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Sweden mourns a major composer

Anders Eliasson died on Monday night, aged 66.

Eclectic to a fault, admiring the outcast Allan Pettersson, he fought against every kind of conformity and orthodoxy. His major work in recent years was a music drama, Karolina’s Sleep, for soprano and orchestra. He wrote four symphonies and was New York’s second Nordic composer in residence. While Magnus Lindberg served the Philharmonic, Anders worked with the Arcos chamber ensemble.



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  1. Magnus Lindberg is Finnish.

    • oops!

      • Finland is part of the Nordic countries though.

        • Tell that to a Finn! That’s almost as risky as telling him/her that he/she’s Scandinavian (which in turn’s about as foolhardy as describing a Scot as English)…

        • The original version of the blog post said “Swedish” composers.

          I don’t think any Finns have trouble being labeled as Nordic. The reason why some take exception to “Scandinavian” is that the definition of Scandinavia in Finnish schools and e.g. weather forecasts on TV is the strict one, which does not include Finland. The term “Fennoskandia” (= Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland, Carelia and the Kola Peninsula) is used in Finnish, but I haven’t really seen it in English.

  2. Benjamin Staern says:

    It is a sad loss Sweden has encountered. Very highly appreciated composer among colleagues and musicians, his music will be remembered through future generations to come.

  3. Bosse Bergkvist says:

    Indeed, Benjamin! A great, sad loss. Far too early. And you’re so right Anders Eliasson will forever be a musicians’ composer. Such a fine man, too!
    It gives me great joy that precisely John-Edward Kelly had chosen to work with Anders’ music!
    Thanks to both!

  4. I am as sad as I am surprised. I had no idea. So music in him, so music left in him. I shall treasure the time I took him to lunch in Gamla Stan (Old Town, Stockholm). An artist with great integrity.

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