The Henie Onstad tradition of presenting new experimental music dates all the way back to the opening in 1968, with the commissioning of the famous work Solitaire by Arne Nordheim. Since then Henie Onstad has been an important arena for experimental new music, dance and performance.
The music program is broad and international with a special focus on expressions such as jazz, electronic and contemporary music. In line with the center’s open attitude toward genres, rock, pop, club, world and folk music also find its natural place in the program.
The exploration of the relationship between music and other art expressions is one of the core values of Henie Onstad and something the center actively works to achieve.
The Art Center represents both tradition and history within the Avant Garde, at the same time allowing younger practitioners and composers, as well as new currents within innovative music and commissions get a lot of room.
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter has throughout the years programmed concerts, happenings and workshops as well as offered artist residencies. For example, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Annea Lockwood, Pierre Schaeffer, Laurie Anderson, Iannis Xenakis, Yoko Ono, Svein Finnerud Trio, Mauricio Kagel. Jan Garbarek, Høvik Ballett, Terry Riley, Soft Machine, Henry Cow, Kluster and the Steve Reich Ensemble, have all found their natural place at Høvikodden.
In recent times, the Art Center has presented concerts by artists such as Nurse With Wound, Harpreet Bansal, Geir Sundstøl, Jan St. Werner, Ola Kvernbergs Steamdome, Jaga Jazzist, Motorpsycho and Merzbow, as well as commissions of Lindstrøm. Susanne Sundfør, Jenny Hval, Camille Norment, Jim O`Rourke, Biosphere, Lars Vaular, Ulver and Spunk, to mention a few.
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter were one of the co-founders of Ultimafestivalen and often collaborate with Oslo World, Ny Musikk, All Ears and NOTAM.