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Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen

© Lars Skaaning
Born: 1969

Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen trained as a cellist and composer at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Århus, studying composition with Poul Ruders, Karl Aage Rasmussen, Olav Anton Thommesen, Henryk Gorecki in Poland and Bent Sørensen. In 1997 he was awarded the Danish Arts Foundation’s three-year working grant. In recent years Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen has become a particularly sought-after composer, and he works with many prominent Danish and foreign ensembles including WDR Radiosinfonieorchester Stuttgart, the Århus Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR, Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, the Quartetto di Cremona, the Henschel Quartet, the Pellegrini Quartet, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Århus Sinfonietta, PLEX (formerly The Other Opera), Rolf Hind and Ensemble 2000. His music has been performed in Denmark, Germany, England, France, Italy, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Chile, Russia and Finland. Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen was a co-founder and until 2007 director of the SPOR festival in Århus. A quote from 2001 shows the sensitivity and energy that lies beneath the surface in Thomas Agerfdelt Olesen’s music: “I probably don’t understand it, but I have always observed my times and let what I saw penetrate beneath my skin. Against some of what I believe I have seen, I have formed counter-images or counter-ideas of other states of being that I have considered more dignified for mankind. ‘Freedom images’, you could call them. At other times it’s about imprisonment, which is a state that our civilization believes itself to have been spared. I think that is a great illusion, and I’m sure that certainty about these things is to be found somewhere in the subconscious.” The quotation shows that Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen is striving for a kind of music that corresponds to fundamental conditions of life. Link to Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen's website

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