Gunnar Idenstam, Ulrika Boden, Sandra Marteleur, S:t Jacobs Kammarkör & Gary Graden

Biography Gunnar Idenstam, Ulrika Boden, Sandra Marteleur, S:t Jacobs Kammarkör & Gary Graden

Gunnar Idenstam
is a concert organist, composer, arranger and folk musician. He trained as a classical organist and his teachers included the legendary French organist Marie-Claire Alain. In 1984 he won the Grand Prix de Chartres, the prestigious improvisation competition and he has since given recitals all over the world. His style as a composer/improviser is a mixture of art music, folk music and symphonically oriented rock music; a combination that has not previously been associated with the organ. Of the traditional organ repertoire Gunnar Idenstam performs mainly Bach and the French composers. He also arranges and performs both symphonic and popular music with ethnic influences. As a folk musician he is unique in transferring the Swedish tradition of folk music to the organ and the harmonium, performing either alone or as a duo with, for example, Lisa Rydberg and Johan Hedin.

The St. Jacobs Chamber Choir
was founded in 1980 and performs regularly at services and concerts in Stockholm’s S:t Jacob (St. James) Church. Since its inception the choir has shown a particular interest in modern choral music and it frequently commissions and performs works by new and exciting composers. This has contributed strongly to the choir’s reputation as one of the finest in Sweden. The S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir delights in undertaking projects like the present recording in which creative musical innovation and tradition coincide.

Gary Graden
was born in the USA in Philadelphia. He has directed the choir since 1984. He trained in the USA and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with Eric Ericson, in whose chamber choir he has sung. In 2005 Gary Graden was awarded the prize as Sweden’s choral director of the year and he is in great demand as a teacher and guest conductor in Sweden and abroad. Gary Graden has shown a unique capacity for combining widely varying musical genres with the sonorities of Swedish choral tradition. With the curiosity of the true musician he also likes performing newly written works.

Lisa Rydberg
is a folk musician with the title riksspelman (‘musician of the country’) and baroque violinist with a unique musical background: she has consistently refused to choose a genre. She is the fist person to have graduated from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with the combination of classical and folk music. Aged only seventeen she was awarded the prestigious folk music prize, known as the Päkkos Gustaf Award, at the Nordic folk-music Mecca of Bingsjö. She appears in diverse musical contexts: in duos with Gunnar Idenstam, the saxophonist Jonas Knutsson and others, in baroque ensembles and as a violinist and arranger of strings on pop albums. She has also released three discs under her own name.

Sofia Karlsson
is a folk musician and singer from the Stockholm suburb of Enskede. Among her early musical influences she mentions her grandmother performing chorales on the har- monium, her grandfather playing a single-row accordeon and her mother who always sang in the car. She released a Dan Andersson disc Svarta Ballader (‘black ballads’) in a folk vein in 2005 and has since toured in Sweden and Scandinavia with her solo band.

Emma Härdelin
was born in Delsbo – famous for its folk music tradition – in 1975. She is the fourth generation of folk musicians in the Härdelin family. With her pure and distinct style of singing she has gained a reputation in the world of folk music, not least as a member of the groups Garmarna and Triakel.

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