Morten Lauridsen (born February 27, 1943 in Colfax, Washington) is an American composer with Danish roots. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and attended Whitman College and the University of Southern California, where he studied advanced composition. He is a long-time professor and Chair of the Department of Composition at USC, and was also Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994 to 2001.
Along with James Mulholland and Eric Whitacre, Lauridsen is one of America's most performed contemporary choral composers, and writes both sacred and secular music. Much of Lauridsen's appeal comes from his coloristic harmonies via added note tertian chords, perhaps most notably a 'signature' harmonic structure of a first-inversion major triad with an added tone - a perfect fourth or major second above the chord root.
His five-movement work Lux Aeterna (1997) for chorus and orchestra has become quite popular in the United States, with numerous performances, recordings and radio broadcasts.
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