Maren Selvaag (b.1988) is an artist and entrepreneur based in Oslo, Norway.
From an early age, she showed strong creative talent completing her first full collection of clothes she had designed and sown herself at age eleven. She was trained in classical piano in her childhood, and her interest grew strong when she was introduced to Debussy, Ravel and Grieg. At age 17, she started training in jazz and one year later she was already accepted to the prestigious “Jazzlinja” at the university in Trondheim, one of twelve accepted amongst 200 applicants, the only pianist and youngest in her year.
She received the Lillehammer Jazz festival Young Talent Prize in 2007. That same year and started her own chamber jazz ensemble, a six instrument group of strings, reeds and rhythm section for which she composed and arranged through the course of her bachelors degree.
One of her main projects since 2009 has been the NGO INFI – International Network for Female Instrumentalists, where she has volunteered as managing director. INFI has a primary goal to inspire, promote and recruit more female instrumentalists and women in male dominated fields of music. They have organised summer camps, workshops, talent training, and international exchange programs, tours and camps in India, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Cuba.
After completing her bachelors degree, Selvaag continued to study, first a degree in composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music followed by a Masters Degree in performing jazz piano at the same Academy – graduating as the first women ever to have this degree in Norway.
Selvaag moved to New York City and composed and recorded her first album as a bandleader. “Close to Shore” was recorded in Avatar Studios with bass player Eivind Opsvik and drummer Eric McPherson and was released in November 2016. It received excellent critics from Norway to Japan, and was chosen as “Album of the year” by leading record store Big Dipper in Oslo.
In 2016, she founded her company Bellwether Artistic Productions. She saw that there was an enormous amount of talent within arts and music, but that there were few efforts done to translate this into commercial collaborations. She has through her company sold art and culture experiences without compromise to a broad spectrum of clients, be it construction companies, banks, lawyer, car dealerships, the Norwegian Royal Family, research foundations or Nobel Peace Prize winners