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 Hugo Alfvén

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Hugo Alfvén

  • Birth 1 May 1872
  • Death 5 May 1960
  • Burial Leksand, Leksands kommun, Dalarnas län, Sweden
  • Plot 1 A 4 250
  • Memorial ID 8059364

Composer, Conductor. He and Wilhelm Stenhammar were the outstanding Swedish composers of their time. Alfvén was strongly nationalistic and he pioneered in introducing Swedish folk music into his compositions. The "Swedish Rhapsody No. 1", subtitled "Midsummer Vigil" (1904), brought him international fame and remains his best known piece. He regarded his five symphonies, written between 1897 and 1954, as his finest achievements. Alfvén was born in Stockholm, and attended its Royal Conservatory (1887 to 1891), majoring in violin and composition. From 1890 to 1897 he earned a living as a violinist in the Swedish Court Orchestra while struggling to have his early music performed. His Symphony No. 2 (1900) won him the Jenny Lind Stipend for three years of additional study, which he spent in Belgium and Germany. In 1908 he became a member of Stockholm's Royal Academy of Music and in 1910 was appointed music director of the University of Uppsala, a post he held for 29 years. He also served as conductor of Sweden's famed male choir The Servants of Orpheus (1910 to 1947) and took them on several European tours. In 1954 he made Sweden's first classical recordings in stereo, conducting some of his orchestral music. A talented painter in his spare time, he once considered abandoning music for graphic art. He died four days after his 88th birthday, his place as one of the foremost Scandinavian composers assured. Like many musical nationalists Alfvén had an essentially romantic style, influenced by Richard Strauss in its color and often programmatic content. The majority of his 200 compositions are songs, cantatas, and hymns for chorus, some designed for amateur groups. The Symphony No. 4 (1919) is the most original of his symphonies, a single-movement work with wordless voices as part of its texture. Also notable are the tone poem "A Legend of the Skerries" (1904), the "Swedish Rhapsody No. 2" (1907), "Swedish Rhapsody No. 3" (1937), the "Festival Overture" (1944), and the ballet "The Prodigal Son" (1957). The "Elegy" from his 1932 incidental music for the play "Gustav II Adolf" is frequently used as funeral music.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peter Robsahm
  • Added: 4 Nov 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8059364
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Hugo Alfvén (1 May 1872–5 May 1960), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8059364, citing Leksands kyrkogård, Leksand, Leksands kommun, Dalarnas län, Sweden ; Maintained by Find A Grave .