Christian Karlsen – conductor and artistic leadership

Having begun his career as assistant to Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christian Karlsen has rapidly established himself as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation.
Based in the Netherlands, he has worked most of the country’s orchestras incl. the Hague, Eindhoven, Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. He is also a regular guest of the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble.
Equally in demand in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia, recent highlights include debuts and concerts with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, a tour of Latin America with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Other highlights include new productions of Stockhausen Michaels Reise at the Netherlands Opera, Beat Furrer’s FAMA with ASKO|Schönberg, Benjamin Staern’s Saiyah and Kaija Saariaho’s Nox Borealis at NorrlandOpera as well as concert performance of Schönberg’s Erwartung in Amsterdam and Vienna. Other critically acclaimed productions include Hans Werner Henze’s Voices (with Amnesty International), Strange News by Rolf Wallin (with International Criminal Court) and a Schönberg-Maxwell Davies double bill together with New Opera Amsterdam.
2008-2014 he was artistic director of the New European Ensemble and from 2015-2017 he was artistic director of the Festival Dag in de Branding presenting four editions yearly of contemporary music in The Hague.
Having always been a strong advocate for the music of our time, he has led numerous world premieres and collaborated with leading composers as Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino, Sofia Gubaidulina, Magnus Lindberg, Steve Reich, Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Adès, Oliver Knussen and Karlheinz Stockhausen.