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Ingvar Lidholm (Composer)

Born: February 24, 1921 - Jönköping, Sweden

Ingvar (Natanael) Lidholm is a Swedish composer. During his high school years in Södertälje he studied violin for Hermann Gramms and instrumentation with Natanael Berg. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm 1940-1845, taking violin lessons with Axel Runnqvist and studying conducting with Tor Mann. 1943-1945, composition studies with Hilding Rosenberg.

From 1943 to 1947 Ingvar Lidholm was viola player at the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra. He was awarded the Jenny Lind Fellowship for 1946-1947, which made possible study trips to France, Switzerland, and Italy. Town Director of Music in the city of Örebro 1947-1956. In 1949, he was the first Swede to attend the courses in new music in Darmstadt. Head of Chamber Music at the Swedish Radio 1956-1965, professor in composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm 1965-1975 (pro tem. 1962). Head of Planning of the Music Department at the Swedish Radio 1975, editor of the periodical Nutida Musik (New Music), deputy member of the board of the Society of Swedish Composers 1947-1951 and 1963-1965. Lidholm became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1960, and was its Vice President 1963-1969. He headed the Swedish section of ISCM 1970-1971, and was a member of ISCM’s presidium from 1974-1976. He won the Christ Johnson Prize in 1958, the Koussewitzky International Recording Award in 1965, the Salzburg Opera Prize in 1968 for the TV opera Holländarn (“The Dutchman ”), and the Alfvén and Rolf Schock prizes in 1993. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Örebro University in 2002.

Ingvar Lidholm’s early works reveal a subjective Nordic romantic (Toccata e Canto, 1944, Sex sånger [Six Songs]1943), but soon, characteristics from Paul Hindemith and Béla Bartók also came into the picture (Concerto, 1945, Sonata for solo flute, 1946, Music for Strings, 1952). In the choral piece Laudi, older vocal polyphony is united with modern harmony. His tonal language is rich and many-faceted, his production meaningful and versatile. His breakthrough work was Ritornell for orchestra (ISCM 1958), and some of his other orchestral pieces especially worthy of mention are the ballet Riter (“Rites”, 1959, choreography by Birgit Åkesson), Mutanza (1959), and Poesis (1964), written for the 50th anniversary of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1964, an unconventional ‘festive’ music featuring brutal, many-colored blocks of sound, dynamic climaxes, and absurd cadenzas for piano and double bass. Greetings from an old world was composed for the Clarion Music Society in New York in 1976 on the occasion of the American Bicentennial. “I use traditions - like easily perceived sounding models of gesturing, virtuoso, or melodic character.” An important ingredient of this piece is Heinrich Isaac’s wandering song, Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen. A companion piece, Kontakion (1979), was commissioned by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for a tour of the Soviet Union, and the Orthodox tradition of Russia permeates the work. None of his other scores have been disseminated more than Stamp Music, composed for the release of a stamp honoring the 200th anniversary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Two ‘scenes’ for soprano, mixed choir, and orchestra have a special place in his production: Skaldens natt (“The Poet’s Night”, 1958) and Nausikaa ensam (“Nausikaa Alone”, 1963). His choral music is also an important part of his opus list, from Fyra körer (“Four Choruses” to words by Åke Nilsson, 1953) and his A cappella book (with among other pieces Canto LXXXI, 1959), to …a riveder le stelle (1974) and Perserna (“The Persians”) for male choir (1978).

The opera A Dream Play (based on Strindberg’s play) grew during a long creative process, and parts of the opera, such as the choral works Vindarnas klagan (“The Lament of the Winds”) and De profundis were performed concertante long before the opera was premiered by the Royal Stockholm Opera in September, 1992. Another ‘scene’ for voice and orchestra was premiered in connection with the week-long Lidholm festival arranged by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998. This stund, när ditt inre (“When in Nothingness’ Hour Thy Soul”) was written for Peter Mattei, and has become a powerfully expressive monologue.

Source: Swedish Music Information Center (Author: Stig Jacobsson (2002) English translation: George Kentros)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Greetings from an Old World, 1976 for Orchestra
His technical development in the orchestral genre is represented in a twin set of works characterized by the brilliance of the orchestral writing: Greetings from an Old World, written for the 1976 USA bicentenary, in which Heinrich Isaac's Innsbruck ich muss dich lassen forms part of the thematic material.

O Welt, ich muß dich lassen

Links to other Sites

Ingvar Lidholm (Swedish Music Information Center)
Ingvar Lidholm (Swedish Music Information Center)

Lidholm, Ingvar Natanael (WQXR)



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