For the last couple of years, Ola Gjeilo has been composer-in-residence for VOCES8, the ensemble I founded and have sung with for 11 years. Gjeilo is a Norwegian domiciled in the U.S. who writes choral music that’s becoming increasingly well loved and recognized. I had the pleasure of touring around the U.S. with him and VOCES8 last year, premiering a piece which he both wrote and performed in. He plays the piano beautifully, and as well as writing gorgeous choral music, he’s also getting more and more involved in film composition – you can hear his music on the recent film “Midnight Special” (which I loved!). His music, to me, is a sort of mash-up between Nordic cool and the contemporary American scene. His debut on the Decca Classics label came out last year; I particularly loved recording with him for that album, which included a setting of the “Ubi Caritas” text. As VOCES8 sang the choral setting, Gjeilo improvised live on the piano. To this day, it remains one of my favorite moments in a recording studio!