Music to me is love. Love is unconditional.
In my childhood I was lucky to meet music in a highly active school orchestra. Through Mozart's Clarinet Concerto I for the first time encountered the musical eternity of the moment which gave me a sense of natural resonance and meaning.
During my studies I started to compose music for both smaller and larger ensembles - symphonic orchestras and big bands, among others. My debut concert took place at The Jazzhouse Montmartre in 1992.
Institute of Musicology at the University of Copenhagen, 1988
The Sibilius Academy, Helsingfors, 1 semester: Composition, 1990
The Conservatory of Rythmic Music, 1992
Composition Studies at the The Conservatory og Rythmic Music, 1996 – 1998 with Bob Brookmeyer a.o.
I have taught at several conservatories, MGK's and at several music schools in Denmark, among others at Nordjysk Music Conservatory, Vestjysk Music Conservatory and at the Conservatory of Rhythmic Music in Copenhagen (RMC).
Through the years I have among others played with:
The Danish Radio Big Band, UMO Big Band, James Moody, Ed Neumeister, Dick Oats, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Deborah Brown, Bill Dobbins, Bob Mintzer, Tim Hagans, Ann-Sofi Söderquist Quintet, Riel/Lundgaard/Dahl/Nielsen Quartet, Carsten Dahl/ Christina Dahl Duo, Marilyn Mazur/Lars Danielsson/CarstenDahl/Christina Nielsen Quartet, Danish National Chamber Orchestra (RUO) Heartbeats/Christina Dahl Trio with Jesper Lundgaard & Morten Lund.
Montreaux International Jazz Festival, Aberdeen Youth Festival, Keitele Jazz Festival, Stockholm Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Vancouver Festival and other festivals and I have travelled as a musician in many European countries as well as in Africa, Canada and in China.
I have composed music for small and large ensembles, among others: The Danish National Chamber Orchestra (RUO), The Athelas Ensemble, The Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, The Riel-Lundgaard-Dahl-Nielsen Quartet, The Christina Nielsen Quartet feat. Marilyn Mazur, Lars Danielsson and Carsten Dahl, Carsten & Christina Dahl Duo, Band Ane, Marilyn Mazur and Christina Dahl, Christina Dahl Trio with Jesper Lundgaard & Espen Laub von Lillienskjold featuring Niclas Knudsen.
The Walther Klæbel Memorial Award (2012), DJBFA's Honorary Award (2011), The Bent Jædig Award (2010), The Ben Webster Award (1994), Second prize at the Europe International Jazz Contest in Belgium 1994 with The Christina Nielsen Quintet and the award for the best arrangemet. I've received work grants from Statens Kunstfond in Denmark, DJBFA and support from Koda and DMF.
Through my compositions I try to reflect life. Musical pictures of the moments that contain the extremeties of life, contrasts and fragility. The realization that nothing is eternal, that chaos suddenly can embrace, creates a more clear presence in which it feels easier to pour of one's own authenticity. The feeling of an eternal Now kan flourish herein and contain the beautiful and the ugly as changing energies, as fluttering trees in the winds.
To me, composing music is storytelling - moments with music and pictures: They come to me as one collected entity. They simply are.