JORGEN PLAETNER (1930 - 2002)
Jørgen Plaetner is best known as one of the pioneers of electronic music in Scandinavia. Born in Copenhagen in 1930, Plaetner played piano as a child and entered the Royal Danish Academy of music at the age of 19, where he studied with Vagn Holmboe, Niels Viggo Bentzon, and Bjørn Hjelmborg. Early on, he became aware of the experimentation going on abroad in the field of electronic music, and at 20 he became one of the first Danes to participate in courses for contemporary music at Darmstadt. He attended the first performances of Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge and Kontakte, which inspired him to set up his own electronic music studio. In addition, Plaetner was a music teacher and taught at the State School for the Blind for almost a decade before taking a position in the town of Holstebro as the country’s first “town composer.” While serving in Holstebro, he set up a council music school for children and wrote music for local ensembles. Unfortunately, a rift with the city council in 1977 precipitated his move to Sweden, where he lived for the rest of his life. When Plaetner died in 2002, his computer music was almost entirely forgotten in Denmark until Dacapo released a CD with a selection of his electronic works from the 1960s and 1970s (8.226511), giving these works a new lease on life. That said, his electronic works have largely overshadowed his acoustic music, which includes music for chamber ensembles, vocal and theater music, and eight piano sonatas.