Born into a musical family he studied piano with Nils Larsen in Oslo and with Karl Leimer, Wilhelm Kempff and Edwin Fischer after 1928. In 1941 he founded a piano institute in Oslo together with his elder brother Reimar. With his first wife Amalie Christie he helped persecuted Jews to escape to Sweden. He was arrested on 3rd November 1942 and sent to camp Bredtveit. On 9th December 1942 he was sent to KZ Grini (#5738), where he had the opportunity to practice and play piano. He was released on 7th April 1943.