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 21/22 include the world-premieres of concertos by Eivind Buene and Ørjan Matre, both concertos commissioned by Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen. Buene´s concerto ”House of Mirrors” is written for solo percussion and cimbalom with wind ensemble and it will be performed at the Ultima Festival in September with The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Ørjan Matre’s concerto will have its world premiere with Kristiansand Symphony conducted by Tabita Berglund. Further solo performances include Bergen Philharmonic, The Norwegian Soloists Choir, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, and recitals in Leipzig, Oslo. 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, 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 been a regular guest at major festivals 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, 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, John Adams and his mentor Jean-Pierre Drouet. 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. Sørensen 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.