B. Tommy Andersson

Bengt Tommy Andersson (b. 1964) lives in Stockholm and is, since his debut in the beginning of the 1990’s, a conductor much in demand and he is one of the most successful Swedish conductors of his generation. He studied conducting at Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm (The Royal College of Music) in the 1980’s with professor Jorma Panula, professor Eric Ericson and professor Kjell Ingebretsen, and during shorter periods also with Peter Eötvös, Sergiu Commissiona and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Andersson recurrently conducts all symphony orchestras and most chamber orchestras in Sweden. He was Music Director of Kammarensemblen (an ensemble for contemporary music) 1994—1999, and Principal Conductor of Stockholms Läns Blåsarsymfoniker (Stockholm Wind Ensemble, Sweden’s largest professional wind orchestra) 1997—2005, and Artistic Leader and Principal Conductor of Swedish National Orchestra Academy in Gothenburg 2003—2009. For the 2014—2015 season he was Composer-in-Association at BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Cardiff.

He has also appeared with orchestras in thirteen other countries (Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania and Uruguay) with orchestras like Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (England), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva, Switzerland), Sinfonia Lahti (Finland), Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and ASKO ensemble (Amsterdam).

During the 2012—13 season, he had conducting engagements with several orchestras, including The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, and Dalasinfoniettan. Each season he has had numerous engagements. In 2009—10, for instance, he conducted, among other, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Prague), Göteborgs Symfoniker (Gothenburg), The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Opera, and Norrlandsoperan (Umeå). The main project of 2010—11 was to compose and conduct the music to Warriors, a dance work of Pontus Lidberg, commissioned by Norrlandsoperan in Umeå, Sweden (see News for further information). But he also conducted several orchestras, including the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in their Steve Reich Festival in January 2011.

Opera has been important throughout his career, with recurrent conducting engagements at opera houses in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Umeå, Malmö, Karlstad and with the Vadstena Summer Opera Festival (Vadstena Academy). He has also conducted several productions at the opera schools in Stockholm and Gothenburg. Several of these opera productions have been highly acclaimed in the press, especially Die Geisterinsel (Johann Friedrich Reichardt) at Vadstena Academy 1992, Fidelio (Ludwig van Beethoven) at Norrlandsoperan 1997, Liten Karin (Ivar Hallström) at Vadstena Academy in Kalmar 1997, Macbeth2 (Jan Sandström) at GöteborgsOperan 2001, Strändernas svall (Reine Jönsson) at Vadstena Academy 2001, Lulu (Alban Berg) at GöteborgsOperan 2002 and William (B Tommy Andersson) at Vadstena Academy 2006.

B Tommy Andersson has a wide repertoire, comprising works from the Baroque era to our time. He takes a special interest in Late Romantic and Early 20th Century music, but he is also very interested in Contemporary music. He has so far conducted the first performances of 151 works — including 12 operas, primarily by Swedish composers. Beside the standard repertoire, he has also conducted several large and complex works with great success, like Alban Berg’s two operas Wozzeck & Lulu, Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphony and Luigi Dallapiccola’s opera Il prigioniero.

B Tommy Andersson has composed since he was 11 years old and his music has been performed on many occasions. At the age of fourteen, he had a piece performed in public for the first time and already when he was fifteen a symphonic poem was played in concert. He studied composition with Sven-Eric Johanson, Hans Eklund and Sven-David Sandström (more information under Life Story as a Composer).

During the last few years, the music of B Tommy Andersson has attracted more and more attention and 16—19 April 2009 the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra presented a four day long ” Composer Weekend”, a festival focusing entirely on his music, where a large number of his compositions were performed: two orchestral concerts, one chamber music concert and, finally, one choral music concert. During this festival, B. Tommy Andersson’s music was met with great enthusiasm and received very good reviews (see Reviews).

One of his most frequently performed compositions is Apollo (1995), a concerto for solo percussion and orchestra, which has been played by six Swedish orchestras (also on tour) and a Chinese orchestra in Beijing. Apollo is available on CD with percussionist Markus Leoson and Sundsvall Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer. Also available on CD is Intrada (1989) for wind and percussion and Impromptu (1987) for flute (originally clarinet) and vibraphone. In April 2009, Phono Suecia released a new CD, Satyricon, featuring music of B Tommy Andersson, with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Manfred Honeck, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra conducted by B Tommy Andersson, Swedish Radio Choir conducted by Peter Dijkstra, Vocal Ensemble Notus conducted by Olof Boman and pianist Magnus Svensson (See Discography for details).

In April 2004 Satyricon, choreographic poem for large orchestra, was premiered by Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Manfred Honeck and was acclaimed as a considerable success, and so was Reflections, for soprano saxophone and orchestra, first performed by Anders Paulsson and Jönköping Sinfonietta conducted by the composer. In the summer of 2006 his chamber opera William was a great success in a production at Vadstena Opera Academy. In December 2010, the dance work Warriors (choreographed by Pontus Lidberg) was premiered at Norrlandsoperan i Umeå and widely acclaimed.

Beside his compositions, there are several transcriptions, arrangements and adaptations of orchestral music, including several works of Gustav Mahler (see Arrangements).

B Tommy Andersson is currently Professor of Orchestral Conducting at Kungliga Musikhögskolan (The Royal College of Music) in Stockholm. He also teaches orchestration, and lectures and writes on orchestral history. During the years 2003—2009, he was Professor of Orchestral Studies at Gothenburg University School of Music (Högskolan för scen och musik i Göteborg), as well as Artistic and Pedagogical Director of Swedish National Orchestra Academy — a masters programme for orchestral musicians.

Awards

  • 2014 Scholarship for Composers [Tonsättarstipendium 2014] from Musikföreningen i Stockholm
  • 1998 Interpretation Prize, from The Society of Swedish Composers (Föreningen Svenska Tonsättare, FST)
  • 1995 Crystal Prize (Kristallen den fina) for outstanding interpretation of Contemporary Music, awarded by Edition Reimers

-- Download B. Tommy Andersson as PDF --


B Tommy A skrivbord, foto Jan-Olav Wedin 2