. [8]
Written for choir, piano, and string orchestra. The text is set from a popular medieval ballad from Norway, Draumkvedet, translated into English by Charles Anthony Silvestri, one of his regular collaborators. [9]
The River
For choir, piano and string quartet. Composed for the 2016 Brock Commission, awarded from the American Choral Directors Association. [10] [11]


Note: Piano performed by Ola Gjeilo on all albums.



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  1. Ola describes it as "YAY-lo" olagjeilo.com, accessed 2 September 2020
  2. 1 2 Ola Gjeilo's official biography, from his website Accessed March 26, 2016
  3. Cheo, Patrick, “Wind Symphony,” Ola Gjeilo: Composer, Pianist, 2014, accessed October 2, 2014, http://olagjeilo.com/sheet-music-wind-band/ Archived 2014-11-24 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. 1 2 3 "An exclusive interview with Ola Gjeilo - Musicroom Blog - Everything for the Musician". musicroom.com. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. Singers.com, “Ola Gjeilo,” United Singers International: CGI Copyright, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.singers.com/composers/Ola-Gjeilo/.
  6. "Ola Gjeilo" . Retrieved Mar 17, 2019.
  7. Biancolli, Amy (Oct 25, 2017). "Albany Pro Musica concert to mark debut of partnership with composer". Times Union. Retrieved Mar 17, 2019.
  8. Papania, Christine, “Ola Gjeilo: Sunrise Mass and World Premiere of Dreamweaver at Carnegie Hall,” ChoralNet: American Choral Directors Association, 2014, accessed October 3, 2014, http://archive.choralnet.org/view/438986 Archived 2017-12-01 at the Wayback Machine .
  9. "Ola Gjeilo: Sunrise Mass and World Premiere of Dreamweaver at Carnegie Hall - Chorus America". chorusamerica.org. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  10. Dorsey, Scott, “Ola Gjeilo to Compose 2016 Brock Commission,” ChoralNet: American Choral Directors Association, 2014, accessed October 1, 2014, http://www.choral%5B%5D net.org/442143.
  11. ACDA, “Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission,” ACDA: American Choral Directors Association, 2013, accessed October 3, 2014, "American Choral Directors Association". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-27..
  12. "Winter Songs - Ola Gjeilo". olagjeilo.com. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  13. "Ola Gjeilo - Ola Gjeilo". olagjeilo.com. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  14. "NEW CD! NORTHERN LIGHTS". phoenixchorale.org. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  15. "Ola Gjeilo - Dawn". olagjeilo.com. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  16. "Ola Gjeilo - Night". olagjeilo.com. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  17. "Piano Improvisations - Ola Gjeilo". olagjeilo.com. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  18. "Stone Rose - Ola Gjeilo". olagjeilo.com. Retrieved 22 February 2017.