updated 28 December 2009
© Tine Harden, Whilhelm Hansen

Asbjørn Schaathun

Norwegian composer born in 1961 in Drøbak.

Asbjørn Schaathun was born in 1961 in Drøbak, near Oslo. He studied piano, composition, and conducting at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo, and then composition at the Royal College of Music in London and at IRCAM, where his work Double Portrait for violin, chamber ensemble, and electronics was premiered in 1992. He founded and conducts the Oslo Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra in concerts of new music, and since 2006, has been the director of the Society of Norwegian Composers.

In his music, he endeavours to emphasise connections between theoretical and auditory concepts. Several key works have established his reputation, including: Musical grafitti II, virtuoso visuals for amplified piano, ensemble, and fixed media; Wie die Zeit die Materie verändert I, for two amplified pianos, two percussionists, and chamber orchestra; Physis for amplified piano and computer-controlled harmoniser; and Actions, Interpolations and Analysis, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra which was awarded the Louis Vuitton Prize from the Gaudeamus Foundation in Amsterdam in 1991. In 1992, he received the Critics’ Award and the Bang & Olufsen Music Prize, and was later awarded the Lindeman Prize for his life’s work.

Asbjørn Schaathun has authored several essays, including “Formula composition, modernism in music made audible” (1983-1984), “The computer as psychoanalyst” (1988) and “Knitting and Weaving: Using OpenMusic to Generate Canonic Musical Material” (2006 with Serge Lemouton). Upon completing the latter text, Schaathun composed the work Weaving for chamber ensemble (2009).

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2009


  • Éditions Whilhelm Hansen.




  • Asbjørn SCHAATHUN, Verklärung, dans « Djånkidang », ensemble Nordic Voices, 1 cd Aurora, 2008, n° ACD 5055.
  • Asbjørn SCHAATHUN, Triplis +, dans « 1-2-3 Happy Happy Happy! », Stavanger New Music Ensemble, 1 cd Aurora ACD 5023.
  • Asbjørn SCHAATHUN, S ; Actions, Interpolations and Analysis ; Musical Grafitti (II) ; A Tabular System, Oslo Sinfonietta, direction : Christian Eggen, Darlén Bakke : piano, Bjørn Rabben : marimba, Einar Fjærvoll : vibraphone, 1 cd Aurora ACD 4977.
  • Asbjørn SCHAATHUN, Lament, dans « Looking on Darkness**», Frode Haltli : accordéon, Vertavo Quartet, 1 cd ECM, 2002, avec des œuvres de Bent Sørensen, Per Magnus Lindborg, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje et Magnus Lindberg.
  • Asbjørn SCHAATHUN, Our Whisper Woke no Clocks, Ensemble Cikada, direction : Christian Eggen 1 cd ALBCD 008.
  • Asbjørn SCHAATHUN, Dualis (vocal), Hilde Torgersen : mezzo-soprano & Kenneth Karlsson : piano, ensemble Cikada, 1 cd ALBCD 003.

Liens Internet