Bergstrøm–Nielsen, Carl

was born in Copenhagen in 1951. In 1970 he began music studies at the Copenhagen University. From 1971, he was an active member of the Group for Alternative Music whose members composed, played each other’s works, improvised, published a magazine, and organised concerts. Between 1983 and 2014 he was assistant teacher in music therapy at the Aalborg University, where he notably taught intuitive music and graphic notation, obtaining a doctoral degree in 1984. He has practiced as a music therapist until 2014. The development of notations that leave room for the creativity of musicians is of central importance to him. His compositions recurrently feature a complex sound pattern changing in gradual ways. He plays the piano, organ, French horn, and various small instruments.

He has been a member of ensembles such as the Group for Intuitive Music (1975–), ABFA with John Tchicai and Jan Kaspersen (1978–79), and Intuitive Music Group (1990–). He has partnered musicians such as Frode Andersen, Lotte Anker, Peter Friis Nielsen, Hasse Poulsen, Morten Carlsen, Peter Ole Jørgensen, Kresten Osgood, Steve Beresford, Rhodri Davies, Mark Sanders, Heiner Metzger, Blaise Siwula, Mauro Orselli, Luca Miti, Nina Polaschegg, Ge-Suk Yeo, Günter Heinz, Hans Fjellestad, Stephen Nachmanovitch, Kumi and Yu Wakao, Hideo Ikegami, Haruhiko Okabe, and Camilla Barrat-Due.

As a composer he has cooperated notably with the Baird Contemporary Ensemble (with Yvar Mikashoff and Jan Williams), KarlErik Welin, ensembles Edges (with David Ryan), Vestjysk Kammerensemble, IST, MW2, Septima Practica, Skræp, GRIPI, Kwartludium, Moscow Contemporary Ensemble, and Makoto Nomura. He has been very active tutoring intuitive music improvisation and composition courses, notably at the Danish Society for Music Therapy in Svendborg, Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Media Artes in Växjö, Music Academy in Cracow, Funen Conservatoire, Creative Music Festival in Kawamotocho, Novosibirsk State Conservatoire, Royal Danish Academy of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, Society of Swedish Composers, and Rhythmic Music Conservatory.

His compositions are published by The Society for the Publication of Danish Music. He is a member of Danish Composers’ Society and the former London Musicians’ Collective.


Selected works: Quadrivium for piano (1972), Five Works for Organ (1973), Sonata for Horn Quartet (1973–74), Mimesis I for wind quintet (1974), Fagottismer for three bassoons (1977), Hverdagsfanfarer for four horns (1977−78), Dance of the Random Digits for four saxophones (1979), Postkort-kompositioner for ad libitum ensemble (1980), Lydlankort for ad libitum ensemble (1982), Lydrummet for large ad libitum ensemble (1982), Når de magthavende arresterer en søjle for ad libitum voice (1987), Tekstmusik for ad libitum ensemble (1991), Pauser for ad libitum ensemble (1992), Grafiske modeller for ad libitum ensemble (1992), Fortid og nutid for ad libitum ensemble (1993), MO, FOL 115 verso – 117 recto revisited for any four melodic instruments (1993), Cut It, Sark! for accordions (1995), Hommage à l’espace for organ (1997), Individualistisk lotteri for 10–100 musicians ad libitum (1999), From the Danish Seasons, improvisation (1999), Frameworks for ad libitum ensemble (2002), Bad Bathroom for clarinet (2016).