Obituary: Kåre Hanken (1943-2018)

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Kåre Hanken
19.11.1943 (Ålesund) - 3.6.2018 (Oslo)

Kåre Hanken, a prominent figure in the choral world, both as administrator and conductor, passed away in Oslo on 3 June 2018.

He started his professional career in Ålesund (Norway) as church musician, where he established the Ålesund Chamber Choir in 1980

From 1987 -1998 Kåre Hanken taught choral conducting at the Institute for Music and Theatre of the University of Oslo.

Hanken was employed in 1991 as the first Secretary General of “Norges korforbund”. He established this choral organization to be one of the most significant choir associations in his time in both Norway as well as internationally. He held the position as Secretary General until his retirement from administration in 2009.

He held a Masters Degree in church Music from the Music Conservatory in Oslo, Norway, and obtained further qualifications in Organ and Choral Conducting in Denmark, Sweden and the USA.

He took over as the conductor of Schola Cantorum (Oslo) in 1987 after Knut Nystedt and Carl Høgset and led the choir until 2002. With Schola Cantorum he released two CDs, one with works of Knut Nystedt and led the choir on tours to Japan, the Baltic States, and South Africa, among others.

Kåre Hanken has edited and released three major publications of choral music including Edvard Grieg's total choral works, and a collection of Knut Nystedt´s choir music.

He was active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and masterclass presenter at national and international choir competitions and universities, especially in Latvia, Estonia, South Africa, Japan and the USA.

In 1998 he established an extensive choral conducting educational program at the University of Port Elizabeth (South Africa), where he also supervised and lectured at the Masters Degree and Doctoral Programs in Practical Choral Conducting at the University of Port Elizabeth. These programs were in cooperation with the Norwegian Academy of Music.

In 1999 he was awarded an Honorary Professorship by is University in honour of his contributions to the development of choral singing in the Eastern Cape and South Africa.

He was a Board member of IFCM from 2002 till 2005.

Between 2006 and 2012 he was guest lecturer in the academic choral conducting programmes at Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

He left his wife and two daughters behind.åre-Hanken.aspx