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 colors, 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 season 22/23 include the world-premieres of concertos by Henrik Hellstenius and Olga Neuwirth, both concertos initiated by Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen.
Olga Neuwirth´s new concerto ”According to What” is a double-concerto for cello and percussion written for cellist Tanja Tetzlaff and HKKS. The concerto is a joint venture commission by four orchestras – Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (cond. Baldur Brönnimann), Swedish Chamber Orchestra (cond. Thierry Fischer), RSO Vienna / Graz Festival (cond. Yalda Zamani), and Paris Chamber Orchestra (cond. Lars Vogt), who will all perform ”According to What” this season.
HKKS has commissioned a new concerto from Henrik Hellstenius which will receive its first performance in November 2022. The concerto ”Public Behaviour” is a concerto grosso with solo percussion, 6 voices and orchestra. It will be performed by HKKS, Nordic Voices and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in November.
HKKS has a great interest in theater. In August 2022 he will share the stage with esteemed actors like Dennis Storhøi, Aksel Hennie, Øystein Røger and Gjertud Jynge as a musician/actor/co-composer in the outdoor production of Ibsen´s Peer Gynt, directed by Per Olav Sørensen. 20.000 people will attend the theatre during a week´s performances in the mountains of Gålå, Norway.
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, director Per Olav Sørensen, actor Klaus Maria Brandauer and his mentor 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, Sharon Kam, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Pekka Kuusisto and Lars Vogt.
HKKS has won numerous prizes including the CIEM competition in Geneva and he has been a soloist with orchestras like London Philharmonia, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony, Kristiansand Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Gävle 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 Feldkirch, Schleswig-Holstein, Schwetzingen, Spannungen, Savannah, Aldeburgh, West Cork, Stavanger, Trondheim, Bergen, Risør, Mora and Ultima and Oslo Chamber Music.
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 recital album, Hearing Things. His former recital album OPEN won the Norwegian Grammy – Spellemannsprisen.
A profound advocate of contemporary music, he has premiered music by composers such as Brett Dean, Per Nørgård, Rolf Wallin, Eivind Buene, Ørjan Martre, Nils Henrik Asheim, Lars Petter Hagen, Svante Henryson, Johannes Harneit, Magne Hegdal, Åse Hedstrøm, Øyvind Mæland, Jon Øivind Ness and Henrik Hellstenius, as well as working closely with Iannis Xenakis, Sofia Gubaidulina, George Crumb, Dave Maric, Vinko Globokar, Georges Aperghis and John Adams. 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 the 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.