Morten Olsen

composer
1961

Born in 1961, Morten Olsen began his career in electronic jazz-fusion, and since then has charted his own course through the perilous seas of modern music. In the early 1980s, while other young composers still grappled with conflicting ideologies of their art as science or as Zen Buddhism, he focused his attention on the present and practical, leading an electric jazz quintet and composing its entire repertoire.

As co-founder in 1990 of the Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, one of Denmark’s leading ensembles, he was well aware of the challenge to composers confronted by conflicting perspectives of the new. Even so, his vocation at this time was to train as a double-bass player at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, gaining its diploma in 1992.

Furthermore, Morten Olsen has more recently applied his skills to learning the electric guitar, a part he takes in the recording of In a Silent Way (2008).

The evidence, therefore, is of a composer gifted with patience in his search for identity and an authentic voice, who in the best professional tradition – Nielsen, Dvo?ák, Bach – has learnt his craft in the school of actual doing. Engaged with musicians making music, he has since 1993 also created a corpus of works that range from solo instrumental pieces to orchestral and choral essays.