When Christian Eggen in 1981 began his conducting career as leader of the Ny Musikk Ensemble, he had already established a highly successful career as a pianist in Norway and abroad. In 1984 he represented Norway at the Biennale for Nordic Soloists, and his recording of Carl Nielsens piano works was received to great critical acclaim.
Christian Eggen made his international breakthrough as a conductor during the World Music Days in 1990 and he rapidly became one of the Nordic countries most prominent conductors, especially favoured for his performances of contemporary music. In 1993 he became artistic director of Oslo Sinfonietta, and since 1988 he has been conductor of the Cikada ensemble.
Christian Eggen was the focus of international attention in 1999 following his performance of Kurtágs Steele with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; he collaborates with leading contemporary music ensembles like musikFabrik (Cologne) and Ensemble InterContemporain (Paris), as well as leading symphony orchestras. In 2008 he will make his debut with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala at the Teatro alla Scala. His long list of recordings includes such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic in London.
Eggen has worked closely with a great number of composers, among them Cage, Xenakis, Dillon, Lachenmann, Lutoslawski, Kurtág, Barrett, Tan Dun, Saariaho and Lindberg. His own output includes music for film and theatre, chamber music, orchestral works, and electroacoustic compositions and installations.
Principle featured performer at the Bergen International Festival in 1999, he was awarded the Norwegian Music Critics Prize. Eggen has also received the Spellemann prize, the Lindeman prize and the Oslo Bys Kunstnerpris in recognition of his contribution to music in the city of Oslo. In 2005 he and the Cikada group received the Nordic Council Music Prize. In 2007 His Majesty King Harald 5 appointed him Commander of The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.
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