Cikada was founded in Oslo in 1989, and has from the very outset consisted of flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, string quintet and conductor.
As permanent members, the ten Cikadas have created a strong ensemble identity, and developed their highly acclaimed profile on the international contemporary music scene synonymous with the Oslo Sound of fresh, vibrant, warm and virtuosic interpretations of consciously selected, contemporary repertoire.
In concerts at major international festivals and on numerous albums, Cikada’s distinct ensemble profile manifests itself in strong programming. Central to Cikada is a devotion to develop close, long-term collaborations with composers and to build composer portraits with both existing and commissioned works over time.
Aesthetically unbiased, Cikada is open to a manifold range of repertoire in combination with a passionately refined approach to concert programming. Each concert is carefully programmed to create a present and welcoming musical flow.
In recent years, the ensemble has enjoyed close collaboration with James Dillon on the commission The Oslo Triptych as well as with Carola Bauckholt, Richard Barrett, Laurence Crane, Asbjørn Schaathun and Eivind Buene, who over time has conceived the cycle Possible Cities / Essential Landscapes for the ensemble.
Cikada has also been at the forefront in numerous recording projects. In collaboration with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Cikada recorded the first ever complete studio recording of Morton Feldman’s The Viola in My Life I-IV on ECM. Further CD projects include a portrait of Danish composer Bent Sørensen, where Cikada joined forces with the Oslo Sinfonietta and the trombone player Christian Lindberg on the ECM CD Birds and Bells.
The Cikada musicians also form five smaller constellations within the group: Cikada String Quartet, Cikada Feldman Trio (flute, percussion, piano), Cikada Piano Trio, Cikada RBK (clarinet, viola, piano) and Cikada Duo (piano, percussion) work as independent units, adding to the ensemble’s dynamic and diverse identity.
Cikada was awarded the prestigious Nordic Music Prize in 2005.