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Receiver of The Crown Prince Couple’s Stardust Award 2022
The Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2021 - The Wilhelm Hansen
Foundation‘s Prize of Honor 2020

Josefine Opsahl (b. 1992) is a ‘boundary defying and remarkable Danish composer and artist’ (The Strad 2022) who integrates aesthetics across eras of music, art, performance, spaces and communities. Extending her background in Classical music into contemporary medias of expression, she melts down barriers and genres resulting in ‘a truly original and contemporary expression that is remarkable for Josefine’s young age’ (HRH Crown Prince of Denmark 2022). With an emphasis on tradition and renewal, tactility, movement and virtuosity, she has established herself, her works and performances with her main instrument, the cello, as leading forces on the international scene. She has received numerous awards for her work – latest The Crown Prince Couple’s Cultural Stardust Award 2022, the Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2021 and Wilhelm Hansen Foundation‘ s Scholarship of Honor 2020.

Her recent major works count two operas, music for two new ballets with The Royal Ballet in Copenhagen (DK) and symphonic works. Her first opera ”DrømmeDøden” was praised as ‘a musical sensation’ by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (SE) and hailed to be a
‘good bet for the best chamber opera of the year’ by Kristeligt Dagblad (DK). Being a conscious, contemporary composer she composes, curates and performs equally and extends her musical worlds through collaborations with other artists, curators, festivals and spaces beyond the grid of genres and expressions. This has resulted in commissions for museums, galleries, festivals and notable occasions such as Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark’s state visit in Buenos Aires (AR) and Berlin (DE), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (US), Festival Música Estranha (BR), Helsinki Festival (FI), DEIÀ International Music Festival (ES), Intonal Festival (SE), The National Gallery of Denmark, Roskilde Festival, Thorvaldsens Museum and Golden Days Festival (DK).

Her works have been performed throughout Europa, The United States, in China, Brazil and Argentina and her album releases have received stunning reviews and awards, recently the Round Glass Music Award (US) and the Danish Radio P2’s Listeners’ Prize. Her solo debut album, ‘Atrium’ released with Dacapo Records in August 2022 received rave reviews in international newspapers and magazines stating that ‘It’s evocative hip music’ (Gramophone Magazine 2022) and‘Her music is both technically refined and emotionally charged’ - (Dagens Nyheter 2022).

Josefine Opsahl has given lectures in Shanghai, at Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm (SE), The Royal Danish Academy of Music and The Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and The University of Copenhagen (DK). She studied classical and contemporary cello playing at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (DK) and Northwestern University (IL, USA) and holds an Advanced Postgraduate Soloist degree within Contemporary Creative Art. Josefine has newly signed with the internationally renowned Karsten Witt Music Management (DE) and collaborates with publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen who takes care of her works and project.

Josefine Opsahl ved tildeling af Kronprinsparrets Priser 2022: 

HKH Kronprins Frederik: Cellist og komponist Josefine Opsahl har som få andre i sin generation formået at skabe sin egen originale lyd.

Rodfæstet i den klassiske tradition slipper hun fantasien løs mellem den akustiske og elektroniske verden og går nye veje.

Resultatet er en legende, følelsesladet, intuitiv og dragende musikalsk oplevelse.’

Det er svært at sætte én enkelt etikette på Josefine Opsahl og hendes musik. Måske er det netop det, der gør hendes kunst så interessant. Hun skifter elegant mellem et klassisk lydunivers og et mere udfordrende elektronisk lydbillede.

Josefine Opsahl’s kunstneriske udtryk har ikke kun rødder i musikken, men udspringer også af den verden, hun ser og er i. Med sin musik vil hun gerne diskutere og udfordre de eksisterende rammer og normer.

Kromprinsparrets Kulturelle Stjernedryspris gives til Josefine Opsahl for hendes nysgerrige og grænsesøgende tilgang til musikken. Ved at vise os vejen til uudforskede musikalske universer, præsenterer hun os for den klassiske musik på nye og inspirerende måder.'

Recent major works

‘HANDS Concerto for Solo Cello and Orchestra’ (2023) for Århus Sinfonietta+, Josefine Opsahl as the soloist, conducted by Holly Choe, premiere at SPOT Festival (DK) May 6th 2023.

‘HJEM’ (2023) site specific Opera for Copenhagen Opera Festival and Vridsløselille Prison. Premiere at Cph Opera Festival August 14th 2023

‘Past Present Future’ (2023) for The Metropolitan Museum of Art (US), April 14th 2023.

‘Passengers of Passing Moments’ ballet for 12 dancers in choreography by Tara Schaufuss for The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen (DK), premiere October 2023

’Drei Bewegungen des Elektrischen Körpers’ (‎2021) for The Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir, The Royal Danish Ballet in choreography by Artistic Director Nikolaj Hübbe and The Royal Guard’s Orchestra in honour of HM The Queen of Denmark, Berlin (DE), November 2021, repremiere in Tivoli Concert Hall Summer 2022.

‘DrømmeDøden’ (2021) chamber opera for Nordic Opera at Den Ny Opera, Skuespilhuset at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen (DK) and Folkoperan (SE), premiere and tour Spring 2022.

’I Walk I Bleed’ (‎2020-2021) for 10 celli at Click Festival 2020, repremiere at Sort/Hvid Theatre 2021


By Josefine Opsahl
Album, Dacapo Records August 2022:

“Liquid Imagination
“Her musical expressionism is performed beautifully, grotesquely, disharmonically
and balanced”

“Atrium contains rich timbres, careful acoustic work as well as high notes that go right to the border of sensitivity and pain”


“As a classical and experimental musician, Opsahl does not go for easy melodies. Atrium is an aural sensory experience, a rewarding journey into Opsahl's universe.”

"Gaar Ikke Soels og Maanes Vei Ned Under Dybe Hav: Dyret" and the avant-garde "KHGR: Wave" with their folk musical inspirations could be the soundtrack for the next big fantasy series on Netflix.”

JULIE HUGSTED, Seismograf (DK)

"Josefine Opsahl's cello music is as if cut and scraped for hip music sites.”

“Just like the album title can mean both outdoor space and heart chamber, Opsahl's welcoming and immersive music is both technically refined and emotionally charged at the same time.”

“Opsahl’s music derives both nourishment from rock's riffing rawness and is clearly anchored in classical compositional forms.”

Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter (SE)


DrømmeDøden Opera 
By Josefine Opsahl

“Opsahl's music moves completely freely between different styles - from powerful modernism to
minimalism, renaissance rave and electro-acoustic sounds for fans of industrial rock (...)

An absorbing whole that makes "DrömDöden" a musical sensation.”

Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter (SE) from performance at Folkoperan (SE)

"Drömdöden" is a powerful, spectacular and artistically very interesting work" “Josefine Opsahl's music is captivating and diverse.”

”The Danish musicians, a string trio and percussion, are not only musically but also visually a success with the composer herself, Josefine Opsahl, as a Kapellmeister behind the cello"

Gunilla Brogdrej, Expressen (SE) from performance at Folkoperan (SE)


“The music is rich with vividly changeable embellishments, melancholic folkloristic beauty and off guard captivating, dramatic highlights. A great achievement by Josefine Opsahl.”

“DrømmeDøden is a good bet for this year’s most captivating chamber opera in Denmark.”

Sune Anderberg, Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) from the world premiere at Den Ny Opera (DK)



“Josefine Opsahl has created an inciting and rhythmical opera.”

“It i beautiful to listen to and to watch. It is excellent!”
“It is an intense and fascinating experience! One sits back spellbound for the opera’s two hours of music – and leaves the performance with the reverberations of the music resonating for the next few days.”

Bodil Wöhnert, Ascolta Opera magazine (DK) from the world premiere at Den Ny Opera (DK)

“Kalmar as a blinding dream of death.”

“Josefine Opsahl and Merete Pryds Helle have created a panorama of pain over Queen Margrete I's final death.”

“With Josefine Opsahl's chamber opera DrømmeDøden, we are strangely brought back to the magical moment in the Renaissance when opera as a genre was born. Wherefrom it then left its distinctive courtliness, gained wings and, on the arrogant wings of the Baroque, manifested itself as the most opulent way to grasp and celebrate war and love.”

Peter Johannes Erichsen, Weekendavisen from performance at The Royal Theatre (DK)

Foto: Rasmus Sigvaldi

Josefine Opsahl






  • Det Kgl Danske Musikkonservatorium, bachelor i musik performance
  • Det Kgl Danske Musikkonservatorium og Northwestern University (IL, USA) kandidat i musik performance
  • Syddansk Musikkonservatorium, solistuddannelse i Contemporary Creative Art (komposition og performance)


Seneste priser: 

  • Kronprinsparrets Kulturelle Stjernedryspris 2022
  • Léonie Sonnings Talentpris 2021
  • Odd Fellow Ordenens Musikpris 2021
  • Wilhelm Hansen Fondens Hæderslegat 2020




Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Profil oprettet:

9. september 2020


Lautrupsgade 9, 5.sal
DK 2100 København Ø

Telefon (45) 33 13 54 05


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