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“Tutti” premiered by Aarhus Symphony Orchestra

“Tuttis eventyr” had a spectacular premiere last week with five concerts featuring the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Maria Burgård, Signe Thorborg, and conductor Morten Ryelund on stage, along with several thousand children and adults in the audience. Composing the music and writing the lyrics for this adventure, based on a script by Carl Quist-Møller, has provided me with some of my happiest moments as a composer.

In the 30-minute-long adventure, the tiger Tutti seeks out a variety of animals in the story’s 15 movements, hoping they can teach him how to roar. Along the way, he dives into underwater music with whales, dances frog-tango, plays football with buffaloes, and much more.

Projects like this depend on collaboration more than anything else. It is thanks to the orchestra and especially conductor Morten Ryelund that this became not just a “story with music” but a unified theatrical work of music, storytelling, dance, and song. It is also thanks to them that the music did not become “children‘s music” but was delivered with the same precision, love, and attention to detail as an ‘adult’ symphony concert. I have rarely experienced an orchestra or a conductor who could make the music swing like Morten and ASO, and this is no small feat with over 70 people on stage.

The piece concludes the ambitious “Children of Music” project, conceived by a dedicated group of ASO’s own musicians and Mette Storgård Jensen. All children born in Aarhus in 2018 were invited to follow the orchestra during their first six years of life. Since then, Maria Burgård and Signe Thorborg have led a series of concerts with changing ensembles from the orchestra‘s many musicians. Gitte Bach later joined as a gift to the production. Among the key musicians have been Lena Kildahl, Eva Paulin, Vibeke Lund Nielsen, and Klaus Gottlieb. It is their heartfelt dedication, more than anything else, that has captivated a generation of new music listeners year after year.

Since 2018, I have arranged new and classical works, and have also become a father to two girls along the way. Our eldest became a dedicated Tutti fan during the composition of the adventure. Our youngest was born while I was in the middle of writing the blackbird’s song.

Thank you for many, many good times.

The entire team will perform seven more shows in the orchestra’s 2025 season. Tickets can be found here.

All photos: Jes Vang


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