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 is now writing on his Symphony nr. 2 for Orchestra, Male choir, soprano and baritone soloists, commissioned by Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Nordic House in Faroe Islands and chief conductor John Storgårds. The premier will take place in September next year in The Helsinki Music Center, and is a part of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s 150 years anniversary of the great finnish composer Jean Sibelius.