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Karl Aage Rasmussen

Born: 1947

Nationality: Danish

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Photo © Lars Skaaning

When it comes to describing Karl Aage Rasmussen, it is not easy to find a starting point; he has made his mark as composer, writer, conductor, lecturer, performer, administrator and much more. 

Karl Aage Rasmussen graduated from the Aarhus Academy of Music in 1971, where he was appointed Professor in Composition in 1988. Many of his works use pre-existing material woven into a dense musical montage. Words like ‘de-composing’ and ‘re-composing’ seem fit, and in later years, this interest has resulted in the arrangement and completion of music by Schumann and Schubert.

While his early works focused on the individual detail of these montages, he later became increasingly concerned with a sense of momentum and in exploring our experience of time and movement. This is demonstrated in the chamber symphony Movements on a Moving Line (1987), in which the texture is created out of different instruments playing the same music in different times. Titles like A Symphony in Time (1982) and A Tempo (2001) also reveal this interest. In addition, psychological and dramatic dimensions have assumed a growing importance in works written since the 1990s.

Rasmussen was awarded the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1991 and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize in 1997.
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