He studied literature and languages at the University of Oslo. With a few piano lessons by Dagmar Walle-Hansen and Karl Nissen he composed as a self-taught artist. In the late 1920s his works, characterized by modal polyphony and classical forms, became well-known and won several competitions in Norway. During the years of occupation he composed music to poems by resistance poets, which were broadcast anonymously from London via BBC radio. He was active in the Norwegian Composers’ Association as well as on other boards and juries.