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Carsten Dahl

Born: 1967

Nationality: Danish

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Photo © Lars Skaaning


Carsten Dahl is a composer, pianist and drummer. In his late teens he made his mark as a studio musician, and shortly afterwards began studying at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. After two years of study with among others Ed Thigpen and Alex Riel, Carsten Dahl changed instruments and began playing piano.

Quickly Carsten Dahl made a name for himself as one of Denmark’s most promising jazz pianists; partly in close, long-lasting collaborations with a number of Danish musicians of the same generation such as Thomas Blachman and Lennart Ginman; partly in concerts and recordings with an array of international jazz names such as Eddie Gomez, Didier Lockwood, Johnny Griffin, Dave Liebman, Billy Harper and Jerry Bergonzi.

Carsten Dahl’s interest in free jazz and free improvisation has made him a collaborator and coach for Ensemble MidtVest. This has led to among other things a CD of improvised music for Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. He cultivates playful, free expression on the stage, on the one hand as a soloist and on the other in the group Carsten Dahl Experience.

Alongside jazz, classical music has also interested Carsten Dahl. Through work with and recordings of Johan Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations on pre­pared piano and Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Carsten Dahl’s interest in composing classical music has been enhanced. This interest has seen its most significant expres­sion so far in the work The Fifth Dimension for soloists, choir and orchestra from 2012. Since then there has been a piano concerto, and several new projects are in the melting pot.

For Carsten Dahl music is something spiritual – an intense, irresistible force. He is not afraid to speak openly about his psychiatric diagnosis, which he calls both a blessing and a curse in relation to his work as a musician and composer.

Hjarne Fessel 2014
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