Nicolai  Worsaae
Niels þorður Magnússon

Nicolai Worsaae

(1980-)

Nicolai Worsaae’s earlier works have been described as lyrical but his more recent works bear adjectives such as direct and expressive. Worsaae himself claims a fundamental identification with ‘classical music’s’ narrative form. Nevertheless, he has in recent years moved farther away from the lyrical and narrative and turned more sharply towards modernism. “Hardcore modernists will surely insist that my music remains strongly narrative, but I simply can’t refrain from (story)telling.”  


Worsaae works with circular forms of movement in which repetitions of small sections serve to freeze musical moments. In this way time, structure and space become clearly apparent in the work. The larger part of Worsaae’s works unfold through a play between developmental and static principles. Stylistically his music contains elements of what could be called “concrete instrumental music”. These are not direct imitations but musical suggestions of concrete sounds.  “It is liberating to work with something concrete when working with sound otherwise is so abstract.  When I move through the city I listen a lot to all kinds of sounds. Many people that listen to abstract music often have an experience similar to listening to concrete sounds, that the music sounds like something specific. If one can work with the suggestion of real sounds the music becomes richer.”

His works has been played by Ensemble Intercontemporain (FR), The Ensemble Recherche (DE), Arditti String quartet (UK), London Sinfonietta (UK), Oslo Sinfonietta (NO), The Athelas Sinfonietta (DK), Stockholm Curious Chamber Players (SE), Gothenburg Opera Orchestra (SE), Ensemble Figura (DK), Ars Nova Malmö (SE), Ensemble SCENATET (DK) among others.

Worsaae has received both grants and prizes for his work as composer such as The Danish Arts Council (2010, 2011, 2012) and The Sonning Foundation (2010), the annual prize of the Danish Composers Society (2008), The Idella fund (2008) as well as several smaller scholarships. 

Nicolai Worsaae studied composition at the Royal Danish Conservatory with Bent Sørensen, Niels Rosing-Schow, Hans Abrahamsen and Hans-Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg as well as at Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Graz with Beat Furrer.

Selected works:
Squawk (2016)
Kuro ton'neru (2013)
Zwischen den beiden Kammern (2013)
Eight and a Half Pint (2012)
Wesenheit ab Wesenheit (2011)
Gesang durch eine Mauer (2008)
Zugendlos (2007) 

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Available Works

All categories Solo 2-6 Instruments 7+ Instruments Choir Orchestra Music Drama and Stage Music Educational Music

  1. Warping through my ears

    2021 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Choir

    18 minutes

    Vocal ensemble (SSAATTBB)

  2. Replication #1

    2014 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    10 minutes

    Mezzo-soprano, flute, and cello

  3. PUSH

    2018 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Choir

    8 minutes

    8-part choir (SATBSATB)

  4. WaWV

    2014 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    20 minutes

    Soprano, (bass) clarinet, percussion, double bass & electronics

  5. Nedstigning

    2017 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Music Drama and Stage Music

    70 minutes

    Sop, bari, cl, perc, clavichord, vln, db & electronics

  6. Violinetude for børn

    2016 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Educational Music

    1:30 minutes

    Violin solo

  7. Spilledåsen

    2016 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Educational Music

    01 seconds

    Piano solo

  8. Vuggevise

    2016 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Educational Music

    01 seconds

    Piano solo

  9. Løbebåndet

    2016 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Educational Music

    40 seconds

    Piano solo

  10. Canticum In Vitro

    2016 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    10 minutes

    Clarinet, piano, electric guitar/objects, violin & cello

  11. Schritte

    2010 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Solo

    8 minutes

    organ solo

  12. Upon Your Body I'm Crawling

    2012 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    8 minutes

    harmonica & accordion

  13. Squawk

    2016 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    String quartet & live electronics

  14. Replication #2

    2015 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    8 minutes

    Alto sax, acc, erhu & db

  15. Kuro ton'neru

    2013 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    10:30 minutes

    cl, trp, pno, perc, vl, vla, vlc + EA (tape) and video

  16. Epilogus I

    2013 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    5:30 minutes

    Vn, vla, vlc, pno

  17. Zwischen den beiden Kammern

    2013 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    10 minutes

    Fl, cl, perc, vn, vlc, pno

  18. Eight and a Half Pint

    2012 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Orchestra

    8:45 minutes

    2.2.2.2/2.2.0.0/2 perc/archi

  19. Du hast gesagt

    2010 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Solo

    7 minutes

    Soprano and electronics

  20. Wesenheit ab Wesenheit

    2011 • Nicolai Worsaae

    7+ Instruments

    11 minutes

    Solo voice + bass cl, perc, cb

  21. String Quartet No. 2

    2010 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    14 minutes

    String Quartet

  22. Gesang durch eine Mauer

    2009 • Nicolai Worsaae

    7+ Instruments

    12 minutes

    Mezzo-soprano solo + pno, vl

  23. Emphatische Ellipse

    2008 • Nicolai Worsaae

    7+ Instruments

    4:20 minutes

    1.1.1.1/0.1.1.0/perc/synth/live-electronics/1.1.1.1.1

  24. Zugendlos

    2008 • Nicolai Worsaae

    Orchestra

    10: minutes

    3.3.3.3/4.3.3.1/3 perc/pno/synth/12.10.8.6.4

  25. Brutalized Beauty

    2007 • Nicolai Worsaae

    2-6 Instruments

    12 minutes

    Fl, cl, perc, vn, vla, vlc, pno

  26. Quaint

    2006 • Nicolai Worsaae

    7+ Instruments

    11:20 minutes

    Soprano, pno, vlc




Advanced works search

News

  1. Nicolai Worsaae World premiere

    general

    Nicolai Worsaae World premiere

  2. Edition·S at KLANG Festival

    general

    Edition·S at KLANG Festival

  3. Nicolai Worsaae selected for International Rostrum of Composers

    nominations / awards

    Nicolai Worsaae selected for International Rostrum of Composers

  1. Work Grants from the Danish Arts Foundation

    general

    Work Grants from the Danish Arts Foundation

  2. Nicolai Worsaae World Premiere

    general

    Nicolai Worsaae World Premiere

  3. Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

    nominations / awards

    Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

  4. Digital Concert Series

    general

    Digital Concert Series

  5. Composers and Edition·S works on Danmark Nu

    general

    Composers and Edition·S works on Danmark Nu

  6. Significant grants for Edition·S composers 2020

    general

    Significant grants for Edition·S composers 2020

  7. RELEASE · Educate·S · Pieces for Violin

    general

    RELEASE · Educate·S · Pieces for Violin

  8. Educate·S · Pieces for Piano recorded

    general

    Educate·S · Pieces for Piano recorded

  9. Cold War Concert · Nicolai Worsaae

    general

    Cold War Concert · Nicolai Worsaae

  10. Koldkrigskoncert med Nicolai Worsaae

    general

    Koldkrigskoncert med Nicolai Worsaae

  11. Save 25% on all solo pieces

    general

    Save 25% on all solo pieces

  12. Neue Vocalsolisten premieres Worsaae

    general

    Neue Vocalsolisten premieres Worsaae

  13. Worsaae CD release and portrait concert

    general

    Worsaae CD release and portrait concert

  14. Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

    general

    Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

  15. Worsaae pieces noted in Chicago media

    general

    Worsaae pieces noted in Chicago media

  16. Mise-en performs C.W.C., Worsaae and Glerup in New York

    general

    Mise-en performs C.W.C., Worsaae and Glerup in New York

  17. Worsaae journeys to the underworld in new opera Downfall

    general

    Worsaae journeys to the underworld in new opera Downfall

  18. Accordion, yoga and audience participation – of course

    general

    Accordion, yoga and audience participation – of course

  19. Sunday is the night of shadows and new piano quartets

    general

    Sunday is the night of shadows and new piano quartets

  20. Danish Arts Foundation grants for Edition·S composers

    general

    Danish Arts Foundation grants for Edition·S composers

  21. Bringing new music back to the classrooms

    general

    Bringing new music back to the classrooms

  22. Worsaae at sea in new piece premiered this Sunday

    general

    Worsaae at sea in new piece premiered this Sunday

  23. Educate·S - New Music for Music Schools

    general

    Educate·S - New Music for Music Schools

  24. Edition·S composers nominated for ISCM World New Music Days

    general

    Edition·S composers nominated for ISCM World New Music Days

  25. Arditti Quartet plays Nicolai Worsaae

    general

    Arditti Quartet plays Nicolai Worsaae

  26. Enigmatic premiere and more at Suså

    general

    Enigmatic premiere and more at Suså

  27. Sneak peek of new Edition·S project

    general

    Sneak peek of new Edition·S project

  28. KLANG announces festival programme

    general

    KLANG announces festival programme

  29. World premiere of Squawk by Nicolai Worsaae

    general

    World premiere of Squawk by Nicolai Worsaae

  30. Nicolai Worsaae at MATA in NY

    general

    Nicolai Worsaae at MATA in NY

  31. DYGONG Mass in Copenhagen Cathedral

    general

    DYGONG Mass in Copenhagen Cathedral

  32. KLANG Festival, Copenhagen

    general

    KLANG Festival, Copenhagen

  33. Nicolai Worsaae on “Eight And A Half Pint”

    general

    Nicolai Worsaae on “Eight And A Half Pint”

  34. Athelas Sinfonietta Performs Nicolai Worsaae's “Brutalized Beauty”

    general

    Athelas Sinfonietta Performs Nicolai Worsaae's “Brutalized Beauty”

  35. Worsaae in New York with Marx and Engels

    general

    Worsaae in New York with Marx and Engels

  36. Inverted Notions and Introverted Space

    general

    Inverted Notions and Introverted Space

  37. Klang Festival 2014

    general

    Klang Festival 2014

  38. The Charm of Nordic Irony

    general

    The Charm of Nordic Irony

  39. Im Blick: Dänemark – Danish Composers in Germany

    general

    Im Blick: Dänemark – Danish Composers in Germany

  40. Edition·S composers at evening of Danish music

    general

    Edition·S composers at evening of Danish music

  41. Suså Festival 2013

    general

    Suså Festival 2013

  42. Nicolai Worsaae Composer-in-Residence with FIGURA 2013-15

    general

    Nicolai Worsaae Composer-in-Residence with FIGURA 2013-15

  43. DYGONG On the Run

    general

    DYGONG On the Run

  44. Nicolai Worsaae at Musiikin Aika

    general

    Nicolai Worsaae at Musiikin Aika

  45. KLANG Festival Programme Released

    general

    KLANG Festival Programme Released

  46. Edition·S Composers at PULSAR Festival

    general

    Edition·S Composers at PULSAR Festival

  47. Odense Symphony Orchestra Presents: {Pliiinggg…}

    general

    Odense Symphony Orchestra Presents: {Pliiinggg…}

  48. Interview {PLIIINGGG…}

    general

    Interview {PLIIINGGG…}

  49. Nordic Music Days 2012

    general

    Nordic Music Days 2012

  50. Nordic Darkness and Electric Light

    general

    Nordic Darkness and Electric Light

  51. Edition·S invasion at Athelas next week

    general

    Edition·S invasion at Athelas next week

  52. A Busy Spring for Edition·S Composers

    general

    A Busy Spring for Edition·S Composers

  53. Successful DYGONG release & P2 Puls review

    general

    Successful DYGONG release & P2 Puls review

  54. Two composers featured on new CD release

    general

    Two composers featured on new CD release

  55. Invitation to DYGONG album release

    general

    Invitation to DYGONG album release

  56. Podcast Interviews from hcmf// 2011

    general

    Podcast Interviews from hcmf// 2011

  57. Denmark enters the Huddersfield Festival 2011

    general

    Denmark enters the Huddersfield Festival 2011

  58. FIGURA performs in Oslo

    general

    FIGURA performs in Oslo

  59. Behind Bars with Worsaae and Steen-Andersen

    general

    Behind Bars with Worsaae and Steen-Andersen

  60. Edition·S at Music China in October

    general

    Edition·S at Music China in October

  61. Three late summer days of art music at Suså festival

    general

    Three late summer days of art music at Suså festival

  62. Danish composers mark the trend at Huddersfield Festival 2011

    general

    Danish composers mark the trend at Huddersfield Festival 2011

  63. Young composers at the UNM festival

    general

    Young composers at the UNM festival

  64. Abstract/Concrete

    general

    Abstract/Concrete

  65. London Sinfonietta plays emerging stars in Copenhagen the next two days

    general

    London Sinfonietta plays emerging stars in Copenhagen the next two days

  66. Zugendlos in Gothenburg in August

    general

    Zugendlos in Gothenburg in August

Show More News

Calendar

  1. November 2021
  2. 12

    November

    Nicolai Worsaae: PUSH

    time19:30

    location Trinitatis Kirke, Copenhagen, Denmark

    performed by the Danish National Vocal Ensemble

  1. June 2022
  2. 9

    June

    Nicolai Worsaae: Gekido

    time20:00

    location KLANG Festival, Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen, Denmark

    performed by Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, Pierre-André Valade, Andreas Borregaard & Asbjørn Nørgaard

  1. November 2022
  2. 11

    November

    Nicolai Worsaae: Warping through my ears

    time19:30

    location Trinitatis Kirke, Copenhagen, Denmark

    performed by Danish National Vocal Ensemble