Simon Steen-Andersen (b. 1976)

Expanding music. This is a key phrase for understanding the musical world of one the most sought-after composers on the international scene of contemporary music: Simon Steen Andersen. In his pieces he integrates instrumental music along with electronics, video and performative elements to create groundbreaking new musical works where sight and narrative is not just an added layer, but a fundamental part of the cross-media experience.

Of this process Steen-Andersen says: “Instead of talking about combining, letting different elements meet or getting out of music as a kind of ‘composition beyond music’, the essence of my project is to keep both legs grounded right in the middle of the music.”

A key goal for him is the concretisation of the otherwise abstract art which is music. For this purpose he wishes to challenge music’s self-referential nature by bringing into his works tangible elements such as everyday objects, aged electronic equipment and homebuilt preparations of musical instruments. This very often in combination with samplers, amplification and video.

He has been commissioned by acclaimed ensembles, orchestras and festivals such as Ensemble Modern, ensemble recherche, the SWR Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, Donaueschinger Musiktage, the ECLAT Festival and Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik. In addition to this he has received numerous grants and awards including the Kranichsteiner Music Award 2008, the International Rostrum of Composers, DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm 2010, Carl Nielsen Prize, Akademie der Künste Kunstpreis 2013, Nordic Council Music Prize 2014 and Carl Prisen 2015.

Simon Steen-Andersen was born in 1976 and studied composition with Karl Aage Rasmusen, Bent Sørensen, Mathis Spahlinger and Gabriel Valverde in Denmark, Germany and Argentina. Since 2008 he has been a lecturer in composition at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. He currently resides in Berlin.

Selected works

Piano Concerto (2014)

Black Box Music (2012)

Double Up (2010)

Rerendered (2003)

RunTime Error (2009)

Study for String Instrument #2 (2009)

On And Off And To And Fro (2008)

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Video art and gallery installation