Martin Alfsen, musician, producer, songwriter and choir director was born on 4th January 1959. After serving in the military as a trombonist in The Band Of The King’s Guard, he entered the Conservatory of Music in Oslo. Already during his student years he started directing the Reflex choir in the church he and his family attended in Oslo. In 1985 the Reflex choir made their national breakthrough with the album “REFLEX”. In the late eighties and early nineties Alfsen would develop his composing and production skills when working for Master Music, Norway’s leading company in contemporary christian music. His albums with Reflex would be important contributions to the repertoire of christian choirs and music groups throughout Scandinavia.
In 1993 Reflex recorded the Martin Alfsen song “Like A Mighty River” on the “Denne Dagen”- album. The song became a christian music hit and was covered by a great number of European choirs and the well known American gospel group “The Kurt Carr Singers” for their album “Serious About It”. The song was even included on “The Very Best Of Kurt Carr” from 2009.
In the mid nineties Martin Alfsen was the musical director for a popular Norwegian TV series presenting well known traditional christian songs and church hymns. The TV series would result in a series of bestselling albums, produced by Alfsen for the Master Music label.
With more than 300 songs recorded, extensive touring with his Reflex Choir all over Europe, and lots of radio and TV performances, Martin has become of one of Scandinvia’s most peformed songwriters in Christian music. As a producer and arranger he has been involved in more than fifty albums including releases with international artists like Andrae Crouch, Richard Smallwood and Adrian Snell as well as a wealth of domestically known artists. Among them are bestselling female vocalist Hanne Krogh, sax player Arild Stav, actress and singer Inger Lise Rypdal, singer Rita Eriksen, singer Trine Rein, singer Gaute Ormåsen and trumpet ace Finn Eriksen. As a choir director Martin has toured extensively all over Europe.
Martin Alfsen has also composed some larger works:
The praise and worship mass “Liv”, 1995
The choir cantata “Sela”, 1996
The youth musical “Etterfølgerne”, 1999
The millennium cantata “Logos” (in cooperation with Jens Wendelboe), 2000
The passion “7 døgn i Jerusalem”, 2000
The mass “Shout All Over God’s Heaven” based on Negro Spirituals, 2004
“The River” A Gospel musical work – 2006
The Young and Soulful Messiah – 2013 (new arrangements to Handel’s great oratory)
2014 SONG OF FREEDOM – A musical tribute to Nelson Mandela (with Arne Hiorth)
Martin Alfsen made his debut as an author in the autumn of 2002 with the book “Jesus i musikken – fra Gregoriansk sang til hiphop” (Jesus in the music from Gregorian chant to hip hop) published by Luther Forlag.
Martin was the editor of the bestselling “Gospelsangboka” (The great gospel songbook) that was published by Norsk Musikforlag in the autumn of 2005 and in the spring of 2006 his method for rythmical choirs “Jazz-Gospel-Soul-Pop Choir” was published.
Martin’s newest book «Låtskriverhåndboka» (The Songwriter’s Handbook) was published in 2010.
Since 1994 Martin has held the position as the head of the vocal music section at Rønningen Folkehøgskole in Oslo.