St Matthew Passion Premieres
Olle Persson and Sven-David Sandström outside
the Berliner Philharmonie
Photo: Tina Sjögren
Following the successful world premiere in Berliner Philharmonie on 16 February, Sandström's St. Matthewpassion will receive its Swedish premieres in Stockholm on 16 April and Uppsala on 17 April. The line-up will be the same as in Berlin, except for the orchestra. Stefan Parkman will conduct the Philharmonischer Chor Berlin, the Academy Chamber Choir of Uppsala and Gävle Symphony Orchestra.
The cast also includes the following soloists:
Jesus: Olle Persson, baritone
Judas: Timothy Fallon, tenor
Peter: Andreas Scheibner, bass
Karin Dahlberg, soprano, Ivonne Fuchs, alto
Sofia Niklasson, soprano
Anna Zander, alto
Niklas Engquist, tenor
Lars Johansson Brissman, bass
New video portrait
Watch the new video portrait, Sven-David Sandström - In the Footprints of Bach!
Sandström belongs to the foremost choral composers of our time. His music is performed by choirs all over the world. Since the 90s he has composed a large amount of sacred music and works in the footprints of Bach.
The video includes an interview with Sandström, as well as sound samples of works as High Mass, Magnificat, Requiem, Lobet den Herrn, and a short sample from the recently premiered St. Matthew Passion.
Stunning Requiem premiere in Stockholm
Katija Dragojevic, Elin Rombo and Gustaf Sjökvist
at the world premiere of Sandström's Requiem
Photo © Arne Hyckenberg
Sven-David Sandström's Requiem received its world premiere in a crowded Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on 22 March. Gustaf Sjökvist conducted the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Choir and four vocal soloists in a stunning performance which received a standing ovation and rave reviews in Swedish press.
"The vocal parts are a tribute to the human voice's possibilities to create beauty...
You get impressed by the wondrous overtones Sandström can get out of the choir...
The choir, percussion, organ, soloists and brass form a shimmering majesty around the Catholic Requiem text...
On the whole an amazing performance under the direction of Gustaf Sjökvist...
In the Lux aeterna movement Elin Rombo and Katija Dragojevic sing a duet so beautifully that the thoughts unsought go to Delibes' Flower Duet."
World premiere 23 March 2013
Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Swedish Radio Choir
Conductor: Gustaf Sjökvist
Soloists: Elin Rombo, soprano, Katija Dragojevic, mezzo soprano, Olle Persson, baritone, Matthew Rose, bass
St Matthew Passion in Berlin 2014
The premiere date for Sandström's monumental St. Matthew Passion has now been set to the 16 February 2014. Stefan Parkman will lead the Philharmonischer Chor Berlin and the Staatskapelle Halle in the world premiere in the Berliner Philharmonie. Further performances will take place on 17 and 18 April in Uppsala and Stockholm (Uppsala Academy Chamber Choir / Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir / Gävle Symphony Orchestra) and the Notre Dame School of Music will give the US premiere in July 2014. All performances will be conducted by Stefan Parkman.
Sandström turns 70
Photo © Eva Rudling
Sven-David Sandström celebrates his 70th birthday on 30 October.
BBC Singers, the Swedish Radio Choir, Chor des Bayerisches Rundfunks, Chorwerk Ruhr, Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and many others pay tribute to Sandström with performances of his works.
Find more information about these concerts in the calendar to the right!
Sven-David Sandström returns to Bloomington
Sven-David Sandström has gladly accepted an invitation to return to Indiana University in Bloomington as professor of composition. Sandström held the post as professor of composition between 1999 and 2008, and now returns for a three-year period, starting this September.
After nine years as a Professor of Composition in Bloomington, Sven-David Sandström "retired" in 2008. He had been offered a three-year term as composer-in-residence at Storkyrkan, the main cathedral in Stockholm, and the church of Hässelby Villastad, outside of Stockholm, to compose music for all of the Sundays and holidays of the church year. The offer was irresistible: Sandström is convinced that musical renewal is crucial for the survival of the church.
On average he composed two works per month, hymns, works for children's choir, cantatas, motets, and instrumental music. He especially appreciated the closely-knit community he experienced with the performers and audience. The working process was intimate, direct, and immediate - sometimes there could be as little as a week or two from the start to the performance - and this brought him closer to the historical ways of writing, and the simplicity and joy of the creative process.
During his stay in Stockholm he composed several other works, Missa brevis (2010) for soprano, choir and orchestra and two large-scale oratorios, Requiem (2010) for solo vocal quartet choir and orchestra, and St. Matthew Passion (2011) for nine soloists, choir, and orchestra. He also returned to composing for dance, something he had not done since the 1990s, with the hour-long ballet Seven days (2011) choreographed by Örjan Andersson for the Skåne Dance Theater and Malmö Opera Orchestra.
But now, the project is finished, and Sandström is returning to Bloomington. The vibrant artistic and intellectual community at IU and most importantly, the opportunity with a new generation of composition students - not to mention an early mandatory retirement age in Sweden - made the move an easy decision.
As he turns 70 in October, he shows no signs of slowing down. To mark his birthday, he will attend the Swedish premiere of his Six Pieces for Piano Trio and Orchestra (2010), with Trio con Brio Copenhagen and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm, give lectures, and hopefully pause to celebrate.
Sandström completes St. Matthew Passion
Sven-David Sandström has finished the composition of a new large scaled work: St. Matthew Passion. It is based on the same text as Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion, which also is the only similarity between Bach's and Sandström's works. This process of composing can be compared to Sandström's Messiah that is based on Händel's Messiah or the motets based on Bach's motets. Using old master's works as base has become a significant way of composing for Sandström.
Sandström's St. Matthew Passion is written for nine soloists, choir and large orchestra. By putting the part of the evangelist to a group of four soloists Sandström gives this role a special character with big variation in expression.
With its duration of 130 minutes and the setting of nine soloists, choir and large orchestra Sandström's St. Matthew Passion is the largest Passion ever written.
Five performances are planned 2014 in Sweden, Germany and USA with conductor Prof. Stefan Parkman.
On Santa Lucia's Day 13 December, the new orchestral piece, Lullaby for the New Born Child, by Sven-David Sandström will be premiered in the Hedvig Eleonora Church in Stockholm. Conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist the Stockholm Sinfonietta will give five performances of the work between 13 and 20 December. The work is included in a classical Christmas program also featuring Malena Ernman, Karl-Magnus Fredriksson, Hedvig Eleonora Chamber Choir and a children's choir from Adolf Fredrik School of Music.
Sandström brings choral music to another level
Two reviews have been published for the CD Nordic Sounds - The music of Sven-David Sandström.
Gramophone Magazine 2011:
"Sandström has clearly upped the level of vocal expertise he demands of his choirs as the years have gone by. But these Swedish singers take it all in their stride, seeming to find no problem with his incredibly high tessitura for all voices, traditional, rich, romantic harmonies behaving in anything but a traditional way and non-musical vocalisations."
International Record Review 2011:
"The music, performances and recording are all phenomenally good…The singing of the Swedish Radio Choir under its Peter Dijkstra will leave you slack-jawed in amazement: control of pitch, dynamic, rhythm, blend, you name it, is perfect."
Thundering Applause for Sandström in Copenhagen
Trio con Brio
Photo: Soren Svendsen
Two reviews of the World Premiere of Six Pieces for Piano Trio and Orchestra.
Jyllandsposten, 17 November 2011:
"...The contrasts came with the premiere of 69 year old Sven-David Sandström's Six Pieces for Piano Trio and Orchestra. Sandström is known for his spectacular works and these six pieces are no exception. In the beginning the percussion stole the sound picture, but pianist, violinist and cellist followed and created a lyric contrast. The piano reminded of soft raindrops. Later the piece moved through pastel coloured impressionism and ingratiating romanticism.
There were shrill, crisp violin sounds, massive percussion and awkward brass chords. The three soloists followed each other closely and stepped forward alternately with fine solo passages. On the podium Kristjan Järvi coloured and shaped the simple accompaniment. Very evocative."
Politiken, 17 September 2011:
"Even the premiere of the Swedish nestor Sven-David Sandström's six pieces for piano trio and orchestra created thundering applause. New compositions normally do not awake spontaneous enthusiasm, but the combination of Trio con Brio's highly energetic and yet precise interpretation, friendly romantic melodies and emotional tableaus is helpful for Järvi to make contemporary music easy to grasp."
Triple Concerto premiered in Copenhagen
Trio con Brio
Photo © Tue Schiørring
Sven-David Sandström's Six Pieces for Piano Trio and Orchestra received its world premiere in the Copenhagen Concert Hall on 15 September. Jointly commissioned by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra and the Danish Philharmonic Orchestra - South Jutland, the triple concerto was composed for the award-winning Trio con Brio Copenhagen. Kristjan Järvi conducted the Danish National SO in the premiere.
On September 29 the Odense Symphony Orchestra will follow up with a performance under the baton of Christoph Eberle.
Trio con Brio consists of the Korean sisters Soo-Jin Hong (violin) and Soo-Kyung Hong (violoncello), and the Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer.
In the Footsteps of Bach - Music Documentary
The diligent Sven-David Sandström writes his music in the spirit of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Meet him in a challenging collaboration with mezzo soprano Malena Ernman, the conductor Gustaf Sjökvist and some of the choirs that perform his music around the world. A music documentary by Camilla Lundberg.
The film is broadcasted in Swedish TV2 - Musik Special, on Saturday 22 October at 19.00 with repeats on Sunday 23 October at 16.00 and Monday 24 October at 22.45.
Gustaf Sjökvist will conduct the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir in the world premiere of Sven-David Sandström's new Requiem. The premiere is scheduled for March 2013 in Berwaldhallen, Stockholm. Lasting about 60 minutes the Requiem is a large scale work including Symphony Orchestra, six part choir and four vocal soloists.
Westminster Kantorei premieres new Sandström piece
29 October will see the premiere of Sven-David Sandström's new work for six part choir a cappella, God be Merciful, Psalm 67. The piece is commissioned by the Soli Deo Gloria Foundation and the Sacred Music Department of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, USA.
Conducted by Andrew Megill the Westminster Kantorei's performance in Bristol Chapel concludes a day-long celebration of new music for the church.
Sandström releases a brand new web site!
Sandström's web page
In September 2011 Sven-David Sandström has released a long awaited web site. It is a collaboration between the Music Agency Gehrmans Musikförlag and the web designer Cristin Lindqvist which has made this possible.
All friends of Sven-David Sandström's music will now be able to find more information about his works, and also be able to download pictures and listen to music as well as watch videos with Sandström's music.