Mikael Carlsson: Composer

Mikael devotes most of his composition activities to choral music. His music has been performed at venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (USA), the Canterbury Cathedral (United Kingdom) and the Pieterskerk of Utrecht (Netherlands).  Several of his pieces have been published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Florida, USA, who described his Agnus Dei with words as ”exquisite beauty” and ”great excitement”. Selections of his a cappella works were recorded by the Haga Motettkör in Göteborg, Sweden, directed by award-winning conductor Ulrike Heider, and released under the title Rainbow Suite: The Choral Music of Mikael Carlsson. In 2014, Mikael has been a ‘composer-in-residence’ at the congregation of Haga, Swedish Church, Göteborg, commissioned to write choral music for services throughout the year.

Born in Halmstad, 1971, Mikael is a self-tought composer whose only formal musical training consists of six years of piano studies in his youth. He was brought up in a musical family – his father being a jazz organ player and several family members on his mother’s side being musicians – but decided to pursue a career as a news journalist in high school. He spent the first 15 years of his professional life as a reporter, editor and ultimately editor-in-chief at various newspapers, including Metro.

In 2005, he decided to switch gears and devote his life to music, writing original score music for a number of Swedish television shows, notably the Scandianavian version of hit series Top Model. He has composed library music for British company Cinephonix who also represents Mikael for film and television work in the UK.

In 2006, Mikael discovered the passion of singing, becoming a member of a chamber choir in Gothenburg. This is where he met conductor Ulrike Heider, who encouraged Mikael’s compositional activities. Since then, Mikael has composed some 40 original pieces for choir, many of them premiered in concert or in service at Hagakyrkan, Göteborg, by Haga Motettkör.

In 2015, he had his first major work for orchestra and choir, Te Deum, commissioned and premiered as a festive opening of a concert celebrating the 75 year anniversary of Johannebergskyrkan, Göteborg.

As an arranger, Mikael specializes in doing orchestral concert suites of film scores. He has been hired by Academy Award nominated composers Marco Beltrami (World War Z, The Homesman, The Giver) and Carter Burwell (Fargo, Carol, Miller’s Crossing) to arrange concert suites of music from their films.


Mikael Carlsson: Concert Producer

An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary choral music, Mikael Carlsson is the producer for two choirs in Göteborg, Sweden: the award-winning Haga Motettkör (music director: Ulrike Heider) and Johannebergs Vokalensemble (music director: Jan K. Delemark). Mikael has brought new music by composers such as Paul Mealor, James MacMillan, Pawel Lukaszewski, John Muehleisen, Sharon Farber, Terry Schlenker, Joshua Shank, Benjamin Wallfisch, Richard Allain, David Buckley and Philippe Mazé to Swedish audiences for the first time. Among the projects he has produced are Concert for Peace (commemorating the beginning of the world wars), The Seasons (a choir journey from winter to autumn), Journey of the Soul, Flower Songs, Pärt 75 (a tribute to Arvo Pärt on his 75th birthday), American Nocturne (nocturnal music for choir and piano by American composers), From Tallis to Tavener (an exposé on English choral music) and The Passion (a concert programme featuring new choral music written on the subject of the passion of the Christ).

In the field of film music, Mikael runs the concert production company Soundtracks Live!, which is devoted to bring the best of film music to concert halls all over the world. As a concert producer with extensive repertoire knowledge and musical skills, Mikael has been putting together the repertoire, arranged orchestral suites and prepared the music for concerts showcasing the scores of Marco Beltrami and Carter Burwell.

He has been the symphonic concert producer for the International Film Music Festival of the Province of Córdoba, Spain, where his ‘Best of the Year’ film music concerts at this festival have been fan favorites featuring a wide selection of contemporary film themes. Mikael produced the gala concert “Best of Film Music 2011-2012” for the festival in 2012 and has subsequently produced three concerts both in 2013 and 2014. In 2013 his duties also included arranging and editing the music of Marco Beltrami for the Elmer Bernstein Award concert featuring the music of the talented American composer. In 2014, one of the highlights of the concerts Mikael produced was a Tribute to Jerry Goldsmith, the legendary film composer who passed away ten years ago. Working as a concert producer for the Córdoba festival has allowed Mikael to work closely with film composers such as Marco Beltrami, Roque Baños, Blake Neely, Rolfe Kent, Rachel Portman and Abel Korzeniowski.

Mikael has been hired by the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra to co-produce an 80th Birthday Tribute to John Williams. His knowledge of the classic as well as contemporary film music repertoire combined with his refined artistic sensibilities and extensive network within the film music industry has made him an in-demand producer and programming consultant for various film music concerts throughout Europe. Among his other clients are the Film Symphony in Valencia, Spain (including a tribute to the late John Barry), the International Film Music Festival in Ùbeda, Spain (2011 closing concert The Choral Adventure) and Malmo Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (a concert devoted to Swedish film music where Mikael edited the world premiere concert suites of Hilding Rosenberg’s music for Torment and Lars-Johan Werle’s score for Ingmar Bergman’s Persona).


Mikael Carlsson: Soundtrack Producer

Since the launch of his company, MovieScore Media, in 2005, Mikael has produced over 300 soundtrack albums featuring original score music from films and television series. Among the composers he has worked with are Academy Award-winner Dario Marianelli (I Capture the Castle, Beyond the Gates, Happy Now, In This World), Angelo Badalamenti (Satlingrad), Marco Beltrami (1864), Patrick Doyle (Man to Man), Ilan Eshkeri (Centurion), Johan Söderqvist (Let the Right One In) and Rob Lane (Merlin).

In 2011, an album he produced for composer Ryan Shore and horror soundtrack label Screamworks Records, The Shrine, was nominated for a Grammy by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the category “Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media”.

The majority of the soundtrack albums Mikael produces are released on his own labels, MovieScore Media and Screamworks Records, but he is also hired frequently by other companies to produce and coordinate soundtrack albums. Mikael has a clear vision of the “secrets” behind soundtrack album production and how music originally written for visual media can be reshaped and refined into a piece of art on its own in album form.