Erik Højsgaard graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus in 1978, where he studied composition with Per Nørgård. He continued his studies at The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where he studied ear training and graduated with a music education degree. Since 1982 he has taught ear training at the Academy in Copenhagen, where he became lecturer in 1988 and Professor in 2002. When Højsgaard was just 20 years old he had his first major success as a composer with the performance of his string quartet Sun prisms.
In the years 2003-04 he was composer in residence at Aalborg Symphony Orchestra as well as teacher at The Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg. He has received several prizes including the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen’s honorary award in 1993, the Danish Arts Foundation’s three-year work grant in 1979 and the Danish Composers’ Society’s grant in 1992.
Højgaard’s work list includes two symphonies, a cello concerto and a piano concerto as well as the opera Don Juan vender tilbage fra krigen (“Don Juan returns from the war”), which was premiered in Vienna in a new revised version in 2006. He composed Fragment for chamber orchestra for the conducting competition Malko in 1995. Furthermore he has composed chamber music (amongst others two string quartets and a string of landscape pictures, including Paysage blême, which was premiered in London by the British ensemble Capricorn) as well as works for solo instruments, including C’est la mer mêlée au soleil for guitar and Épreuve for accordion.
Højsgaard’s works have been performed all over the world and he has been represented at a few international festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Salzburg Festspiele, Nordic Music Days, NUMUS, Festival Internazionale di Musica Roma, MusikSommerBerlin, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte Montepulciano, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Aarhus Festuge etc.