Carin Malmöf-Forssling
Carin Malmöf-Forssling

Malmlöf-Forssling, Carin

Sound texture means a great deal in Carin Malmlöf-Forssling's works, which can be described as sensitive music permeated by a bright view of life and by creative responsiveness.

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Born in Gävle on 6th March 1916, died on 11th September 2005. She qualified as organist and choir director in Uppsala in 1937. She studied counterpoint (1938-1940) and composition (1941-1943) under H.M. Melchers at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and graduated as a music teacher in 1942. She studied the piano with Gottfrid Boon and composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, 1957. She was active in Falun from 1952: a piano teacher at the high school there 1972-1981, and on the committee of the Chamber Music Association 1963-1981 (Programme Secretary 1965-1967, Vice Chairman 1971-1981). She was elected a member of the Society of Swedish Composers’ in 1970, and for many years was its only woman member. She has at various times received the Municipality of Falun Arts Prize, working scholarships from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Arts Grants Committee in Stockholm, and a scholarship from the Swedish Composers’ Society. In 1987 she was awarded the Medal for the Promotion of the Art of Music from the Royal Academy of Music. She was voted “composer of the year“ during the 1987 Siljan Music Festival. She was represented at Svensk Musikvår 1976,1982 and 1987 and at the Nordic Music Days, Reykjavik 1976.

Carin Malmlöf-Forssling quickly showed a great talent for improvisation, which came in very useful during her student years, when she supplemented her income by working as a pianist at ballet schools. She also began composing at an early age, and her organ composition Ceremonial Prelude (1937) was already published, in the USA, in 1938. After that she notched up a variegated output including both songs, chamber music and orchestral compositions. Vocal music played an important part in her output and also includes her biggest composition, Biblia Dalecarlia (1971 for reciter, soprano, tenor, mixed choir and clarinet), which takes half an hour to perform. Her important chamber music works Sonata Svickel (1964, for solo flute) and Orizzonte (1981, for solo horn) – a vigorous, moving piece in which the instrument is put to a great variety of uses, all of them artistically convincing - have aroused justifiable admiration, and both are included in a gramophone recording, the first commercial release in Sweden to be entirely devoted to music by a female composer.

Carin Malmlöf-Forssling received on several occasions commissions for various occasions, and the resultant pieces have proved to be of such sterling quality and depth that they have subsequently been played in other contexts as well. Thus Ecce jubile (1975), for male voice choir, was written for the 75th anniversary of the Falun Male Voice Choir and also includes electro-acoustic elements. In 1979 Swedish Radio commissioned a tape-recorded composition, Nattliga Ackord. For the opening of the Kristine Hall in Falun in 1985 she composed the choral work Tre (1984), and the orchestral composition Flowings (1986), commissioned by the Stockholm Concert Hall Foundation for the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, has also been performed in several other parts of Sweden, to the acclaim of reviewers. As part of the composer’s portrait, containing a wide selection of her music, which toured Sweden in the autumn of 1986 and the summer of 1987, Swedish Concert Institute commissioned Tre Latinska Sentenser (1986) for soprano, flute, horn and piano. She is thus a figure of note at both national and local levels, and her music has been played in more than ten different countries.

Most of her music is written in traditional notation, but graphic symbols are also used, for example, in her Revival for strings (1976, first per formed in 1978). Sound texture means a great deal in her works, which can be described as sensitive music permeated by a bright view of life and by creative responsiveness.

Stig Jacobsson, rev. 2005 © Svensk Musik