Oskar Lindberg

Oskar Lindberg came of a dynasty of folk musicians, and his own musical output was profoundly influenced by folk music and the scenery of his native countryside. His music is National-Romantic in the best sense of the term, with touches of Rachmaninov, Sibelius and French impressionism.

Search for works in catalogue »

Born on February 23rd 1887 in Gagnef, died April 10th 1955. Organist of Gagnef Church at the age of 14, he entered the Stockholm Conservatory when he was 16, graduating as an organist in 1906 and as music teacher and precentor in 1908. Meantime he studied composition with Ernst Ellberg and Andreas Hallén. An educational tour abroad included studies of conducting in Sondershausen. He became organist of Trefaldighetskyrkan (Trinity Church), Stockholm, in 1906 and, in 1914, of Engelbrektskyrkan, where he remained until his death. He was also a popular organ recitalist. He taught music at Palmgrenska Samskolan 1910-1920 and Norrmalm High School 1921-1926. He became teacher of harmony at the State Academy of Music in Stockholm in 1919, and was made Professor in 1936. He was Conductor of the Stockholm University Orchestral Association 1922, member of the Hymn Book Committee 1939 – he contributed 14 hymn tunes in folksong vein – and of the 1941 Liturgical Music Committee. He was awarded a State Composer’s Fellowship 1902-1916, became a Member of the Royal Academy of Music in 1926, Litt. et art. 1932. Hon.Ph.D., Stockholm University College, 1947.
Although he spent most of his life in Stockholm, he did his composing during the summer, preferably at the shieling of Knipbuan (Lake Insjön), where he had a special “organ cottage“ built for him. His organ composition En gammal fäbodpsalm från Dalarna has come to be his best loved and best-known work, but Gesunda hill gave him the inspiration for the symphonic poem Gesunda (1946), incorporating visions of herding calls and polska dances, and in the nature portrait Från de stora skogarna (From the Deep Forests) we encounter a gorgeous palette and an abundance of melody – qualities which are present in all his works. His Leksand Suite is based on a handful of more or less familiar folk tunes. He also-wrote absolute music, such as the grandiose Symphony in F (1913-1915), Organ sonata in G minor and a moving Requiem. His choral songs, solo songs and piano works merit attention, and so does his opera Fredlös, based on the story by Selma Lagerlöf. Altogether Lindberg wrote more than 400 compositions. 

Stig Jacobsson
Source: STIM / Swedish Musc Information Centre