Bertil Palmar Johansen (1954) was born in Brattvåg, on the west coast of Norway. He studied violin at the Troendelag Conservatory of Music in Trondheim and composition under Per Hjort Albertsen, Holger Prytz and Olav Anton Thommessen. He has composed for a broad range of instrumental and vocal settings. Several of these works are commissioned works from both Norwegian as well as international ensembles and soloists.
Palmar Johansen lives in Trondheim and has composed several large works for the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Among these is Tiden Bygger Byen (Time Builds the City), a ballet in two acts with choreography by Anne Grete Eriksen and Leif Hernes. The ballet was commissioned for the 1000 year anniversary of the founding of the city of Trondheim in 1997. It was nominated for the EDVARD prize. Among the other commissioned works completed for the 1000 year anniversary are the oratorio De Varme Vinder (The Warm Winds) which was performed in the Nidaros Cathedral with orchestra, choir and soloists made up of 250 young musicians.
An important context of Bertil Palmar Johansen’s compositions is his background for many years as a teacher of composition and arrangement at the Troendelag Conservatory of Music at NTNU, as violin pedagogue at the Trondheim Municipal Culture School and as a conductor. These positions have also been the inspiration for a series of composions for children and youths, everything from small solo pieces to complete operas. He has been active in various organizations. He was for many years a member of the Board of Directors for Nordlyd (Trondheim Contemporary Music Festival) and the Trondheim division of Ny Musikk (Norway’s centre for new music and sound art).