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Birgitte Alsted

Frank Borchorst

The Danish composer Birgitte Alsted (b. 1942) is inspired and fascinated by the sound and noise of everyday life, the implicit music of the surroundings, and the terms of the nonverbal communication between humans and other living creatures. In 2002 she combined 'Whhoommm', 'Sssscchhh' etc. with the words of a letter written by the poet Rilke in her work "Zu Versuchen, Die Fragen".

Birgitte Alsted is an experimental artist. She plays the violin and graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music with final examination/debut concert in 1971. In 2006 she got her Master's degree in electronic music composition from the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, - but she began her compositional work as soon as 1972.

Birgitte Alsted has received numerous awards and scholarships, including National Arts Foundation 3-year scholarship in 1980, Borresen Prize in 1992, the Ancker Award scholarship ('Det Anckerske legat', a travelling-scholarship for artists) in 2003, and the National Arts Foundation 3-year scholarship in 2006. In 2011 she received The National Arts Foundation's Composer Prize for female composers.

Birgitte Alsted still plays the violin. Her work as a musician also influence her compositions, which often have dramatic and expressive character, and she works with acoustic instruments, computer and tape. Alsteds activities are extensive: from alternative modes of collective improvisation and composition with children to theater music, from music for modern dance to visual installations, solo works, vocal music, chamber music and orchestral music. For several years, Birgitte Alsted has worked with multimedia performances. This has enabled her to start working with electroacoustic music, where she has been particularly attracted to computer music's ability to manipulate sound, and she has experimented with the creation of multi-faceted sensory experiences with the use of literature and poetry, dance and light installations.