Niels Rønsholdt turns 40

Niels Rønsholdt has composed music for as long as he can remember. Throughout the past 20 years his compositions have taken shape as solo pieces works for ensembles and orchestras, experimental opera, performances and installation pieces. On 30 September he turns 40.

Niels Rønsholdt. Photo: Lars Svankjær

Regardless of the format Niels Rønsholdt's works are most often characterised by a certain intimacy and sensuality. Rønsholdt is one of the most significant Danish representatives for the current "trend" where composers enter the stage as performers in their own works. When for instance he goes on stage as an unschooled singer performing 'Me Quitte' (2014) the intimacy is expressed as extreme fragility.

In recent years, Niels Rønsholdt has worked with so-called 'method composition' a term borrowed from acting, where he considers the music as a kind of fictional character and tries to eliminate the distance between himself as an individual and this character.

“I approach that material – a French chanson, a Baroque recitative, a Chinese traditional country song, a romantic musical gesture – by working my way towards it. I get as close to it as possible, and I try to internalise what seems estranged from me and far from my natural aesthetic terrain. I see it as a miniature recreation - a staging - of a general human task. This is how we understand the world. We try to internalise it; we do what we can to make it our own,” Niels Rønsholdt explains.

Rønsholdt’s works continue to play out in new formats. Among the scheduled premieres in 2019 is a monumental piece for staged solo piano written for the Greek pianist Lenio Liatsou to be performed over the course of three nights. And a cello concert written for Jakob Kullberg taking its point of departure in country music, and to be premiered by the Polish New Music Orchestra.