Nordic Council’s Music Prize (2002)
The Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen was born on Sandoy in 1961. The Faroe Islands and the North Atlantic nature and nationality are key factors to understanding his sensuous music, which bears indelible traces of wind, dunes, lyme grass and the ubiquitous Atlantic Ocean.
Sunleif Rasmussen’s music may not seem inherently Faroese, but deep within the musical structure lingers traces of accumulated Faroese folk songs deconstructed and rebuilt in the form of a musical pantry of notes;
notes which may rightly be called Rasmussen’s own – and new – while still retaining a relation to Faroese tradition and history.
Sunleif Rasmussen has finished his Symphony nr. 2 “The Earth Anew”. The premier is in Helsinki with Helsinki Philharmonic on the 9th and 10th of September. He is now writing on an Obo Concerto for Odense Symphony Orchestra and their principal obo player Henrik Skotte Larsen. The concerto is commissioned to celebrate the danish composer Carl Nielsen 150 anniversary. The premier will be on the 30th of October. 2015 is a very busy year for Rasmussen. After finishing the Obo Concerto, he is going to compose a piece commissoned by “Nordic Music Days”, which takes place in Copenhagen in September this year. The piece is a collaboration with the danish author Ursula Andkjær Olsen. And after that he is going to write a piece for Choir, Brass quintet and Organ, commissioned by the danish choir Camerata for their 50 years anniversary. This piece will be premiered in December.