Gisle Kverndokk studied composition with Olav Anton Thommessen, Lasse Thoresen and Alfred Janson at The Norwegian State Academy of Music, where he received his Master’s degree in 1994, and with John Corigliano and David Diamond at The Juilliard School in New York.
In 1994 he attended the BMI Earl Hagen Film Scoring Workshop in Hollywood. He also studied film music composition at The University College of Lillehammer with Halldor Krogh, in 2013-14.
At the age of 15 he wrote a radio opera commissioned by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The Norwegian State Academy of Music premiered his first full-scale opera The Falcon Tower in 1990. His next opera George’s Marvellous Medicine was premiered by The Kristiansund Opera in 1995, and was awarded Work of the Year by The Norwegian Composers Society. It has since then been produced by The Norwegian Opera in Oslo, Opera Vest in Bergen, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Ringsakeroperaen and was presented at The SchleswigHolstein Music Festival in Germany 1997. The Norwegian Broadcasting Company has also produced it as a radio production.
All the major orchestras in Norway have performed his works, among them The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has written musicals for children, music for plays, revues and ballets and has also written the music for the Danish film Chinaman, produced by Fine & Mellow in 2005. He has an extensive production of church music, written for and premiered by the leading church music ensembles in Norway and also of chamber music, and his new string quartet La Nouvelle Athènes was premiered by The Danish String Quartet in 2014 at The Hardanger Music Festival. Two new CD’s with Kverndokk’s church music were released in 2015 on the label Grappa; Fuge der Zeit performed by Nordic Voices and members of The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Sommerens Maria performed by The Nøtterøy Choir School. He was awarded Anders Jahre’s Cultural Prize for Young Artists and Wilhelm Hansen’s Legacy in 1997. In 1999 he received The Lily Boulanger Memorial Fund from Boston University.
In 2010 he received a 3- years State Artist’s Scholarship. Kverndokk’s newest opera, Easter, based on Strindberg’s play Easter, with libretto by AkselOtto Bull, was commissioned by Bergen National Opera, and had its world premiere in April 2014 at Opera Sør in Kristiansand.