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Norwegian choral conductor Sverre Valen was born in Levanger on 9 May 1925. Following a varied musical education as a child, he studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.
With his wife, Mary Johannessen, he founded Sandefjord Jentekor (the Sandefjord Girls Choir) in 1956 and directed the choir until 1997. The choir won various competitions and performed internationally, including a three week tour to the USA.
In 1961 he founded Bel Canto, a women's choir, and was the group's conductor for ten years.
He also founded Valen-koret (the Valen Choir - a mixed voice group) in 1964 and conducted the group until 1995.
He started Valens Solistensemble (Valen's Soloist Ensemble) in 1985 and was its conductor until 2000.
He started Adventistsangerne, a choir for the Norwegian Adventist community, in 1984, and worked with the group until 2013, when he conducted his last concert, aged eighty-eight.
Sverre Valen died on 18 March 2023, aged ninety-seven.
Classical music news - March 2023 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month