Marcus Paus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marcus Paus
Born 14 October 1979
Occupation Composer

Marcus Nicolay Paus (born 14 October 1979) (pronounced [ˈmɑrkʉs ˈpæʉs]) is a Norwegian composer and one of the most performed contemporary Norwegian composers.[1] He is noted as a representative of a reorientation toward tradition, tonality and melody, and his works have been lauded by critics[2][3] in Norway and abroad.[4] His work includes chamber music, choral works, solo works, concerts, orchestral works, operas and symphonies, as well as works for theatre, film and television. In 2010, he was artistic director of the Oslo Opera Festival. Marcus Paus has several times collaborated with his famous father, Ole Paus.


He is a member of the Norwegian patrician Paus family and is the son of the singers Ole Paus and Anne-Karine Strøm.[1][5] His grandfather was General Ole Paus, and his great-grandfather was Norwegian consul-general in Vienna and estate owner Thorleif (de) Paus. His great-great-grandfather, the steel industrialist and chairman of Den norske Creditbank Ole Paus, was a first cousin of Henrik Ibsen. He is married to author Hilde Lindset. Marcus Paus is a third cousin of the designer Pontine Paus, who also belongs to the steel industrialist branch of the family.

Paus attended Oslo Waldorf School and studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music (1998–2002) and Manhattan School of Music (2003–2005). He has lived in New York City and London, and now lives in Berlin.


Paus is a noted representative of a reorientation toward tradition, tonality and melody. Although often tonal and melodically driven, Paus' music employs a wide range of both traditional and modernist techniques, including aleatoricism and serial procedures. Paus' harmonic writing is typically complex, combining non-traditional structures such as clusters and symmetrical harmonic shapes with triadic harmony. Several of Paus' works have been influenced by folk music and non-Western classical music, among them Lasuliansko Horo (2004) for violin and piano (Bulgarian folk music), the flute concertino A Portrait of Zhou (2012) (Chinese music), and Fanitull (Devil's Tune) from Two Lyrical Pieces (2007) for string orchestra (Norwegian folk music). As a teenager, Marcus Paus was active as a progressive rock guitarist, and this experience is at times reflected in some of Paus’ most energetic music, like the Scherzo II from his Cello Sonata (2009) and the 3rd movement, Mosh, from his Three Movements for Solo Cello (2012).

As a young composer in 2007, he described himself as a "cultural conservative non-modernist."[6] In a 2013 interview, he said that he is not opposed to modernism, but that he supports diversity in musical styles and influences, and a "greater acceptance of a tradition-inspired musical style."[7]


Known for his virtuosic and idiomatic writing, Paus has collaborated with some of Norway's finest soloists, including violinists Henning Kraggerud and Arve Tellefsen, saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrøm and singer Tora Augestad. Marcus Paus is also known for his collaborations with other artists, most prominently Swedish painter Christopher Rådlund, as well as singer/songwriter and poet Ole Paus (the librettist of several of Paus’ operas). Other collaborators have included film director Sara Johnsen, dancer, choreographer and FRIKAR founder Hallgrim Hansegård, and actress Minken Fosheim. Paus has set a number of poets in English and Norwegian, among them André Bjerke, Arne Garborg, Knut Hamsun, Johan Falkberget, Harald Sverdrup, Ole Paus, William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Siegfried Sassoon, Dorothy Parker and Richard Wilbur. All of Paus’ four string quartets to date are themed after painters (nos.1 and 4 on paintings by Edvard Munch, no.2 on a painting by Halfdan Egedius, and no. 3 on paintings by Christopher Rådlund).

Selected works[edit]

Orchestral works
  • Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra (2015)
  • Hate Songs for Mezzosoprano & Orchestra (2013–14), text: Dorothy Parker
  • Music for Orchestra (2012)
  • A Portrait of Zhou (Concertino for Flute & Orchestra) (2012)
  • Triple Concerto for Violin, Viola & Orchestra (2011)
  • Two Lyrical Pieces (2007)
  • Ave Mozart! (2006)
Choral works
Chamber works
  • String Quartet no. 4 ‘Ashes’ (2013)
  • Sonata for Cello & Piano (2009)
  • String Quartet no.3 (2006)
  • Trio for Clarinet, Violin & Piano (2006)
  • Lasuliansko Horo for Violin & Piano (2004)
Solo works
  • Trauermusik for Solo Cello (2012)
  • 4 Memento Mori for Solo Piano (2012)
  • The Ladies on the Bridge for Solo Violin (2010)
Film scores
  • UMEÅ4ever (2011), directed by Geir Greni
  • Upperdog (2009), directed by Sara Johnsen


  • Wessel Prize, 2012
  • Musikkforleggerprisen (Prize of the Norwegian Music Publishers), 2017[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nordal, Ola. "Marcus Paus". Store norske leksikon. 
  2. ^ Astrid Kvalbein, «Vakker Marcusmesse», Aftenposten, 05.03.2008, kultur s. 2
  3. ^ Olav Egil Aune, «Messe midt i verden», Vårt Land, 05.03.2008 s. 19
  4. ^ "Marcus Paus" (in Norwegian). Opera til folket. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Røyseland, Halstein (25 August 2009). "Marcus Paus: - Det er mye kreativt DNA" (in Norwegian). VG Nett. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Bjørnskau, Erik (2 January 2008). "– Musikk er språk". Aftenposten. 
  7. ^ Ibsen, Alexander Z. (11 October 2013). "Brøt med klisjeene". Minerva. 
  8. ^ Dette er vinnerne av Musikkforleggerprisen, Music Norway