Photo: Anna Reet Gillblad

Gunnar Idenstam

Gunnar Idenstam, born in in the far north of Sweden, is a concert organist, composer, arranger and folk musician. In 1984, he was awarded 1:st prize in the prestigious improvisation competition "Grand Prix de Chartres" and since then his career has taken him to many parts of the world.

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As an interpreter, trained in the classical French tradition by among others the legendary Marie-Claire Alain, he has a special love for the music of Bach and for some of the French cathedral repertoire. His style as a composer/improviser is a felicitous amalgamation of art music, folk music and the more symphonically oriented rock music that represents something not previously attempted in organ music. As an arranger he reproduces all the colours of the symphony orchestra on the organ, for example in transcriptions of orchestral works by Mahler, Debussy and Ravel. He also arranges different kinds of popular ethnic music like "Riverdance". As a folk musician he stands quite apart in his transposition of the idiomatic details of the Swedish folk music tradition to church organ or harmonium and keyboard.
He frequently appears on Scandinavian television and he collaborates with top musicians from different genres. He has written commissioned works for Wermland Classic Festival, Lahti Organ Festival and for various groups in the Nordic countries. His Cathedral Music has been used in choreographer Margareta Åsberg´s work, and he has composed original music for choreographer and dancer Virpi Pahkinen.
His latest solo CD was Cathedral Music (BIS-Northern Lights) with music of his own. In 2004 was the release of his Swedish folk music CD, in surround, with Johan Hedin, nyckelharpa, and the duo now frequently tour Europe and Japan. As a soloist Gunnar Idenstam has in recent times given recitals in for example Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Monaco Cathedral, St Eustache cathedral in Paris, Kölner Philharmonie Konzertsaal, Concert Hall Ivan Cankar in Ljubljana and Svetlanov Hall in Moscow. In the season 2009-10 he performs in for example Moscow, Belgrade, Budapest, USA and Poland and during this period of time will be the release of his second CD with Johan Hedin and the recording of his own Jukkaslåtar (Songs for Jukkasjärvi) on the label BIS.
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