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Thoresen was born in Oslo in 1949 and studied with Finn Mortensen at the Norwegian Academy of Music, graduating in 1972. He studied electroacoustic music in Utrecht, and musique concrète and spectral music in Paris. He has been professor of composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music since 1988. Thoresen has received many commissions for works which have been performed across Scandinavia, including commissions from all the major Norwegian Philharmonic Orchestras and the French National Radio.
An important source of inspiration for Thoresen has been the Baháʼí religion whose texts he has set in many works. His oratorio Terraces of Light (2000) was performed at the inauguration of the 19 terraces of the Baháʼí holy place on Mount Carmel, by forces from Canada, Austria, Israel and Transylvania.
- Bird of the Heart, piano trio (1982)
- Symphonic Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1984)
- Illuminations, double concerto for two celli and orchestra (1985)
- AbUno (1992)
- The symphonic poem Emergence (1997)
- Traces of Light (2000)
- Løp, Lokk og Linjar for folk singer and sinfonietta (2002)
- Transfigurations, triple concerto (2003)
- The Descent of Luminous Waters, piano trio (2003)
- To the Brother Peoples, double concerto for hardingfele og nyckelharpa (2005)
- Tidehverv (At a Juncture), 3 Pieces for viola and cello (2007)
- Opus 42, four vocal works
- Nordic Voices, Himmelkvad (2012)
- Ragnhild Hemsing, Yr (2011)
- Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Lasse Thoresen - To The Brother Peoples (2009)
- Grieg Trio, Beethoven - Thoresen (2007)
- Aage Kvalbein, Ten Norwegian Short Stories (2005)
- Oslo Strykekvartett, The Silver Chord (2002)
- Oslo Sinfonietta, Norges Musikkhistore Bind 5 (2001)
- Haifa Symfoniorkester, The Mount Carmel Terraces - Official Opening (2001)
- Saxofon Concentus, Second Tale (2000)
- Christian Eggen, Norges Musikkhøgskole Symfoniorkester & Kor, Lasse Thoresen - som Bølger på Ett Hav (2000)
- The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Hear (1999)
- The Sonic Mind (1998)
- The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, From the Sweet-scented Streams of Eternity / Lasse Thoresen (1998)
- Lasse Thoresen (1998)
- "Lasse Thoresen". Norges musikkhøgskole (Norwegian Academy of Music). Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- Michael Fitzgerald (1989). Creative Circle: Art Literature and Music in Baháʼí Perspective. Kalimat Press. pp. 193–212. ISBN 978-0-933770-68-3. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- "Lasse Thoresen wins the Nordic Council Music Prize 2010". Norden.org - Nordic Council. 2010-06-01.
- Catherine Gonsholt Ighanian (2010-06-01). "Lasse Thoresen vant Nordisk Råds musikkpris". VG Nett (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- "Lasse Thoresen – Composer, Professor". Music Information Centre Norway. Retrieved 2010-06-02.[dead link]
- "Lasse Thoresen Homepage". 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- Notes to Aurora ACD 5058[clarification needed]
- Vollsnes, Arvid O. 2001. "Thoresen, Lasse". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.