Jan Erik Mikalsen has studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen and at the Royal Danish Music Academy in Copenhagen. He has had several pieces performed by orchestras, including world premieres performed by Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Opera Orchestra, Thomas Bloch and Quartet Artis Vienna.
He has been performed at festivals such as Presencés Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ultima Festival, Pablo Casals Festival, Casa da Musica, Nordic Music Days and Momentum Nordic festival. He has collaborated with the artist Tori Wrånes several times including performance at Performa 13 in New York City.
The piece Parts II for Orchestra was one of four works selected for the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 2011. The piece also won Tono´s Edvard Prize for best contemporary work 2012.
he piece Songr for Orchestra was commissioned by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and won International Rostrum of Composers 2015. The piece Wagner Prelude was world premiered at the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. The piece Saan was world premiered by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra the 12th of January 2017. The Violin Concerto was WP october 2017 by the violinist Ingerine Dahl and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. The piano concerto Just for You was WP the 17th of September 2017 by the pianist Ellen Ugelvik and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra during Ultima Festival 2017.