The Kennedy Center

Oliver Knussen


Oliver Knussen's music occupies a respected place in concert and opera programs worldwide. As an acclaimed and much-invited conductor, his influence on contemporary music has been felt in many parts of the world. Oliver Knussen is Conductor Laureate of the London Sinfonietta and Artist in Association with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

He has enjoyed long and close collaborations with many distinguished composers, including Elliott Carter, Alexander Goehr, Hans Werner Henze, Mauricio Kagel, Toru Takemitsu, Magnus Lindberg, George Benjamin and Mark Anthony-Turnage, as well as encouraging many younger composer-colleagues through his work at Tanglewood and the Contemporary Composition and Performance courses (which he co-founded with Colin Matthews) at the Britten-Pears school in Snape, Suffolk. He also curated the Stockhausen Memorial Festival "Klang" at the South Bank Centre in 2008.

Knussen is an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He was made a CBE in 1994, and was recipient of the 2005 ABO Award, as well as the 2007 British Composer Award for Requiem—Songs for Sue. Upon receiving the 2006 Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University, Knussen was cited by the selection committee for "his uniquely focused, vibrantly varied music and his total embrace—as a profoundly influential composer, conductor and educator—of today's musical culture."
Oliver Knussen