Ensemble 96 & Current Saxophone Quartet

Biography Ensemble 96 & Current Saxophone Quartet

Ensemble 96 & Current Saxophone QuartetEnsemble 96 & Current Saxophone Quartet

Ensemble 96
The chamber choir Ensemble 96 consist of 26 highly qualified singers, is one of Norway’s leading vocal ensembles, and has gained its reputation through many critically acclaimed concerts, premieres and CD recordings.

Ensemble 96 has a particular focus on contemporary music and seeks to expand the traditional choir concert by means of collaborations with other artists, including dancers, actors and visual artists. The ensemble often presents a mix of contemporary music and classical songs.The musical director and conductor is Nina Therese Karlsen, who holds an MA in Choir Conducting from the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Ensemble 96’s CD Immortal Nystedt, on the label 2L, was nominated for two Grammy awards in 2007, Best Surround Sound Album and Best Choral Performance. In September 2007 Ensemble 96 and its previous conductor Øystein Fevang received the Choral Award in Norway. The choir, with conductor Kjetil Almenning, represented Norway at the Nordic-Baltic Choral Festival in August 2008. The choir received a second Grammy nomination in 2011 for their CD Kind. It receives financial support from Arts Council Norway.

Ensemble 96 has made first performances of works by, amongst others, Knut Nystedt, Synne Skouen, Antonio Bibalo, Wolfgang Plagge, Jon Balke, Andrew Smith, Kjell Mørk Karlsen, Kjetil Bjørnstad, Trond Lindheim, Olav Anton Thommesen, Julian Skar, Marcus Paus, Frank Havrøy, Martin Ødegaard and Tyler Futrell.

Since its inception in 2010, the Norwegian saxophone quartet Current has worked to bring new music to a wide audience.

By continuously commissioning and premiering works by both established and young Nordic composers, the quartet has built up a large repertoire of contemporary music. The quartet is constantly searching for new sounds and expressions. In recent years they have also collaborated with mezzo-soprano Amelie Aldner to perform Mahler's song cycles, Rückert lieder and Lieder eines fahrendes Gesellen, arranged by the quartet itself. In 2015/16, this collaboration has resulted in concerts in Oslo, Aarhus, Paris, London, Helsinki and Barcelona.

Nina T. Karlsen
has a degree in conducting, singing and music education from the Norwegian Academy of Music. She has studied under Grete Pedersen, Tone Bianca Dahl and Mona Julsrud, among others. In the autumn of 2010, she completed her master's degree in conducting with a graduation concert with the Norwegian Soloist Choir. In the autumn of 2020, she started as a university lecturer and doctoral fellow in artistic development work at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Nina often holds workshops as a conductor for choirs. 2012 - 2020 she was the cathedral cantor in Tønsberg with the main responsibility for Tønsberg Cathedral Choir. Nina T. Karlsen has been employed as conductor and artistic director of Ensemble 96 since autumn 2011.

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