The Ensemble

The Cikada ensemble was founded in Oslo in 1989, and has from the very outset consisted of flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, string quintet and conductor Christian Eggen.

As permanent members, the ten Cikadas have created a strong ensemble identity, and developed their highly acclaimed profile on the international contemporary music scene synonymous with the Oslo Sound of fresh, vibrant, warm and virtuosic interpretations of consciously selected, contemporary repertoire.

In concerts at major international festivals and on numerous albums, Cikada’s distinct ensemble profile manifests itself in strong programming. Central to Cikada is a devotion to develop close, long- term collaborations with composers and to build composer portraits with both existing and commissioned works over time.

Aesthetically unbiased, Cikada is open to a manifold range of repertoire in combination with a passionately refined approach to concert programming. Each concert is carefully programmed to create a present and welcoming musical flow.

In recent years, the ensemble has enjoyed close collaborations with James Dillon, Carola Bauckholt, Richard Barrett, Laurence Crane, Asbjørn Schaathun and Eivind Buene, who over time has conceived the cycle Possible Cities / Essential Landscapes for the ensemble.

Cikada has also been at the forefront in numerous recording projects. In collaboration with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Cikada recorded the first ever complete studio recording of Morton Feldman’s The Viola in My Life I-IV on ECM. Further CD projects include a portrait of Danish composer Bent Sørensen, where Cikada joined forces with the Oslo Sinfonietta and the trombone player Christian Lindberg on the ECM CD Birds and Bells.

The Cikada musicians also form three formations within the group: The Cikada String Quartet, the Cikada Trio (flute, clarinet, piano) and the Cikada Duo (piano, percussion) work as independent units, adding to the ensemble’s dynamic and diverse identity.

Cikada was awarded the prestigious Nordic Music Prize in 2005.

Find out more visiting the official webpage:

Kenneth Karlsson, Artistic Director

Kenneth Karlsson, Founding member of Cikada.

Born in Sweden, Kenneth Karlsson has played a very important role in the development of the Oslo based contemporary music scene since the eighties.

Within Cikada, he is the central repertoire researcher, concert programme and commissioning developer and has initiated a number of projects with video, dance and multimedia within the ensemble.

Over the years, he has also established a number of chamber formations within Cikada, such as Cikada Duo and the new Cikada trio RBK (viola, clarinet and piano. He is part of the improvising quartet Point 4, merging the Cikada Duo with pianist Jon Balke and percussionist Ingar Zach. Apart from numerous CD recordings with Cikada, Point 4 released the CD Panopticon on Sofa Records, receiving international reclaim for its refined and structured improvisations. Also, he has a duo with the soprano Elisabeth Holmertz, performing across genres and ages, happily including the Indian harmonium.

As a solo pianist, Karlsson released the CD the view was all in lines in 2012 on 2L with works by Arnold Schönberg and the Norwegian composers Rolf Wallin and Asbjørn Schaathun.

In 2000, he released sofferte onde serene on Albedo with pieces by Luigi Nono, Luciano Berio and Giacinto Scelsi, which received a Norwegian Grammy for contemporary music album of that year. Kenneth Karlsson teaches piano at the Asker Cultural School outside Oslo and is a contemporary repertoire consultant at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden.

Christian Eggen, Conductor

Christian Eggen, Founding member of Cikada.

Conductor, composer and pianist, Christian Eggen is one of the most influential personalities on the Norwegian music scene, ranging from contemporary music via genremerging projects, installations, television and radio drama productions to film, theatre, jazz, opera and classical music.

As a conductor, he is known as one of Europe’s finest interpreters of contemporary music and has worked closely with composers such as Morton Feldman, John Cage and Helmut Lachenmann. As artistic director of the Oslo Sinfonietta, he has developed the Norwegian sinfonietta repertoire since the nineties, and he regularly appears on the European contemporary music scene with groups such as the Ensemble MusikFabrik and Ensemble InterContemporain. His work with orchestras include the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan and the Royal Philharmonic in London.

He has written music for a vast range of formations and settings. His first opera, the Franz Kafka Pictures will receive its complete world premiere at the Norwegian National Opera in the autumn of 2013. Sections of the opera have been performed since 2009.

As a pianist, Christian Eggen has gained international acclaim for his interpretations of Mozart and the Danish composer Carl Nielsen, as on the recording Carl Nielsen: Piano Music on the Victoria Label

Christian Eggen appears on a great number of recordings within all aspects of his wide musical horizons. He has been principle featured performer at the Bergen International Festival and in 2007, he was appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for his work with Norwegian and international contemporary music.