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Wilhelm Peterson-Berger

(1867—1942)


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(b Ullånger, Ångermanland, 27 Feb. 1867; d Ostersund, 3 Dec. 1942). Swedish composer and critic. He studied the organ and composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm (1886–9), then went to Dresden, where he studied composition with Edmund Kretschmer (1889–90). After a brief period as a language teacher in Umeå (1890–2) and another back in Dresden (1892–4) he settled in Stockholm, where in 1896 he became a critic for the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, working there with only two short breaks until 1930. Already active as a composer, he was stage manager at the Royal Stockholm Opera (1908–10), completing his own opera Arnljot (the second of four) during this period. The national-Romantic idiom of his early works was coloured by a knowledge of Wagner, whose writings he translated and on whom he wrote; the discovery of Sami jojkar chants in 1913 introduced a modal freshness into his music, beginning with Same-Ätnam (‘Lapland’, 1913–15), the third of his five symphonies.

From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


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