updated 30 April 2019
© Ellen Lande Gossner

Maja S. K. Ratkje

Norwegian composer born 29 December 1973 in Trondheim.

Maja S. K. Ratkje came to music through violin and singing lessons, and started composing at the piano. She studied composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, graduating in 2000. She has been composer-in-residence for numerous festivals, including Other Minds in San Francisco, Nordland Music Festival in Bodø (Norway), Avanti! Summer Festival in Finland, Båstad Chamber Music Festival, and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Portait concerts of her works have been given in Toronto (2004) and Vienna (2007). Her music has been performed by ensembles such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Oslo Sinfonietta, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Fretwork, TM+, the Cikada and Bozzini String Quartets, the Renoir Quartet, crashEnsemble, Pearls for Swine Experience, Torben Snekkestad, Marianne Beate Kielland, SPUNK, Frode Haltli, and POING.

Maja Ratkje is also active as a vocalist. With an aesthetic which approaches the noise music genre, she often uses lo-fi technology such as mini-cassettes, megaphones, and low-quality microphones. She performs both as a soloist and with groups including SPUNK and BRAK RUG. Additionally, she has appeared as a soloist in performances with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She has also worked with Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stephen O’Malley, Lasse Marhaug, Agrare, and POING. Ratkje regularly performs her own works for film soundtracks and dance and theatre performances, as well as in installations and various other types of projects. She notably composed a radiophonic work for Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek.

In 2017, she became a member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts.

Maja S. K. Ratkje’s scores are published by NB noter, the publication department of the Norwegian National Library.

Awards, Grants, and Prizes

  • Edvard Prize for the Work of the Year, Norway, 1999 and 2004
  • Arne Nordheim Prize, Norway, 2001
  • Second Prize from the Russolo Foundation, 2001
  • International Rostrum of Composers, Paris, 1999

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2019


Site de la compositrice.

Catalog sources and details

Musique de films :

  • A Soul of a City (Liselotte Wajstedt, 2012)
  • Blackmail (Hitchcock (1929), 2015)
  • Pyromanen (Erik Skjoldbjærg, 2016)
  • Tjaetsie/Water (Sissel M Bergh, 2017)

Catalog source(s)

Musique de films :

  • A Soul of a City (Liselotte Wajstedt, 2012)
  • Blackmail (Hitchcock (1929), 2015)
  • Pyromanen (Erik Skjoldbjærg, 2016)
  • Tjaetsie/Water (Sissel M Bergh, 2017)

Liens internet

Discographie sélective

  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, [Introduksjon] – This wondrous city ; [Sjå, Åmioda] – And not a sound left my throat ; The bouncing movement my foot makes every time my pulse strikes ; [Sayago] – A gliding sound such as this ; A woodchip to chew on ;Eyes like raw silk, arms of amber ; A white lighthouse in a muddy sea of humans where wrecks floated about ; I sense my shoes as a slowly whizzing tone towards me ; Kristiania, dans « Sult », 1 CD Rune Grammofon, 2019, RCD2204.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, « And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep » ; Concerto for Voice (moods IIIb), CIKADA ; Oslo Sinfonietta, dans « And sing… », 2016.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, « Crepuscular Hour », The 24 ; RNCM Chamber Choir ; University of Huddersfield Chamber Choir ; James Weeks, direction, 1 CD Rune Grammofon, 2016, RCD2181.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, « Das Wohltemperierte SPUNK », 6 CD Rune Grammofon, 2013, RCD2140.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, « Cyborgic », 1 vinyle The Last Record Company, 2009, TLRC 3.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, Øx ; Wintergarden ; Waves IIb ; Sinus Seduction (Moods Two), dans « River Mouth Echoes », 1 CD Tzadik, 2008, TZ 8051.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, Bark up a tree and get leaves in your mouth ; Ground Creature ; The Red Hooded Lady of the Woods ; Too many trees ; Once upon a time ; Floating, hiding, posing ; The Wolf ; Woods have ears, dans « Adventura Anatomica », 1 CD Semishigure, 2006, semi 009.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, « Stalker », 1 vinyle Important Records, 2006, IMPREC092.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, Intro ; Joy ; Trio ; Octo ; Vacuum ; Dictaphone Jam ; Voice ; Chipmunk Party ; Interlude ; Acid ; Insomnia, dans « Voice », 2 CD Rune Grammofon, 2002, RCD2028.
  • Maja S. K. RATKJE, Waves IIb, dans « Faces », 1 CD Albedo, 2000, ALBCD017.


  • Ingo Biermann, Kai Miedendorp, Voice – Sculpting Sound with Maja S. K. Ratkje, 2015.