Kenneth Karlsson föddes i Åmål, Sverige. Han började spela elbas med några kamrater i ungdomsåren men blev efter en tid flyttad över på piano. Samtidigt med att spela i olika rock/jazzgrupper väcktes intresset för klassisk musik och  efter några år började han på Musikkhøgskolen i Oslo. Vidare studier i Nederland. Sen dess har Karlsson arbetat som pianist inom samtida klassisk och klassisk musik. På 80- och 90-talet var han medlem i grupper som Ensemble K4, Oslo Sinfonietta, Aquarius och har haft ett över 20 år långt samarbete med mezzosopranen Hilde Torgersen. Han har också spelat i flera improvisationsgrupper genom åren, senast i kvartetten Point 4 med Jon Balke, Ingar Zach och Bjørn Rabben. 

Kenneth Karlsson är sedan 1989 pianist och konstnärlig ledare i Cikada. Karlsson har en duo med sopranen Elisabeth Holmertz och tillsammans leder de gruppen Vollen United, en experimentell genre-överskridande grupp som blandar barock samtida-klassisk, pop, improvisation.

Kenneth Karlsson har turnerat världen över och spelat in en rad CD-skivor. 2001 fick han en Grammy för sin solo-CD ”sofferte onde serene”. 2005 fick Karlssons ensemble Cikada, Nordiska Rådets musikpris. Han har också arbetat med video, dans, multimedia och står bakom en mängd beställningsverk och uruppföranden. Karlsson har samarbetat med musiker och kompositörer som Klaus Lang, James Dillon, Carola Bauckholt,  Liza Lim, Bent Sørensen, Richard Barrett, Rolf Wallin. Karlsson spelar även indisk harmonium och synthesizer. 


Kenneth Karlsson was born in Åmål, Sweden. He began playing electric bass with a few friends when he was around 17 years old, but was eventually assigned to the piano by those same friends. While he was playing in different rock/jazz groups he became interested in classical music and after a few years began his studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, with further studies in the Netherlands. Since then, Karlsson has worked as a pianist within classical and modern classical music. In the 80s and 90s he was a member of groups such as Ensemble K4, Oslo Sinfonietta, Aquarius, and has worked with the mezzo-soprano Hilde Torgersen for more than 20 years. He has also played in several improvisational groups throughout the years: the quartet Point 4 with Jon Balke, Ingar Zach, and Bjørn Rabben being the latest.

Kenneth Karlsson has been the pianist and artistic leader of Cikada since 1989. Karlsson is also part of duo with soprano Elisabeth Holmertz and together they lead the group Vollen United, an experimental genre-crossing ensemble blending baroque, current classical, pop, and improvisation.

Kenneth Karlsson has toured around the world and has recorded a number of CDs. In 2001 he received a Spellemannpris (Norwegian Grammy Award) for his solo CD sofferte onde serene. In 2005, his ensemble Cikada received the Nordic Council Music Prize. He has also worked with video, dance, and multimedia, and is behind many commissions and premieres. Karlsson has collaborated with musicians and composers such as Klaus Lang, James Dillon, Carola Bauckholt, Liza Lim, Bent Sørensen, Richard Barrett, and Rolf Wallin. Karlsson also plays the Indian harmonium and synthesizer.



kenneth.karlsson(at)me.com