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Helge Sunde (born 9 June 1965 in Stryn, Norway) is a Norwegian composer and musician (trombone and multi-instrumentalist), known for his compositions in contemporary music and jazz for large ensembles and for his works as music arranger for symphony orchestras in collaboration with artists.
Helge Sunde has a diploma in composition from the Norwegian Academy of Music (1995) in Oslo, where he studied under guidance of Olav Anton Thommessen, Bjørn Kruse, Lasse Thoresen and Alfred Janson. His diploma work Festina lente is available on the album Absolute Pling-Plong: Eight ways of making music, performed by the BIT20 Ensemble. During his studies he was awarded «Work of the Year» by NOPA, together with Anneli Drecker and Nils Johansen from the band Bel Canto, for the work «Tierre Obletz» (1993). Sunde was awarded the Spellemannprisen 1990 within the band Oslo Groove Company, and was also nominated within Sharp9 (2004), as well as within Orchestra Denada (2006) as Sunde also is musical director for (2005–).
The music of Helge Sunde requires musicians with great technical capacity and ability to sense their position in the musical landscape. Playing the music has been described as a hike in Sundes native western Norway: Even if you know the terrain and can reed the map, you actually have to climb a few peaks, jump over icy streams and pass through steep fjord valleys – without loosing contact with the rest of the hikers. The reward is a magnificent musical view and a new understanding of what a big band can be.