Lars Ulrik Mortensen

Lars Ulrik Mortensen, born in 1955, studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music -harpsichord with Karen Englund and general figured bass with Jesper Buoy Christensen -and with Trevor Pinnock in London. During the period 1988-90 he was harpsichordist with London Baroque and until 1993 with Collegium Musicum 90, under the leadership of Simon Standage. He is now working extensively as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, USA, Mexico, South America, Japan and Australia, performing regularly with such distinguished colleagues as Emma Kirkby, John Holloway and Jaap ter Linden.

In the period 1996-99 Lars Ulrik Mortensen was professor of harpsichord and performance practice at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and he still teaches at numerous Early Music institutions around the world. Until recently Lars Ulrik Mortensen was also active as conductor for “modern” orchestras in Sweden and Denmark, where especially his work at the Royal Theatre – including Kunzen’s Holger Danske in 2000, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in 2003 – was met with great critical acclaim. However since 2003, he has decided to work exclusively with ensembles specializing in the Early Music repertoire. Since 1999 he has been chief artistic director of the Danish baroque orchestra Concerto Copenhagen and in 2004 he succeeded Roy Goodman as artistic director of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO). During the period 2008-2009, his busy schedule with Concerto Copenhagen has resulted in performances of Handel’s Partenope at the Royal Danish Theatre and the Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as tours in Holland, Spain, Austria, Japan and the United States.

Releases

Lars Ulrik Mortensen has recorded numerous CDs for a wide range of record labels including DGG-Archive, EMI and Kontrapunkt, and his recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was awarded the French Diapason d’Or. A series of Buxtehude recordings from the 90s, for the Danish label Dacapo, also received exceptional reviews. The first complete recording of Buxtehude’s chamber music, with John Holloway and Jaap ter Linden, received a Danish Grammy for best classical recording of the year. Another Grammy was awarded for the recording of Buxtehude cantatas with Emma Kirkby and Lars Ulrik Mortensen was named “Musician of the Year” in 2000 for three releases of harpsichord music by Buxtehude. These recordings also received the Cannes Classical Music Award in 2001. In addition, a number of recordings with John Holloway, Aloysia Assenbaum and Jaap ter Linden, of violin sonatas by Schmelzer, Biber, Veracini and Leclair, were released on the prestigious record label ECM. Directing Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen has recorded the complete harpsichord concertos of J.S. Bach for CPO, which received acclaim in the international press. In 2004 recordings of Haydn piano concertos (with soloist Ronald Brautigam) were released on BIS as well as symphonies by Danish composers J.E. Hartmann, Kunzen and Gerson, for CPO.

Awards

Lars Ulrik Mortensen has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Music Critic’s Prize in 1984 and in 2007 he received Denmark’s most prestigious music award, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. In 2008 he became a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, Musikaliska Academy.

Reviews

He has made Baroque music hip in this country

»Concerto Copenhagen is the apple of his eye and the ensemble has with Mortensen leading played itself into the international top league with successful concerts as far away as Japan, Mexico and the United States.«
About Lars Ulrik Mortensen in connection with his 60-years birthday.

Christine Christiansen
Jyllands Posten, 8/11 2015