Biography

The award-winning Norwegian percussionist and cimbalist Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen is internationally recognized for his versatile and creative performances, never ceasing to control the colours, rhythms and harmonic possibilities that his percussion instruments have to offer. The Irish Times celebrated him as “probably the best-coordinated showman in the world”.

Highlights in the coming season 20/21 include the premiere of Rolf Wallin’s Double Concerto for cello and percussion on January 21 with cellist Tanja Tetzlaff in performances with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Gävle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martin. 2021 marks also the premiers of new concertos by Ørjan Matre, Eivind Buene and Henrik Hellstenius. His collaboration with pianist and composer Ketil Bjørnstad continues as soloist in his new chamber opera “Flagstad” at the Norwegian Opera in November. Other chamber music includes concerts and recordings with composers Håkon Nystedt, Kim André Arnesen and Jan Müller-Wieland in Trondheim, Oslo, Hamar, Sandefjord and Heimbach.

Growing up close to the sea and mountains he has a free spirit and a sensational sensitivity for interpreting any kind of music, such as jazz with Misha Alperin, Bugge Wesseltoft and Arve Henriksen, music-theatre with composer Georges Aperghis, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Jean-Pierre Drouet, baroque music with violinist Daniel Hope and cembalist Kristian Bezuidenhout to classical performances with the likes of Tanja and Christian Tetzlaff, Martin Fröst, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Florian Donderer and Lars Vogt.
HKKS has released both improvised and notated music in jazz, baroque and classical genres for ECM, BIS, DaCapo, Deutsche Grammophon and his own label Ultron, with his latest album Hearing Things. HKKS has won numerous prizes including CIEM in Geneva and the Norwegian Grammy Spellemannsprisen for his solo album OPEN. As a soloist he has appeared with orchestras like London Philharmonia, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony, Kristiansand Symphony, The Norwegian Opera, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Allegria, Ensemble BIT20, Trondheim Soloists, Norwegian Soloist´s Choir, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Bern Opera, Lübeck Theatre et al.
As a keen chamber musician, he has for over two decades visited the major festivals in Norway and in Europe, such as Stavanger, Trondheim, Bergen, Risør, Mora and Oslo, Feldkirch, Schleswig-Holstein, Schwetzingen, Spannungen, Savannah, Aldeburgh, West Cork and Ultima Oslo.

A profound advocate of contemporary music, he has collaborated with composers such as by Brett Dean, Per Nørgård, Rolf Wallin, Dave Maric, Svante Henryson, George Crumb, Georges Aperghis, Johannes Harneit, John Adams, Magne Hegdal, Åse Hedstrøm, Jon Øivind Ness and Henrik Hellstenius. Hans-Kristian has also composed music for film and theatre and has conducted the music of Lutoslawski, Vasks, MacMillan as well as his own compositions with orchestras such as Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Dala Sinfonietta.
Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen studied in Oslo, Banff in Canada and in Versailles, France, with the legendary Sylvio Gualda. He has held a professorship at the Norwegian State Academy of Music and is a sought-after teacher for masterclasses. Sørensen is a recipient of the Norwegian State Grants since 2020.

Sørensen is working on the release his book Initium – for the solo percussionist. Initium, that will undertake the basic steps for any percussion student into the area of developing as a percussion soloist.