Wolfgang Plagge - Biography

Composer and pianist

Wolfgang Plagge foto: Dag Torenfeldt

Wolfgang Plagge was born in Oslo, Norway, of Dutch parents in 1960. At a very early age he showed a genuine interest of classical music, and started playing the piano as well as writing his first compositions aged four. He was ten when he won an international talent competition in English television; one year later he also won the Young Pianists’ Competition in Oslo.

In 1972 he made a sensational recital debut in Oslo – with HM King Olav V present in the auditorium. He went on to win several national and international prizes in the years to follow, among them the Forsberg Legate in 1979 and the Levin Prize in 1987. In 1986 he concluded his 6 years of study at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg, Germany, with distinction. He pursues an active career as an international pianist, and is much in demand as a chamber musician. He has been performing as a soloist with a great number of orchestras in Norway and abroad, and has worked with internationally renown artists as Ole Edvard Antonsen, Jens Harald Bratlie, Alexandr Dmitriev, Philippe Entremont, Lutz Herbig, Piotr Janowski, Evgeni Koroliov, Solveig Kringlebotn, Truls Mørk, Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Rønnes, Leif Segerstam, Randi Stene, Roberto Szidon, Lars Anders Tomter, Frøydis Ree Wekre and many others. He has recorded CDs on the SIMAX, 2L, Crystal and Norske Gram labels.

Wolfgang Plagge the Composer had his first work published aged twelve, and has since steadily developed into a mature, original and prolific creative artist. His oevre spans from liturgic music to symphonic works, and chamber music as well as piano music appears to be a central part. He has a specific interest of winds, and has written a number of important works for woodwind and brass in chamber music constellations. Several of his works have already been accepted as standard repertoire: His 1st Horn Sonata has appeared as a mandatory piece in several international Wind Competitions.

His particular love for and research on Medieval music of Northern Europe has been inspirational for a substantional number of works, and still is.

Ever since his student days in Norway and Germany the phenomenon Time has been one of Plagge’s main focusing points: Studying the time flow, manipulating our sense of time and how to utilize time as a forming tool have been central items in his creative process.

Wolfgang Plagge’s music is being performed by musicians, ensembles and orchestras all over the world, and his reputation as a composer is ever growing. In 1996 he was created “Composer of the Year” with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. He received the American ASCAP Award for 2001 and won the Vocal Nord composers’ contest 2003. A number of works are recorded on CD; scores can be obtained through 2L e-scores, Musikk-Husets Forlag AS Oslo, or the Norwegian Music Information Center. Wolfgang Plagge is a member of the Norwegian Society of Composers.

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