Fredrik Sixten

Fredrik Sixten (born 1962 in Västra Götalands län in Sweden) trained as an organist and conductor and has studied composition with Professor Sven-David Sandström. He has been organist and choir director in Vänersborg (1991-2000), artistic director and conductor of the Gothenburg Boys’ Choir (1997-2001), organist of Härnösand Cathedral (2001-2013) and Cathedral Organist in Nidarosdomen, Trondheim (2013-2014). During this period the number of commissions received led to his becoming a full-time composer from 2014.

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Fredrik Sixten’s compositions are the result of an _DSC1925.jpgeclectic and comprehensive knowledge of musical history, with the master of the baroque Johann Sebastian Bach and 20th century French composers as significant sources of inspiration. Sixten’s musical language also integrates various aspects of jazz technique and of the folk music of his native Sweden.

The greater part of his work consists of liturgical music for organ and choir in a number of combinations, in addition to instrumental music in various forms. Most of his works are traditional in structure. His production ranges from largescale works, such as operas, oratorios and passions, to chamber works, including sonatas, toccatas and preludes, not to mention a multitude of contributions to the choral repertoire. His treatment of the traditional forms is nevertheless characterized by a forward-looking attitude, which includes local and regional forms of expression, an interest in gender roles and a generally contemporary tonal language. These aspects are evident in “En svensk Markuspassion”, written in 2003, which is the first setting of the passion in Swedish, influenced by Swedish folk music , and the first work to use a female singer in the role of Evangelist ever.

With his background as a practicing church musician Sixten has to a large extent written music suitable not only for concert performance but also for liturgical use. He has produced a wide range of material suitable for use by average congregations and choirs. In addition to a considerable number of choral works of moderate difficulty he has also been involved in the revision of the Swedish national hymn book. His attitude towards the listener is also such that his production can be appreciated both by musical specialists and non-specialists alike.

Similarly, in his instrumental music Sixten is anxious to communicate by making music which “sounds good”, even though the harmonies can be challenging and the music can take unexpected turns. He does not wish to be regarded as “traditional” or “modern”, but rather as a synthesis of the two.

Updated 2021

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Selected works:

  • En svensk Markuspassion (A Swedish S:t Mark's Passion)
  • Ett svenskt Juloratorium (A Swedish Christmas Oratorio)
  • Requiem
  • Triptych for organ solo (2004)
  • Sonata for cello and piano (1985)