Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, composer and performer (born Dec. 29th 1973 in Trondheim, Norway), finished composition studies at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo in 2000.
Ratkje has received awards such as the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composers below 30 years of age, the Norwegian Edvard prize (work of the year) twice, Scottish Award for New Music for Aeolian, second prize at the Russolo Foundation, and in 2001 she was the first composer ever to receive the Norwegian Arne Nordheim prize. Her solo album Voice got a Distinction Award at Prix Ars Electronica in 2003. In 2013 she was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize for her vocal work. She was in 2017 accepted as a member of Akademie der Künste, Berlin. In 2020 she got the Liv Ullmann Prize in Norway. In 2020, her work “Sirkling” was awarded ‘work of the year’ by the union of Music Publishers in Norway.
Ratkje is active as a singer/voice user and electronics performer and engineer, as a soloist or in groups such as SPUNK and BRAK RUG. She has been soloist with orchestras such as The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Other collaborations include Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stephen O’Malley, Lasse Marhaug, Agrare, POING and many more. Ratkje has performed her own music for films, dance and theatre, installations, and numerous other projects. Visual art or text material is often a part of her own work, in installations or staged works. She has made large gallery works with SPUNK, she has made music for a radio play by Elfriede Jelinek, and in 2003, she played a part in her own opera, based on the texts from the Nag Hammadi Library.