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 coming season 20/21 include the premiere of Rolf Wallin’s Double Concerto for cello and percussion in January 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 a 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, 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, 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, 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 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.
Sørensen is working on the release of 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.