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Torben Snekkestad


Jazz, Improvised Music and Traditional Nordic Folk Music Department

Learning and teaching interests: Artistic research, improvisation, contemporary music performance, composition, music technology and production, artistic citizenship, genre diversity, reflection processes, interdisciplinarity.

As a teacher, I am concerned with working directly with the students around their artistic identity, no matter their genre affiliation. I want to help the students strengthen their musical expression through a good synergy between the detail and the entity and increase their contextual understanding (internally and externally). Guide them in navigating their creative processes by gaining insight into their work and helping to ask exploratory questions that open up spaces of opportunity – beyond untapped potentials. Bring forward awareness and dissemination of knowledge that lies in the common space all art expression shares.

This work is unfolded in a teaching process that revolves between practice and reflection, focusing on the student, how they work, how they can develop new methods and forms of work, and how that work crystallizes in works and performative expressions. And especially, how can their artistic production be laid out in a context containing both historical perspectives and a direct interruption and connection with a contemporary musical field.

Instruments: Saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and electronics.


Over the years, Torben Snekkestad has explored vast areas of music in a reflected and open-minded way. From free improvisation and jazz playing as a leader and sideman to classical chamber music playing and as a soloist with symphony orchestras/sinfonietta, he is one of his generations most versatile musicians.

In both his solo and ensemble work, he manages to channel these manifold musical footsteps into a singularly identifiable saxophone sound, creating a highly elaborate and idiosyncratic musical language.

With a distinct poetic ear, extremely extended playing techniques, intuitive improvisations, evocative compositional use of structure and textures, Snekkestad earns himself a place as one of the most inspiring Scandinavian saxophonists and improvisers around.

Performed and worked with, among others: Barry Guy, Nate Wooley, Maja S.K. Ratkje, Koichi Makigami, Evan Parker, Søren Kjærgaard, Ken Vandermark, Raymond Strid, David Toop, Augusti Fernandez, Andrew Cyrille, Axel Dörner, Marta Sagnoli, Mats Gustafsson, Jon Balke, Oslo Sinfonietta and Cikada String Quartet.
Toured extensively throughout Europe, the USA, Russia, East Asia and Argentina.

  • Holds a PhD from NARP with the project Poetics of a Multiphonic Landscape (
  • Former teaching experience includes RMC (Rhytmic Music Conservatorium) in Copenhagen 2014–2021 and Royal Danish Music Academy 2004–2018.

Research and Artistic Development


  • Presentation of VIS - Nordic Journal for Artistic Research, Issue 10 – “Circulating Practices” Gunhild Mathea Husvik-Olaussen ,  Roos Cecilia ,  Torben Snekkestad ,  Søren Kjærgaard 2023
  • Enactivist music therapy: Toward theoretical innovation and integration Simon Høffding ,  Torben Snekkestad ,  Brynjulf Stige 2023
View all publications in Cristin

Projects Torben Snekkestad participates in