Kjell Mørk Karlsen

Kjell Mørk Karlsen (b. 1947), is a composer with a versatile musical background. He graduated from the Oslo Music Conservatory as an organist and precentor in 1968, and took a degree as an orchestra musician the following year. After having made his recorder debut in 1967, he took a degree in this instrument in 1972. In addition, Karlsen studied organ under Finn Viderø in Copenhagen and composition under Joonas Kokkonen in Helsinki. Kjell Mørk Karlsen displays this same versatility as…

Sort by:

Kjell Mørk Karlsen (b. 1947), is a composer with a versatile musical background. He graduated from the Oslo Music Conservatory as an organist and precentor in 1968, and took a degree as an orchestra musician the following year. After having made his recorder debut in 1967, he took a degree in this instrument in 1972. In addition, Karlsen studied organ under Finn Viderø in Copenhagen and composition under Joonas Kokkonen in Helsinki. Kjell Mørk Karlsen displays this same versatility as a professional musician. Today he devotes most of his energy to composing, but his career as a musician ranges from being an oboist in the orchestra of the Norwegian National Opera to appearing frequently as a keyboard musician with various orchestras and ensembles, such as the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Collegium Musicum. Karlsen has also been active as a chamber musician. He taught at the Oslo Music Conservatory for a number of years, transferring to the Norwegian State Academy of Music when it was founded in 1972. Kjell Mørk Karlsen is also widely known as an organist and church musician with many years of service in the Church of Norway, e.g. as cathedral organist in Tønsberg and in Stavanger. Karlsen´s strong interest in medieval, renaissance and baroque music led him to found Pro Musica Antiqua in 1969, an ensemble he was to lead until 1974. He has also been associated with the Musica Sacra movement, whose aim has been to revive interest in the liturgy and early music while at the same time focusing on neoclassical elements in German sacred music. This has also served as valuable experience for his career as a composer. Stylistically speaking, his music reveals a definite development. His early works are traditional, whereas the tonality and treatment of dissonance in his more recent works show that he has moved closer to contemporary currents without relinquishing traditional musical elements.