Erik Højsgaard (b. 1954)

“…while Erik Højsgaard’s Cello Concerto was simply the most sheerly beautiful piece in the festival”
– Paul Griffiths - The Times

“... behind the veil one could sense one of the finest, most eloquent and captivating poetic opera scores this country has seen for years”
– Politiken

Erik Højsgaard's list of compositions includes 2 symphonies, a cello concerto, a piano concerto and the opera Don Juan kommt aus dem Krieg which was premiered in Vienna in 2006 in a revised version. Erik Højsgaard has composed Fragment for chamber orchestra in 1995 for the Malko Conductors' Competition and he has also composed several pieces of chamber music including two string quartets and a variety of landscapes, e.g. Paysage blême, which was first performed in London by the British ensemble Capricorn. Højsgaard has also composed works for solo instruments, including Épreuve for accordion and C'est la mer mêlée au soleil for guitar which has been recorded several times, most recently in 2017 by Niklas Johansen for The Royal Danish Academy of Music 150 years’ CD anthology. In recent years he has composed chamber music and works for solo piano and solo viola and most recently Essays I-V for sinfonietta.

Erik Højsgaard has made several orchestrations and arrangements of other composers’ works, including Alexander Scriabin’s Vers la flamme for large orchestra and Carl Nielsen’s Music to Five Poems by J.P. Jacobsen op. 4 for soprano and orchestra. For many years he has had a successful collaboration with Ensemble Storstrøm (Danish Chamber Players) performing his own works and arrangements.

Højsgaard’s works have been performed in most parts of the world and he has been represented at several international festivals: ISCM World Music Days, the Salzburg Festival, Nordic Music Days, NUMUS, Festival Internazionale di Musica Roma, MusicSommerBerlin, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte Montepulciano, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Aarhus Festuge etc.

Erik Højsgaard has received several awards. In 1993 he received the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's Honorary Award. In 1979 he was awarded the three-year work grant of the Danish Arts Foundation. Furthermore he has received Danish Composers' Society Prize, Herman Sandby Prize, Poul og Sylvia Schierbecks Prize and Hakon Børresen Memorial Prize.

Erik Højsgaard studied composition with Per Nørgård at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and completed his studies with a diploma degree in 1978.  He studied aural training at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and graduated with a music pedagogy diploma degree. 

Since 1982, Erik Højsgaard has taught aural training at the Royal Danish Academy of Music - from 1988 as an associate professor and since 2002 as professor. In 2003-2004 Højsgaard was also resident composer with Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and teacher of composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

He is the author of a textbook in rhythm, Rhythm · Advanced Studies (Rytme · videregående studier, Ritmica · livello avanzato), available in Danish, English and Italian. Additionally, Højsgaard is member of the jury at International Solfeggio Competition in Ljubljana and gives lectures and workshops at music academies around the world, for example at Conservatorio di Musica in Parma and the international aural training conference Sentiamoci à Parma, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Wien, Högskolan för scen och musik in Göteborg, Academy of Music in Ljubljana and Musikkonservatoriet in Tromsø.