Christian Karlsen (Sweden, 1985) is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Based in the Netherlands, he has worked most of the country’s orchestras including the Hague, Eindhoven, Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. He is also a regular guest of the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble.
Equally in demand in the UK, Germany, Austria and Scandinavia, recent highlights include debuts with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Other highlights include his participation in the Darmstadt International Music Festival with Stockhausen’s legendary work Carré, Schönberg’s opera Erwartung and Mahler’s 10th Symphony in Amsterdam and the opening of the Gaudeamus Festival. As part of the Umeå European Capital of Culture he conducted the new productions Saiyah by Benjamin Staern and Nox Borealis by Kaija Saariaho at the Norrland Opera.
In 2016 he was appointed Artistic coordinator and artist in residence of the Festival Dag in de Branding.
Having always been a strong advocate for the music of our time, he has led numerous world premieres and collaborated with leading composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino, Sofia Gubaidulina, Magnus Lindberg, Mark Anthony Turnage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He previously worked as assistant to Esa Pekka Salonen (Philharmonia Orchestra) and with Jac van Steen at the Dortmund Opera. Christian Karlsen studied at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague.