Pete Knutsen

Born: December 9th, 1947, Kirkenes (Norway)
Nationality: Norwegian

Knut Petter ‘Pete’ Knutsen was a member of various rock bands in the 1960s and 1970s, including – most prominently – Popol Vuh (later renamed Popol Ace) with lead singer Jahn Teigen. Knutsen plays the guitar, bass, and piano, and performed as an instrumentalist in the jazz quintet of Frode Thingnæs. He wrote the soundtracks to Norwegian movies ‘Operasjon Cobra’ (1978) and ‘Carl Gustav, gjengen og parkeringsbandittene’ (1982). As an arranger, from the early 1970s onwards, he has worked with celebrated Norwegian popular artists, such as Inger Lyse Rypdal, Dollie de Luxe, Hanne Krogh, Tor Endresen, Per Elvis Granberg, and Kirsti Sparboe. In 2009, he wrote the arrangements for an album by the Høvedøen Social Club.

Pete Knutsen was the musical director of several editions of the Melodi Grand Prix, Norway’s preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest, and arranged many songs for it. In 1978, he wrote the string arrangement that was used for the recording of ‘Mil etter mil’, the song with which Jahn Teigen represented Norway in that year’s contest in Paris – however, in a completely different arrangement than for the record version. This live orchestration was penned by conductor Carsten Klouman. Pete Knutsen’s time as a conductor in the contest started more than one decade later. He conducted the Norwegian entries of 1989 (Britt Sinnøve Johansen – ‘Venners nærhet), 1990 (Ketil Stokkan – ‘Brandenburger Tor’), 1991 (Just 4 Fun – ‘Mrs. Thompson’), and 1994 (Elisabeth Andreasson & Jan Werner Danielsen – ‘Duett’). For the 1989 entry, he also wrote the orchestration.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Pete Knutsen will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1989: Venners nærhet
1990: Brandenburger Tor
1991: Mrs. Thompson
1994: Duett