Knut Wiggen, born in 1927 in Buvika near Trondheim, Norway, and moved to Stockholm in 1950 in order to extend his piano studies. He studied piano with Gottfrid Boon, Hans Leygraf and Robert Riefling, and later on composition with Karl-Birger Blomdahl, with the addition of some music history at the Uppsala University.

Hans Leygraf brought him to Darmstadt as his assistant, and Wiggen became absorbed in the contemporary modernist music, especially musique concrete and electronic music. His network of colleagues consisted of among others Pierre Schaeffer, Iannis Xenakis, Bruno Moderna, Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Inspired by these composers, and after living and working in Darmstadt for two years, Wiggen returned to Stockholm. Here, as chairman of Fylkingen (1959-1969), he reformed the organization's goals and artistic activities, moved its venue to the Modern Museum and directed its series of approximately 100 concerts. He also planned and directed the festival 'Visions of the Present' (1966), as well as UNESCO's international expert meeting 'Music and Technology' (1970). Furthermore, Wiggen took the initiative to organize concert tours with new music between Denmark, Norway and Sweden, thus increasing the general public’s awareness of the composers, and setting up a series of radio presentations.

In 1964 his plans for an advanced electronic music studio for Swedish Radio: Elektronmusikstudion i Stockholm (EMS) were coming to fruition, and Wiggen became the founding director. Here, Wiggen created a new musical instrument consisting of the world's first digitally-controlled electronic music studio, and a new composition program which gave composers the possibility to work with a new concept of space, i.e. simulated variable space, similar to today's 5.1-standard. This composition program, MusicBox, was similar to the early simulation languages Simula and Smalltalk, and was the world's first object-oriented simulation language of hybrid type. MusicBox controlled the digital equipment and the quadraphonic sound spatialization by algorithmic means.

Pierre Schaeffer said the following words when Wiggen presented EMS at the 20th Anniversary of Musique Concrète in Paris in 1968, (Teddy Hultberg's book Fylkingen, 1994, p. 50, my translation): "I believe that this conception is completely unique in the whole world", and "This tool, this super technique in the service of the ear, is something the third millennium needs".

Wiggen was always passionately devoted to trying to understand how music and technology complement each other in social development, and his radical ideas were put into practice both at Fylkingen and the EMS, and it is safe to say that Wiggen contributed to Stockholm's position as a central hub for new and radical art and music in Europe during the 1960's and '70's. EMS still benefits from this position today.

The Swedish Radio however, lost interest in EMS following the death of Karl-Birger Blomdahl, and together with a group of composers, he dismantled the visionary part of the studio in 1976. Knut Wiggen only had time to compose a few studies with MusicBox at EMS, and only 5 of those have been published: Summer Morning (1972), Etude (1972), Journey (1972), Tornado (Massa) (1974) and EMS on its Own (1975). Before he turned to electronic music, however, he composed for instruments, and his scores exist at the National Library of Norway. The most well known of these works are Composition for solo flute (1956), and Quartet for piano, violin, clarinet and bassoon (1955, performed at ISCM 1956). Knut Wiggen’s music has been presented internationally and at home, i.e. at ISCM World Music Days (1956 Stockholm. Baden.Baden was in 1955.), 1976 Boston), at the Ultima-Festival in Oslo (2003, 2004) and at the Bergen International Festival in (2009).

Among Wiggen's publications can be found: Att spela piano (1966), Kunsten å spille piano (1969), De två musikkulturerna (1971), Electronic Music in Sweden (together with B. E. Johnson, 1972), Den strukturerende verden (1991) and Musikkens psykiske fundament (2004).

'Studio Wiggen' was established by NOTAM (Norwegian Center for Technology in Music and the Arts) in Oslo in 2003. Wiggen was awarded honorary membership in the Norwegian Society of Composers in November 2009, and in 2010 he was presented with the King's Medal of Honor in silver. Knut Wiggen was active as a writer and composer until his late years. He died in 2016.

- Carol van Nuys, 2018