The composer and musician Tor Halmrast died after a period of illness at 71 years old on Monday the 18th of July. He was known as one of the foremost acousticians in Norway.
Tor Halmrast was a trained civil engineer in acoustics at NTNU in Trondheim.
He became chief of acoustics in Statsbygg (the Norwegian government’s building commissioner, property manager and developer) and had a more than 40-year long professional career at Statsbygg.
He was a forerunner when looking at the coherence between the two different fields acoustics and music, and his competence was central during the construction of the Opera in Bjørvika, a project he was deeply involved in.
– There is an advantage in being both acoustician and musician thus having played music or got music performed in corresponding halls and sound studios such as your project. Acoustics is a field of experience, said Halmrast.
In 1992 he composed the music for the Norwegian pavilion at the world expo in Sevilla, and won the prize for best composition/sound-design.
Together with the poet Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen he made the radio opera "Alfa og Romeo", rewarded with both Prix Italia and Edvardprisen in 1999.
Last year his composition "Flutr" was nominated as Årets verk by Norsk Komponistforening.
Halmrast also was landsdelskomponist in Nord-Norge and composer for Festspillene i Nord-Norge. He was a popular lecturer, and educated at Institutt for musikkvitenskap, Universitetet i Oslo and Norges musikkhøgskole. He wrote "Klangen", a book about the practice of acoustics, and wrote numerous subject articles and gave lectures in different countries.
Tor Halmrast was doing music and compositions the whole way through, as his family reports.