What does Nordic religious music sound like today?

At times when many different religions exisists within the Nordic culture and influence each other. We find it very relevant to investigate how the the young composers of today reflects on this topic.

This question has ben given to six different Nordic composers from DK, S, NO, IS, FI and the Faroe Islands.



The composers taking part in the collaboration are:



Ylva Lund Bergner was born 1981 in Lund, a town in the south of Sweden and began to study composition 2001 on Gotland School of Music Composition after some years of piano studies. She has cooperated with many renowned ensembles like Klangforum Wien, the Pëarls Before Swïne, the Swedish and Danish Radio Choir and the Sinfonietta SAMI. Recently she got both a composition award and a 3-year work grant from the Danish Arts Council in Denmark. She was chosen in 2013 to present the short chamber opera ”Traces” (1st part of the chamber opera ”The Illuminated Traces of Ligeia”) at Darmstadt in 2014. In the beginning of 2018, she received the big prize Järnåkerstipendiet which also led to several interviews and an article in the journal 'Nutida Music'.

Bára Gísladóttir is an Icelandic composer and double bassist based in Copenhagen.

Her music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Duo Harpverk, Elektra Ensemble, Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble InterContemporain, Esbjerg Ensemble, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, loadbang, Marco Fusi,  Mimitabu, NJYD, Nordic Affect, Riot Ensemble, Siggi String Quartet and TAK Ensemble. Bára´s pieces have been selected for festivals such as Dark Music Days, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, International Rostrum of Composers, KLANG Festival, Nordic Music Days and Ung Nordisk Musik. In 2018, Bára received the Léonie Sonning Talent Prize and was the composer in residence at Skálholt Summer Concerts.

Martin A. Hirsti-Kvam (1991-) is a Norwegian composer who works in different fields of expression: from acoustic ‘concert music,’ to more conceptually oriented works using electronics and visual elements, always in an attempt to give new perspectives and reflection to what constitutes music, listening and live performance.

The ability to think and feel is what makes us humans differ from other species on earth. This is also what Cecilia Damström (b.1988) tries to achieve with her compositions; to make people think and feel.

Born into a multicultural family in Helsinki, languages and the possibility of combining languages, have always appealed to her while composing. With a background as a classical pianist and with theatre as an interest, also harmony, direction, a sense of drama, and expressivity are always present in her music.

Since graduating in 2014 she has constantly been working on commissions for various ensembles and festivals. Her compositions have received several national and international composition prizes 2009-2018. Her fairytale opera “Dumma Kungen” won the award for  “Children opera of the year” in 2018. Her works for orchestra have been performed by Jyväskylä Sinfonia (2016 & 2018), Gävle Symphony Orchestra (2018), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (2018) and Avanti! (2011) as well as at festivals such as Young Nordic Music Days in Aarhus (2016) and Tampering (2014, 2015 and 2017).

Jeppe Ernst is a Danish composer, born and raised in Kerteminde on Funen, educated in Copenhagen. In his compositions, Jeppe Ernst often asks very basic questions about the phenomenon of music. In his consistent perspective, music is not sound and / or tones, but movement and (social) interaction in the widest sense. His music thus expresses an exploration of the "action music" from different angles.

Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð is a Faroese composer and performer. She mixes field recordings, electronic sounds, video and classical instruments. Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð is currently studying electronic composition at DIEM – Danish Institute of Electronic Music at The Royal Music Academy. She has written music for the award winning performance ensemble Mute Comp and released her own songs under the alias AKAT. 

As a singer she has toured worldwide. She was the lead singer in renowned folktronica band Valravn, and in the field of new music she has, among other works, performed Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and Niels Rønsholdt’s “Me Quitte”.

In 2010 Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð received the Faroese Planet Award for singer of the year. In 2016 she was awarded by The Danish Arts Foundation for the work “BEINTA”.