Simon Christensen 50 years today

Like many of his contemporary colleagues, Simon Christensen has had an extensive background in a variety of musical genres, and as a result, creates music that is deeply informed by all of them. Today the Danish composer turns 50.

What sets Simon Christensen apart from most composers of his generation is that his music somehow transcends genre considerations entirely and is something completely fresh and new. His works are often characterized by a clear pulse and while his point of departure is usually quite complex, the result is most often of a simple nature.

Among his most remarkable works is his uncompromising string quartet Manifest (2012-2013) A 75-minute long work that exclusively uses the open strings of the instruments, retuned to micro-intervals. In 2019 Athelas Sinfonietta premiered the work ENSEMBLE (2018) where Simon Christensen divides the ensemble into five groups playing in each their tempo throughout the performance.

Since 2012, Simon Christensen has collaborated with the American filmmaker Robert Schaller in creating an aesthetic zone where aural and visual input can co-exist on a parallel footing. The ongoing collaboration has thus far resulted in four distinct works which are featured on the DVD/Blu-ray recording, Chamber Cinema Set.

Signals from Simon Christensen on Vimeo.

Simon Christensen graduated as a composer from The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied with the Danish composers Ivar Frounberg, Hans Abrahamsen and Niels Rosing-Schow. He also studied at Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Paris with Frédéric Durieux. His works have been performed by, among others the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Athelas Sinfonietta, the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Århus Sinfonietta, NeoQuartet and Copenhagen Art Ensemble

Besides his work as a composer, Simon Christensen is an active musician with percussion as his main instrument. He has a background as a drummer in rock bands like New Paragraphs and Melonheads, as a percussionist in Kundi Bombo together with Christina Åstrand and Peter Navarro-Alonso. Currently, he is part of Mono Duo together with the cellist Peet Morrison.