LINE tjørnhøj

(b. 1960)


The human voice is one of the most basic elements in our sound universe; it has an immediate access to ears and emotions. Line Tjørnhøj builds up her music from this approach. When creating musical narratives, she focuses on exploring the soothing qualities and wailing beauties of human voices.

Tjørnhøj is well known for dealing with universal themes and timeless problems through contemporary sceneries - and especially for her courage of addressing human cruelty and misuse of power. 

Tjørnhøj works collaboratively with the performers to whom her music adjusts, insisting that each character develops its own unique expression.


Education, prizes, and awards

Tjørnhøj studied composition at The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus under the supervision of Simon Steen-Andersen, Niels Rønsholdt, and Lasse Laursen. 

Tjørnhøj received the prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize, 2017, the Three-Year Working Grant from the Danish Arts Foundation, and the Danish Composers’ Society Grant, among others. Her opera Anorexia Sacra was awarded best chamber opera by the American Opera Vista Festival, 2009. 

Tjørnhøj's works has been played by renowned ensembles and orchestras including Göteborg Operan, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Ensemble Lydenskab, and Esbjerg Ensemble.


"Line Tjørnhøj often deals with themes that are unfamiliar in the contemporary music scene. She creates deeply expressive music for tense moral and social dilemmas, thereby giving a voice to tabooed people and subjects. Her projects, spanning cultural and musical borders, have brought about international collaborations, which is reflected in the music itself. Line Tjørnhøj is awarded the honorary award as a recognition of her contribution to expanding the field of musical expression ..."

The Carl Nielsen Prize committee


Selected works

enTmenschT (2018) 
music theatre installation

Agony - an eating opera (2017) 
chamber opera

Shanghai (2017)
chamber opera

Tusk (2016)
for solo voice, mixed choir, orchestra

Vox reportage (2013-2017) 
a cappella choir, SATB

Portrait (2013) 
interactive exhibition with live performances

Tomorrow’s Child (2012) 
music drama for female voice, cello, tape, live electronics

Stabat Mater (2009) 
chamber opera, a crash-production

Daughter (2008) 
vox:dox, electro acoustic composition

Anorexia Sacra (2006) 
music drama for 5 female voices, male voice, double bass