Petra Bjørkhaug (1964) studied at the Conservatory in Trondheim, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) from 1983-1993. In Trondheim she studied classical piano, church organ, pedagogy and composition with teachers Bjørn Andor Drage, Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen and Henning Sommerro. She finished her Masters degree in Oslo in 2017, at the Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH) in the field «The Master of Music Performance». She had the the focus on organ improvisation in her Master degree, and studied with professor at NMH, Inger-Lise Ulsrud. Petra has also taken lessons and courses in organ improvisation in London and Paris with Loic Maille, Duncan Middleton and Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer- Choplin.
Petra has been an organist and a choir conductor in several churches in Trondheim and Bodø since 1983, in Nidaros Cathedral as conductor from 1998-2000, and on a regular basis as Cathedral Organist since 2007. Holding this position she is responsible for playing organconcerts and services in the Cathedral, and she has, together with the cathedral staff, been responsible for organ festivals – «Orgelfest» - several times since 2009. She has also during shorter periods conducted choirs in the cathedral, and has held the position as Director of Music from 2017-2021. She has been responsible for numerous projects presenting organ music for children, and the project «Cathedral and Organ Sound» presented music from the Steinmeyer organ, and reached about 15 000 school children in Trondheim during 2014-2020.
With Petra’s speciality in improvisation and composition she has given a lot of concerts using this, both as a solo (player) performer, and together with choirs and other musicians, from both classical, folk music, technological and improvisation backgrounds. She has done numerous concerts with jazz saxophonist, professor John Pål Inderberg and Kristoffer Lo. Petra is regularly composing music for choir and other ensembles, - the latest is choir music for Nidaros Cathedral Choir, wich will be released on the label 2L in November 2023. In 2019 she was composing and improvising organ music for a theatre performance, which was performed in Nidaros Cathedral and other churches/cathedrals in Norway.