Classic Cat

Biography of

Bent Lorentzen

11 feb 1935 (Stenvad) -
Buy sheetmusic from Lorentzen at SheetMusicPlus

Bent Lorentzen (born February 11, 1935), is a Danish composer.



Bent Lorentzen was born in Stenvad, a village in eastern Jutland. He studied musicology at the university in Aarhus and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. He was a pupil of Knud Jeppesen, Finn Høffding, Vagn Holmboe and Jörgen Jersild. After his final examination he taught at the Academy of Music in Aarhus for some years.

Bent Lorentzen occupies a special position in modern Danish composition music. In the 1960s Electronic Music inspired his creativity to take new paths, and since then innumerable other composition techniques have exerted an influence. Lorentzen was one of the earliest pioneers in the field of Danish electronic music (The Bottomless Pit in 1972 for the Nordic Music Days in Oslo, and Visions 1978), which was also introduced with an educational aim: the LP Elektronmusikkens materiale [The Material of Electronic Music, 1968] and the LP Water – electronic music for children, 1968. The possibilities of serialism perfectly matched his constructivism and his interest in sound as totality and potential for experiences, which were not limited by traditional musical elements. Bent Lorentzen’s music is often characterized as "sonic", meaning that it has the actual sounds - the experience of sonority and materiality at its centre.

He has composed in nearly all genres. His orchestral music includes concertos for oboe (1980), cello (1984), piano (1984), saxophone (1986), trumpet (1991) and violin (2001); his chamber music comprises solo works for organ, piano, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, violin, cello and double-bass, as well as string quartets and works with mixed ensembles (2-12 instruments). His choral music consists of a wealth of works in a special theatrical style. To these we can add electronic music and instrumental theatre works. Bent Lorentzen has probably had most significance as a music dramatist with eighteen operas so far, many of which have been staged abroad, mostly in Germany at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, at the Statestheatres of Braunschweig and Kassel, also at the theatres of Bremen and Kiel, as well as at the Hamburgische Staatsoper. Of course he is performed in Denmark at the Royal Operahouse in Copenhagen and at the ... in Aarhus.

There is no question: Lorentzen is a dramatist in no matter what genre he composes. Incidentally he resembles Richard Wagner in two ways [apart from a shared interest in altered seventh chords]: 1.) he writes most of his libretti himself, and 2.) the works are all part of an ambitious vision of a reformed musical life. He is the most prolific music dramatist in Denmark with – until now – 18 operas or Music-Theater pieces, of which many have been performed abroad and some of them feature German lyrics by Michael Leinert. Add to this the instrumental theatre and pantomimic Carillons (for actors and bells). In a genre all of its own is Comics (1987) for entertainer, orchestra, children's and adult choir and amateur band.

His son, Morten Lorentzen, is a comedian.[1]


Lorentzen has held a number of important posts in different organisations in the Danish musical life, and he was the artistic director of the Ebeltoft Festival 1990-93. He was a prizewinner at several foreign competitions such as the Prix Italia in 1970 (for Euridice), the Serocki composers’ competition in 1984 (for Paradiesvogel), the International Competition for Choir Compositions in Austria 1987 (for Olof Palme), the Olivier Messiaen Organ Prize in 1988 (for Luna), Vienna Modern Masters in 1991 (for the Piano Concerto) and the Music and Poetry Prize in Belgium in 1989 (for Enzensberger’s Prozession). He was awarded ”Danish Choir Composer of the year” in 1990 and the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1995.

List of works (a selection)

Bent Lorentzen’s works are published in Denmark by Edition Wilhem Hansen, Copenhagen and Edition Samfundet, Copenhagen.

Opera and Music Theatre

  • Bill and Julia (1991)
  • Cain and Abel (2005/06)
  • Do You Know The Tune They're Playing – Mozart Panorama (1974)
  • Eine Wundersame Liebesgeschichte – Tristan Variationen (1979)
  • The End!? (1969)
  • Euridice (1965; radio opera 1969)
  • Fackeltanz (1993)
  • Friisholm (1971)
  • The Fussy Man (1994)
  • Orfeo (1992)
  • Pergolesi's Homeservice (1998)
  • The Magic Brillant (1994)
  • Den Stundesløse (1996)
  • The Serpent (1964;1974)
  • Stalten Mette (1963; 1980; TV 1981)
  • Studies for Two (1967)
  • Toto The Clown (1985)
  • Der Steppenwolf (1999), after the novel by Hermann Hesse


  • Latin Suite I (1984)
  • Partita (1976)
  • Tide (1971)

Soloist(s) and Orchestra

  • Cello Concerto (1984)
  • Gewitter im Juni (2000)
  • Hunting Concerto (1996)
  • My Bride is Like a Garden (1972)
  • Oboe Concerto (1980)
  • Partita (1994)
  • Piano Concerto (1984)
  • Saxophone Concerto (1986)
  • Tivoli (2006)
  • Violin Concerto (2001)
  • Regenbogen (1991)
  • Double concerto for trumpet and trombone (1999)

Large Ensemble (7 or more players)

  • Cyclus 4
  • Paesaggio (1983)
  • Paradisvogel (1983)
  • Wunderblumen (1982)
  • Zauberspiegel (1998)
  • Steppenwolf-Fragment (2000)

Works for 2-6 Players

  • Flamma (2001)
  • Mambo (1982)
  • Orfeo Suite (1992)
  • Quadrata (1963)
  • Quartetto Barbaro (1990)
  • Samba (1980)
  • Schumann-variations (1993)
  • Warszawa (1983)
  • Cello Scenes (1990)

Solo Works (excluding keyboard)

  • Birds (2001)
  • Circles (1996)
  • Cries (1991)
  • Round (1981)
  • Diamond (1983)
  • Granite (1971)
  • Quartz (1971)
  • Sif's Golden Hair (2006)
  • Tears (1992)
  • Tiefe (1993)
  • Circus (2001)

Solo Keyboard(s)

  • Jupiter (1995)
  • Luna (1984)
  • Mars (1985)
  • Saturnus (1996)
  • Sirrum (1986)
  • Sun (1982)
  • Triplex (1974)
  • Venus (1996)
  • Nachtigall (1988)
  • Nimbus (1977)
  • Puncti (1972)

Solo voices, Chorus, Orchestra / and narrator

  • Genesis (1992)
  • The Tinder Box (2003)
  • Comics (1987)

Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus one instrument

  • 3 Madrigals (1977
  • Ammen Dammen Des (1981)
  • Auschwitz (1987)
  • Graffiti (1984)
  • Mund (1989)
  • Olof Palme (1986)
  • Prozession (1988)
  • Purgatorio (1975)

Solo Voice(s) and up to six players

  • 11 Danish Lovesongs (2003)
  • Amorous Psalms (1998)
  • Carnaval (1976)
  • Dejligste rose (1989)
  • Den Lidendes Mund (2000)
  • Far verden, far vel (1989)
  • Fire Kingo-koralmotetter (2004)
  • Her vil ties, her vil bies (1989)
  • Ich bin eine Rose (1988)
  • Når mit øje, træt af møje (1989)
  • Siv Vand og Måne (1997)
  • Tristan und die Künigîn (1987)

Music for Young Performers

  • 9 Easy Pieces for Strings (1964)

Electroacoustic Works

  • The Bottomless Pit (1972)
  • Cloud-Drift (1973)
  • Visions (1978)

Discography (selection)

  • 5 Easy Pieces

Abgrund - Colori - Goldranken - Nachtigall

Piano Works Dacapo: 8.224246

  • Do You Know The Tune They're Playing - Mozart Panorama

Die Musik kommt mir äusserst bekannt vor!

Chamber opera Helikon: HCD 1012

  • Hunting Concerto

Ensemble Århus Sinfonietta Conductor Søren K. Hansen and Thomas Søndergaard

Dacapo: 8.226516

  • Intersection

Aarhus Brass Quintet

Paula: PACD 82

  • Mambo

Ensemble The Danish Trio

Paula: PACD 57

  • Contemporary Denmark 1992

The Danish Trio, Esbjerg Ensemble, Kontra etc.

Danish Music Export: MXPCD 0292

  • Concertos for Oboe and Trumpet

Ensemble Aarhus SO, Frans Rasmussen

Merete Hoffmann (oboe), Martin Shuster (trumpet)

Dacapo: DCCD 9314

  • Piano Concerto

Ensemble Århus Sinfonietta

Conductor Søren K. Hansen and Thomas Søndergaard

Dacapo: 8.226516

  • Piano Concerto Music From Six Continents

Ensemble Slovak RSO, Szymon Kawalla

Vienne Modern Masters: VMM 3009

  • Syncretism

Composers: Cope/Bräm/Haubenstock-Ramati/Lorentzen/Kaczynski

Ensemble MW2 Vienna Modern Masters: VMM 2024

  • An introduction to electronic music

Record CHESTER JWC 1001

Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: UK; Released: 1968

Style: Musique Concrète, Education, Spoken Word, Experimental

Credits: Compilation Producer, Narrator - Bent Lorentzen

  • A Wondrous Love Story - Tristan Variation

Opera. Label: Kontrapunkt. 2005


  1. ^ "Morten Lorentzen". Danske Film. Retrieved August 29, 2010. [dead link]

External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bent Lorentzen. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
Buy sheetmusic from Lorentzen at SheetMusicPlus

Our dream: to make the world's treasury of classical music accessible for everyone. See the about page on how we see the future.
Help us with donations or by making music available!

Contact     Privacy policy    Looking for classical mp3 downloads? We index the free-to-download classical mp3s on the internet.
©2021 Classic Cat - the classical music directory
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale