Knut Avenstroup Haugen was born in Oslo, but grew up in the southern Norwegian town of Kristiansand. Already at an early age Knut showed extraordinary talent as a pianist. During his piano studies at the Conservatory of Agder, Knut took his first composition classes. Even though he immediately fell in love with this art, Knut moved to Utrecht in the Netherlands to continue his piano studies. During his stay in Holland, Knut decided that he didn't want to be a pianist after all and chose to follow his dream of becoming a composer instead.