Karlsen, Christian International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and in London with John Carewe and served as assistant to Esa-Pekka Salonen. Having already collaborated with Karlheinz Stockhausen at the age of twenty, he has since formed close relationships with many of the world’s foremost composers, including Sir George Benjamin, Kaija Saariaho, and Steve Reich. Quickly establishing as one of Europe’s foremost conductors of contemporary music, he is equally at home in the traditional repertoire and especially acclaimed for his interpretations of Mozart and Haydn. Regularly appearing with many of the leading orchestras as the London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, BBC Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, ORF Radiosymphonie-Orchester Wien, Orquesta Valencia, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Amsterdam Sinfonietta, he also works with leading groups for contemporary music including Ensemble Modern, BIT20 Bergen, International Contemporary Ensemble, and ASKO|Schönberg. 

Recent stage productions include the Handel/Sad Moultaka double-bill Delirio at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone at the Royal Swedish Opera with Anne-Sofie von Otter, Hymns and Laments at Wiener Festwochen with musicians from Wiener Symphoniker, and Stockhausen’s MICHAEL’s REISE at the Dutch National Opera. 

In 2017 he created the successful festival Gränslandet Symfonisk Fest in Stockholm with pianist David Huang. Six editions later he has yearly inspired thousands of young adults with limited or no previous experience of the classical music to take their first steps to discover the art form. He has been part of two seasons of Swedish national television’s (SVT) culture programme Kulturfrågan Kontrapunkt and was previously artistic director of the Residentie Orchestra Den Haag’s festival Dag in de Branding (2015–17) and the New European Ensemble from 2008–14. 

His critically acclaimed debut album with London Philharmonic Orchestra on BIS records has been awarded a Diapason d’Or and a Swedish Grammy.