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Morten Carlsen


Strings and Harp Department


Morten Carlsen teaches viola and related subjects (also violin) at the Norwegian Academy of Music, which he has been doing since 1989. He is a regular visiting teacher at the University of Music in Vienna, where he studied, and the Paris Conservatoire.


His career as performer involved orchestral positions, top-level chamber music and solo performances and recordings. Carlsen is fascinated also by the more philosophic aspects of teaching and performing and has written smaller articles and lectured on subjects such as instrumental practice, performer history and talent education.

A collection of his advanced exercises for violin/viola, Vademecum, has been published. He contributes to the anthology Philosophy of Music Education challenged: Heideggerian Inspirations, Springer 2014 with an article called “Practice as Self-Exploration”.

In 2017 his book Å tolke musikk (On the Interpretation of Music), written together with the philosopher Henrik Holm, was published by Universitetsforlaget.



  • Soloist diploma from the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna

Professional experience

  • Co-principal viola of Orchester der Beethovenhalle, Bonn 1982-84 and of RSO Stuttgart 1984-88.
  • Similar position in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra 1988-94.
  • Engagements as principal viola in the orchestra of the Norwegian Opera and the Norwegian Broadcasting (KORK).


  • Kåseri rundt verk av Bach/Mozart, Haydn og Bartók. Morten Carlsen 2023
  • Å tolke musikk Morten Carlsen 2023
  • Never Play what's written! On Interpretation Morten Carlsen 2023
  • Johan Kvandal's Complete String Quartets. Cd-booklet for Lawo Classics med Engegård-kvartetten. Morten Carlsen 2023
  • Konsertpresentasjon av Franz Schubert: Winterreise Morten Carlsen 2022
  • Nach Gott av Peter Sloterdijk Morten Carlsen 2022
  • CD-booklet: Ensemble Allegria - Britten/Hagen/Strauss Morten Carlsen 2022
  • Begavelse finnes, men er den bare en? Morten Carlsen 2021
  • Mozarts Haydn-kvartetter, II. Tekst til cd med Engegård-kvartetten. Morten Carlsen 2021
  • Musikk som gestikk Morten Carlsen 2020
View all publications in Cristin

Projects Morten Carlsen participates in