Hans Abrahamsen:
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Introducing Hans Abrahamsen

Hans Abrahamsen is a master orchestrator, composer of wintry landscapes and winner of the 2019 Léonie Sonning prize.

He has reimagined the works of Bach, Nielsen, and Schoenberg. But modern masterpieces such as Schnee (2006-08) and Let me tell you (2013) have cemented his reputation as one of the leading composers of the twenty-first century. Abrahamsen’s latest work and first opera, The Snow Queen, will be premiered in the fall of this year at the Royal Danish Opera. Read more

Hans Abrahamsen is a master orchestrator, composer of wintry landscapes and winner of the 2019 Léonie Sonning prize.

He has reimagined the works of Bach, Nielsen, and Schoenberg. But modern masterpieces such as Schnee (2006-08) and Let me tell you (2013) have cemented his reputation as one of the leading composers of the twenty-first century. Abrahamsen’s latest work and first opera, The Snow Queen, will be premiered in the fall of this year at the Royal Danish Opera.

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Schnee

In Schnee, a few simple and fundamental musical questions are explored. What is a Vorsatz? And what is a Nachsatz? Can a phrase be answering or questioning?

The nine instruments are divided into two groups: the first one situated to the left consists of piano 1, violin, viola and cello, and the second group on the right of piano 2 (pianino), flute, oboe and clarinet. In the middle is the percussion.

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Let me tell you

Inspired by the written word

Let me tell you, is one of Abrahamsen’s most famous works. It was initiated by Barbara Hannigan (winner of next year’s Léonie Sonning prize) and based on the novel of the same name (2008) by Paul Griffiths. The premise of the piece, has Ophelia tell her story in the first-person, using only the 481-word vocabulary given to her in Shakespeare‘s Hamlet.

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In my own work, an ongoing idea has persisted, of at some point writing a work consisting of a number of canonical movements that would explore this universe of time.