Georg Riedel (photo: Conny Ekström)
Georg Riedel (photo: Conny Ekström)

Georg Riedel

Georg Riedel's two main avenues of expression were his double bass and his pen. As a player, since the 50s he was a popular regular in mainstream Swedish jazz circles, working with such eminent musicians as Jan Johansson, Thad Jones, Arne Domnérus and George Russell.
As a composer, Georg Riedel's fame reached beyond the realm of jazz and practically every Swedish child is familiar with his songs.

Search for works in catalogue »

He used to hate songs, even children's songs. That changed when he met Astrid Lindgren and got to see how seriously she took children’s culture. “She also taught me how important it is that what you write for children also appeals to adults”, tells Georg Riedel.

He practiced this knowledge in a number of children's productions. Best known for his music to a number of Astrid Lindgren films, he has also written songs to texts by, among others, Barbro Lindgren, Gunilla Bergström and Lennart Hellsing.

Both jazz and art music
But Georg Riedel's music encompasses much more than children's songs. At the request of the Church of Sweden he set music to poems from the Swedish hymnal. He also set music to texts by a number of Swedish poets including Karin Boye, Gunnar Ekelöf and Tomas Tranströmer.

Georg Riedel’s original home domain was jazz, but to this he added art music, which also was an obvious part of his expression. That he had success in both camps is confirmed by the fact that he received both the Lars Gullin Prize and the Hugo Alfvén Prize.

Georg Riedel passed away in 2024.

(This is a shortened version of an interview with Riedel made by Mattias Franzén in 2005. Source: Svensk Musik)