Composer Karsten Fundal has studied composition with Hans Abrahamsen and Ib Nørholm, Karl Aage Rasmussen and Per Nørgård. Meeting Morton Feldman in 1986 at Dartington Summer School greatly influenced Fundal's development as a composer, and in the years 1987-88 he studied composition with Louis Andriessen in The Netherlands.
Fundal has written numerous orchestral and chamber works for all major symphony orchestras and ensembles in Denmark, as well as chamber and orchestral works for several major soloists and music for dance. He is widely acknowledged for working within many styles, genres and instrumental combinations, always with an unmistakable personal sound and quality, and with curiosity to break new ground. In recent years the rapidly increasing interest in Karsten Fundal’s music has led to a large number of commissions for new works, and has gradually won him a place as one of the major composers of his generation.
In 2006, he won a Robert Award for best music for the acclaimed film The Art of Crying by Peter Schønau Fog. One year later, Fundal created the music for the epic film Flammen & Citronen by Ole Christian Madsen. Since then he has composed music for numerous films. Fundal wrote the score for Ai WeiWei’s Human Flow, which was shortlisted for an Academy Oscar for both film and score. Likewise, the documentary Last Men in Aleppo, also Oscar nominated, won a huge amount of prizes since the release in 2017, among which the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and a Robert Award for Best Documentary in 2017. Fundal has also done scores for The Shadow World by Johan Grimonprez, Andrei Nekrasov’s The Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes, and set Lise Birk Pedersen's latest documentary TUTTI A CASA - Power to the People? to music. Recent works in film include Sun Hee Engelstoft's documentary No Regrets, and Sabine Groenwegen’s Odyssee.
In 2018 Fundal began working on a 3-hour opera, Inkognito Royal, with Jutland opera director Philipp Kocheim. This project with 20 soloists, and musical genres ranging from light operetta over musical, romantic, and modernistic styles, is his largest work so far. It premiered in August 2021, and was highly acclaimed. And so was his newest chamber opera Saltamortale, the second opera in a trilogy about sex and social taboos.
Fundal has extensively collaborated with orchestras and various indie projects such as Efterklang, Choir of Young Believers, and Den Sorte Skole.