"I have worked with Knut on a couple of pieces. He has always been a pleasure to work with and delivered arrangements that sympathetically enhance the music he is working from."
- Orlando Weeks, artist
"Knut is an outstanding musician and a dedicated piano teacher. I came to Knut with zero understanding of music theory, but he slowly and patiently introduced me to the concepts. I never wanted to disappoint Knut, and practiced often in order not to let him down. Knut was also very good at identifying what I wanted to do, what musical paths interested me, and then concentrating on those. If I got stuck in-between lessons, he would always send me additional information or devise exercises that would help me overcome problems. He also knows when to change tack, responding to situations as they arise"
- Toby Rowland, student
My name is Knut Olav Rygnestad, and I am an arranger, composer and educator specializing in popular music genres and choral arrangements of current songs. In addition to my work as an arranger, I do session work as well as give live performances as a pianist and singer. Since graduating with First Class Honours from London Centre of Contemporary Music in 2014, I have built up a solid portfolio and a reputation within my field – have a look around the website to find out more about me and my work!
My musical training began at the age of nine in my native country, Norway, when I started taking piano lessons which later inspired me to develop my singing through vocal tuition. While initially being introduced to music through classical genres, I wanted a broader competence within my field, which is why I ended up studying for a BMus in popular music performance and production at university following my move to London. At the moment I'm even studying for a master degree in film music composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
I am versatile both as a composer, arranger and performer and feel equally at home writing an eight part a cappella arrangement of a pop song as I do composing an original tone poem. In 2014 I won the Nicholas Thorpe Composition Award for my choral work “Tales of the North, South and Beyond”, and my soundtrack for the 2018 short documentary "Magne" (dir. Silvia Schmidt) won the award for "Best Music" at the International Film Festival of Wales.
I do regular arrangement work for London’s leading non-traditional choir London Contemporary Voices, for which I also sing as a tenor. My work for LCV has included writing customized arrangements for a myriad of high-profile artists and bands, including Aquilo, Alex Vargas, Orlando Weeks and Tom Chaplin. I have also arranged music for filmed sessions on channels including Capital FM, Focusrite, TEAfilms and Naked Noise. My arrangements for LCV are frequently used in concerts and on established music festivals including Secret Garden Party, Bestival and Wilderness. You can see videos of my arrangements, as well as various performances I've been part of as a performer, arranger or writer on my YouTube channel. There you can also find my show "Choir With Knut", which is all about choral and a cappella arranging.
As a pianist, I play primarily jazz and contemporary styles, and I've played for Ian Bufton Big Band, National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy and Becky CJ. I was also the musical director and pianist for Eric Patrick Nolan's album "Listen To The River", a collection of crossover Irish folk-classical songs.