Bo Gunge occupies his own, singular space in Danish musical life characterized by music with attitude in both technique and language. Usually tonal and often melodic, it is just as often spiked with refracted elements of the avant-garde and governed by rigorous principles.
“Music must be able to move across historical periods and act in the present”, he once wrote; “there must be a courtesy that goes beyond the personal and the historical, so that listeners can receive the music on their own terms.”
Commentators have long cited the expressive clarity in Gunge’s music, as if the ‘idea’ in question can be as much an emotional one as a musical one. That duality hints at some of Gunge’s working processes and structures, but it also tells us something about his own view of his role as a composer. “Music and the non-verbal arts hold a knowledge of the world that can be useful tools in handling the inevitable and partly irrational intensities of life”.
Bo Gunge’s earliest orchestral work, Passages (1999) was awarded at the Nordic Composers’ Workshop and premiered by Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Since then his orchestral works have been performed by among others the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Jutland Symphony Orchestra. He has written three operas, several choir works as well as popular songs. His chamber music works include the award-winning Uden titel (2001) and 12 Studies (2014) written for three different instrumentations. 12 Studies was recorded and released at Dacapo Records in 2017.
Bo Gunge holds an MA in music and drama and graduated with a diploma in composition from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus with Hans Abrahamsen, Per Nørgård, Karl Aage Rasmussen, Bent Lorentzen and Bent Sørensen among his teachers.