Featured Composer: Gustav Knudson

Through his orchestral scores, vocal music and chamber work, Gustav Knudson always strives to depict natural scenes, evoke vivid emotions and strike a chord with the listener.

“When I first considered becoming a musician, I wanted to be a rock star,” he says. “With that dream in mind, I started playing drums.”His percussion skills led to a fascination with wind ensemble music in high school, where he learned a lot about composing from scores his band director made available to him. In 2017, his first compositions got him into UNCSA, where he joined the studio of Kenneth Frazelle. As a freshman, a student brass quintet premiered his "Moorland Songs," launching Gustav’s reputation for beautifully realized, evocative work.

Now a senior, Knudson is looking forward (in March) to the premiere of his "String Quartet No. 2," which was commissioned by Audubon Society of Forsyth County to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. He is also producing a senior recital that will feature several works for various ensembles.

In the interim, Gustav has had music recorded by the Akropolis Reed Quintet, the Verona String Quartet and a trio comprised of Lindsay Kesselman, Oskar Espina-Ruiz and Dmitri Vorobiev. He is currently completing a work to be recorded by yMusic in their upcoming residency.

Knudson also had "Guards and Ghosts," the first movement of his symphonic poem "Hamlet," premiered by the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Mark Norman last year. 

“In an ever-changing world,” Knudson says, “I find music to be a constant comfort.” With his many compositions and his aspiration to teach others, Gustav shares that comfort with his peers, his predecessors and future generations.

To see a sample of Gustav's music click on the following image:

 knudson quartet image

Click here to listen

February 18, 2021