Nordic Weeks: Song Without Words
Composer Emmy Lindström became a household name in 2022 thanks to her acclaimed oratorio The Gospel of the Eels. This concert features the world premiere of her Song Without Words conducted by Patrik Ringborg, who also treats us to Rolf Martinsson’s Ich denke Dein… and Wilhelm Stenhammar’s symphonic cantata The Song.
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.
“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”
The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.
For more than 90 years, the Swedish Radio Choir has contributed to the development of the Swedish a cappella tradition. Under the leadership of legendary conductor Eric Ericson, the choir earned great international renown. It is still hailed as one of the best choirs in the world. The choir members’ ability to switch between powerful solo performances and seamlessly integrating themselves in the ensemble creates a unique and dynamic instrument praised by critics and music lovers alike, as well as by the many guest conductors who explore and challenge the choir’s possibilities.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Choir since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the seated audience, the choir reaches millions of listeners on the radio and the web through Klassiska konserten i P2. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top choirs.
With the 2020–2021 season, Kaspars Putniņš begins his tenure as the tenth Music Director of the Swedish Radio Choir. Since January 2019, Marc Korovitch is the choirmaster of the Swedish Radio Choir with responsibility for the ensemble’s continued artistic development. Two of the orchestra’s former Music Directors, Tõnu Kaljuste and Peter Dijkstra, were appointed Conductors Laureate in November 2019. Both maintain a close relationship with the choir and make regular guest appearances.
The Swedish Radio Choir was founded the same year as the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and the choir had its first concert in May 1925. Right from the start, the choir had high ambitions with a conscious aim to perform contemporary music.
The Eric Ericson Chamber Choir was founded in 1945 by the then 27-year-old Eric Ericson and has since been a prominent hub of the Swedish as well as the international music scene. The ensemble’s interest in continually finding new music and new fields of work has given them a very extensive repertoire: from early music to the very latest. For generations of Swedish and international composers, the choir has represented an ideal with its characteristic Nordic sound and skilful virtuosity. The Eric Ericson Chamber Choir is part of the international elite of professional ensembles. Fredrik Malmberg has been their choirmaster since 2013.
Soprano Hanna Husáhr hails from Borlänge and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg as well as at the Stockholm Opera Studio. In 2009, she made her operatic debut as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles. She has also played Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Romilda in Xerxes and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. In addition, Hanna has a broad concert repertoire that spans the entire period from early baroque to newly written music, and she has worked with conductors such as Leif Segerstam, Pinchas Steinberg, Mikko Franck and Herbert Blomstedt. Hanna received the Jussi Björling prize in 2011, the Christina Nilsson scholarship in 2013, the Mozart Prize in the Stenhammar competition in 2016 and the Birgit Nilsson scholarship in 2017.
With her dark, elegant timbre and expressive stage presence Susanna is an appreciated artist, both in opera and concert repertoire. Active since her diploma from the University College of Opera in Stockholm in 2007, she has appeared at several of the most important stages is Sweden, like the Royal Opera, Gothenburg opera, Malmö opera, Norrlandsoperan, Folkoperan, Opera på Skäret and more.
This summer, Sundberg will make her debut as Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) at Opera på Skäret in Sweden. Other roles on the repertoire are for example Mary in Wagner’s The flying Dutchman, Amastre in Händel’s Xerxes, Mrs.Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff, Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Erda in Wagner’s Das Rheingold.
Sundberg was awarded 1st prize Kokkola Lied Competition (Finland) and was given a special prize at the International Sibelius Singing Competition. Recipient of scholarships from the Swedish Wagner society, the Drottningholm theater, Anders Wall, Konstnärsnämnden, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and the TSO-sisters, to name a few.
John Lundgren started performing at the Royal Danish Opera already while studying in at the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen. He has performed dramatic baritone roles such as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlos, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca and Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. He has also done several Wagner roles such as Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Amfortas in Parsifal and recently the Wanderer in Siegfried in Leipzig 2015 and Wotan in Die Walküre at the Bayreuth Festival in 2016 and 2017.
Contemporary opera is also an important part of his repertoire, including Prospero in Thomas Adès’ The Tempest at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, Hans Gefors’ Notorius at the Gothenburg Opera and no less than four different roles in Reine Jönsson’s Cecilia och apkungen at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre. In 2006 he was awarded the Birgit Nilsson award and in 2010 he was made a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Approximate concert length: 1 h 40 min, with intermission
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