Finding Balance

The Life and Music of Hans Abrahamsen


“Sometimes, you have to come a little away from yourself in order to come near to yourself.”
– Hans Abrahamsen

In 2013, Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen rocketed to the top of the classical music world with his Grawemeyer award-winning work, let me tell you, but two decades earlier he grappled with a debilitating bout of writer’s block and decided to no longer be a composer. It took him nearly a decade to change his mind.

Alan Pierson leads Alarm Will Sound in a very personal storytelling of the unexpected life of Hans Abrahamsen through the composer’s coming of age, his decade facing writer’s block, and his coming to terms with cerebral palsy. Finding Balance explores Hans’s journey to find himself through losing himself; to achieve balance through accepting imbalance; and to explore the limitless possibilities unlocked by embracing limitations.

Alarm Will Sound’s podcast-style performance combines live music and recorded conversations with Abrahamsen, as well as staging and movement directed by Jon Levin. The event follows upon Alarm Will Sound’s past podcast-style performances — Splitting Adams about John Adams, and This Music Should Not Exist about György Ligeti — which have been called “magnificent” and “the best live music I’ve heard all year” by The New York Times and “an invaluable introduction to this demanding but rewarding and exhilarating music” by American Record Guide. 

Included in the storytelling are performances of material from Abrahamsen’s Märchenbilder, Piano Concerto, Ten Preludes, Fokus, Winternacht, Walden, and his arrangement of Bach’s Befiehl du deine Wege

Abrahamsen’s journey transforms his life and his music, leading eventually to his creation of his magnum opus, Schnee, which is performed in its entirety to culminate the event. 

Finding Balance Artists