Photo: Hans Lindén

Albert Schnelzer

In 1998 Albert Schnelzer won the competition Composers of Tomorrow with the orchestral work Erupto. The international breakthrough came with the world premiere of his piano trio Predatory Dances at the Présence Festival in Paris in 2004. Today his music is frequently performed by orchestras and chamber musicians in Sweden and abroad.

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Albert Schnelzer was born in 1972. Between 1994 and 2000 he studied composition at the Malmö Academy of Music and he has also studied at the master’s level at the Royal College of Music in London.

In 1998 he got a flying start when he won the competition Morgondagens Tonsättare (Composers of Tomorrow) with the orchestral work “Erupto”, premiered by the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. The international breakthrough came at the Présence Festival in Paris 2004, where the premiere performance of his piano trio “Predatory Dances” (commissioned by Radio France) was a tremendous success.

Schnelzer is appreciated by musicians for his inventiveness, his personal tonal language as well as his idiomatic but at the same time deeply original way of writing. His music is outgoing and openly communicative, sometimes minimalistic, at times even dance-like. His musical influences comes from widely differing styles such as Stravinsky, Iron Maiden and Balkan music, but there is also room for fragile and lyrically expressive moments. Furthermore Schnelzer has been greatly influenced by literature. For instance his Symphony No. 1 – Azraeel, his second string quartet Emperor Akbar and the oboe concerto The Enchanter were all inspired by Salman Rushdie’s books. 

During the past few years Schnelzer has scored successes with his chamber as well as his orchestral music. The concert opening piece A Freak in Burbank has been especially successful and is frequently performed. It received its UK Premiere at the Proms in August 2010. The oboe concerto The Enchanter was premiered, also in 2010, to great critical acclaim with French virtuso Francois Leleux as soloist. His collaboration with The Brodsky Quartet, for which he composed Emperor Akbar, has also attracted a great deal of attention. Next in the pipeline is the world premiere of his cello concert Crazy Diamond in December 2011 composed for Claes Gunnarsson on commission by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Future commissions include a Violin Concerto for Hugo Ticciati to be premiered in London in spring 2012, and a joint commission between the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Swedish Radio SO for the season 2012/2013.

Albert Schnelzer's music has been performed by orchestras including Gothenburg SO, Helsingborg SO, Swedish Chamber Orchestra,Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Arensky Chamber Orchestra, NAC Orchestra Ottawa, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, Dalasinfoniettan, Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, SNYKO m fl. Among the chamber ensembles you will find The Brodsky Quartet, Ensemble Ader, Kaskados, Ensemble Nordlys, the Weber Quartet, Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, The Swedish Recorder Quartet, Tango Fatale and many more 

Albert Schnelzer has represented Sweden at numerous festivals e.g. Musikbro 2001 (Denmark), MAGMA - The Biennal Festival of Nordic Contemporary Music in Berlin 2002, Colloque Fou de Basson 2002 (France), Nordic Music Days 2004 (Denmark), IDRS 2004 (Melbourne, Australien), Festival Présence 2004 (Paris),  2009 Nordland Music Festival (Bodø, Norway) 2010 Nordic Music Days (Cpoenhagen, Denmark).

For more information:

Selected works:

  • A Freak in Burbank
  • Azraeel Suite
  • Bassoon Concerto - Auroral Dances
  • String Quartet No 2 - Emperor Akbar
  • Symphony No 1 - Azraeel
  • Predatory Dances for Piano Trio