Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, composer and performer (born Dec. 29th 1973 in Trondheim, Norway), finished composition studies at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo in 2000. Her music is performed worldwide by performers such as Klangforum Wien, Oslo Sinfonietta, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Fretwork, TM+, Cikada and Vertavo string quartets, Quatuor Renoir, Ticom, crashEnsemble, Pearls for Swine Experience, Torben Snekkestad, Marianne Beate Kielland, SPUNK, Frode Haltli, POING and many more. Portrait concerts with her music has been heard in Toronto and Vienna, she has been composer in residence at festivals like Other Minds, San Francisco, Nordland Music Festival, Bodø, and the Avanti! summer festival will feature Ratkje in 2011.
Ratkje has received awards such as the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composers below 30 years of age, the Norwegian Edvard prize (work of the year) twice, second prize at the Russolo Foundation, and in 2001 she was the first composer ever to receive the Norwegian Arne Nordheim prize. Her solo album «Voice», made in collaboration with Jazzkammer, got a Distinction Award at Prix Ars Electronica in 2003.
Ratkje is active as a singer/voice user and electronics player as well as studio engineer, as a soloist or in groups such as SPUNK or Agrare. Other collaborations are with Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stephen O’Malley, Lasse Marhaug, POING and the metal band Trinacria. Ratkje has performed her own music for films, dance and theatre, installations, and numerous other projects. In 2003, she played a leading part in her own opera, based on the texts from the Nag Hammadi Library. In 2005 she performed the voice solo part of her first big work for orchestra, commissioned by Radio France. She has also been soloist with Klangforum Wien and Oslo Sinfonietta.
Her scores are found at the Norwegian Music Information Centre and her records are released on Tzadik, Rune Grammofon, ECM, Kontrans, Asphodel, Important Records and others. Her homepage may be visited at www.ratkje.com