Kai MortensenBorn: December 27th, 1908
Died: March 9th, 1989, Helsingør (Denmark)
Kai Mortensen was one of the usual guest conductors in the early years of the Eurovision Song Contest. From Denmark’s first participation in 1957 until 1964, he conducted all the entries submitted by the Scandinavian country. He wrote the orchestrations to at least three of those entries. During all those years, he also was the musical director of the Danish preselection, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. In 1963, he belonged to the Danish team that won the contest in London with ‘Dansevise’ (sung by Grethe and Jørgen Ingman). When, the year after, the contest was staged in Copenhagen, all songs were accompanied by the Unterholdningsorkester and Kai Mortensen was the musical director. Because Portugal had not sent along a guest conductor, Mortensen also conducted the – very first – Portuguese entry, ‘Oração’, which had been arranged by Joaquim Luís Gomes and Armando Tavares Belo. After 1964, Mortensen never participated in the contest anymore. All in all, he conducted nine Eurovision songs.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Kai Mortensen will be published on this website