Jonas Valfridsson (photo: Viktor Gårdsäter)
Jonas Valfridsson (photo: Viktor Gårdsäter)

Jonas Valfridsson

“What I strive for in my music is above all beauty, which for me is something fleeting and elusive. This is probably why my music is often distinguished by the mystical and fragile. Throughout the years I have developed a rather characteristic sound, a lyrical treatment of quite modern sonorities. We could perhaps discern influences that point back to Dutilleux and Saariaho.”

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Jonas Valfridsson was born in Jönköping in 1980. He began his musical career as a rock and jazz guitarist but, as time went by, his interest in composition took over completely. Valfridsson has a Master’s degree in composition and has studied at Gotland School of Music Composition, the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Paris and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Above all, Jonas Valfridsson has attracted much attention for his orchestral music, which is appreciated for its meticulously prepared treatment of tones and its innovative orchestration. It is his ambition to use modernistic advances in playing techniques and form treatments without renouncing his passionate expression or the organic musical flow. He won the third prize in the International Toru Takemitsu Composition Award with his orchestral work, In Killing Fields Sweet Butterfly Ascend (2007), he was the winner of the Uppsala Composition Competition with The Only Thing That You Keep Changing Is Your Name (2009), and of the Ann-Sophie Mutter Composition Contest 2014 with A Sudden Recollection: Le Jardin des Plantes.

During  2014 Jonas Valfridsson was  composer-in-residence with Sinfonietta Riga which resulted in the commissioning of  the chamber orchestra work Bikernieku Mezs (a forest outside Riga), composed in the memory of the around 40000 people (mostly jews) that was murdered there during the German occupation. The works was premiered in the autumn 2015 and was also brought on tour by Sinfonietta Riga during 2016.

Temples of Kamakura (2014-15) was composed on commission for Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and was premiered under the baton of Michael Francis. Valfridsson found the inspiration for this work during a journey to Japan. Each of the four movements depicts one of the ancient temples in Kamakura.
2018 saw the premieres of two works inspired by the beautiful fairy-tale paintings by the artist John Bauer, who perished tragically with his whole family in an autumn storm on Lake Vättern in 1918. Sebastian Stevenson was soloist with Musica Vitae in the bassoon concertino, Svanhamnen/The Swan Maiden in January. It was followed by John Bauer Suite 1918, a multi-movement orchestral work with choir. The work was jointly commissioned by Jönköpings Sinfonietta and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, and was premiered in Bauer´s hometown of Jönköping in conjunction with the centenary memorial of the accident in November 2018.

During the season 2019-2020 Jonas Valfridsson is composer in focus with the Dala Sinfonietta.