Bent Sørensen was born in 1958, and received his musical education from, amongst others, Per Nørgård and Ib Nørholm. His originality, imagination and technical abilities were praised long before his major breakthrough in the mid-80s. His first string quartet, Alman (1984), along with the other three quartets Adieu(1986), Angels' Music (1988), and Schreie und Melancholie (1994), are still characterised as some of Sørensen's most important works. During the 1990s he was very productive, focusing mostly on large-scale orchestral works. The major vocal piece The Echoing Garden (1992) for soloists, choir and orchestra unfolds as wandering weightless melodies in an echo chamber of many different simultaneous tempi. Sterbende Gärten(1993) is a violin concerto in the grand tradition, dramatic, graceful, and wild. During that decade he also wrote Symphony (1996), the piano concerto La Notte (1998), and the enchanting concerto Birds and Bellsfor trombone and 14 instruments (1995), written for Christian Lindberg. After this, in the composer's own words, "everything has been about opera." The Danish playwright Peter Asmussen was so taken by the co-existence of the past and the present in Sørensen's violin concerto the two decided to collaborate on a commission from the Danish Royal Opera. After 5 years of intense work and collaboration, Sørensen finished the full-scale opera Under the Sky in April 2003. Sørensen received the prestigious Nordic Council Music Price in 1995 and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize in 1999.