NEWS BIOGRAPHY WORKS RECORDS REVIEWS PHOTOS
JÖRGEN DAFGÅRD is a Sweden-based full time professional composer. Having just finished his diploma studies Dafgård made a striking debut in 2000 with his orchestral work Veils. As first prize winner at the Stockholm Berwald Hall and top ten contribution in the international Masterprize competition Veils has been performed a dozen times and has been heard on radio all around the world. In 2013 Jörgen Dafgård was Composer of Spring at the Berwald Hall, where many of his orchestral works were performed, including a premiere of the clarinet concerto Caprism. In 2017 the premiere of Dafgård's soprano saxophone concerto Abrasax with Anders Paulsson was a great success.

CONTACT

jorgen@jorgendafgard.com

ONGOING WORK

Double Concerto
For Violin, Viola and String Orchestra

To be premiered by Duo Gelland
and Kammarorkester Öresund

Commissioned by Kammarorkester Öresund
with support from the Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation



News


Mahler Revisited to be performed at the Nordic Music Days 2013 in Helsinki
08 Jun 2013
Jörgen Dafgård's Mahler Revisited has been selected for the Nordic Music Days 2013 in Helsinki, Finland. "Parallel Societies" is the theme for this year's festival which is scheduled for October 15-19. Mahler Revisited will be performed by the Zagros Ensemble during a concert titled "Cross-fertilization" at the Camerata Hall in the Helsinki Music Centre on Saturday the 19th of October at 16 pm. Mahler Revisited is a short recomposition of the second movement from Mahlers Fifth Symphony for a small chamber ensemble consisting of flute, violin, cello and piano. The beginning and ending of the Mahler movement are recognizable, but in between, most of it is completely different. Mahler revisited ia available in a new note edition published by Gehrmans. Here the piece is heard in a recording with the Peärls Before Swïne Experience, available on .

Jörgen Dafgård on Swedish Radio P2: portrait concert, documentary and more
17 May 2013
Tonight at 7:03 pm Swedish Radio P2 will be broadcasting Jörgen Dafgård's portrait concert as composer of spring at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm (recorded on May the 4th). On the program is the premiere of Dafgård's new Clarinet Concerto in three movements, with Andreas Sundén as soloist. The concert starts with Esprit (which consists of 25 minutes of fast music) and after the break Sinfonia No 1 is played. In the break Andreas Sundén and Jörgen Dafgård are interviewed. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra here gives a top notch performance under the direction of Christian Eggen (despite the unusually short rehearsal time) and the interpretations also work very well; so don't miss this! The music from the portrait concert will be reprised by P2 on May 22 around 10:30 am.

On Sunday at 2 pm Swedish Radio P2 will also broadcast an hour long documentary about Jörgen Dafgård by Anders Olsén. Earlier this week two of Jörgen Dafgård's orchestral works was also aired on Swedish Radio P2. Through Fire and Water could be heard on Wednesday the 15th of May and Volo on Thursday the 16th of May. All programs can be heard for another 30 days on the web. Thereafter a slightly shortened pod version of the documentary can be downloaded here.



Andreas Sundén, Christian Eggen och Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester. (Foto: Arne Hyckenberg)
Favourable review in Dagens Nyheter
06 May 2013
Composer of spring Jörgen Dafgård was portrayed at Saturday's concert at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christian Eggen. The concert started with Esprit and ended with Sinfonia No 1. Before the break Dafgård's new Clarinet Concerto was premiered with the soloist Andreas Sundén. The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reviewed the portrait concert. In the words of Johanna Paulsson:

«In Jörgen Dafgård's sphere of expression, nature oriented mystique lies close at hand. But so does the pumping rhythm of Stravinsky. When the Malmö based composer's clarinet concerto was premiered on Saturday, both were present. In the three movement commissioned work - specially written for principal clarinetist Andreas Sundén, former solo clarinetist at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam – the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra futhermore got a chance to show that dancing to the pipe of Martin Fröst is not the only option.

The clarinet concerto starts with a loaded brass artillery, before a strolling clarinet motif sets off among the cliffs of the source of inspiration, Capri. The first movement reaches a precipice and ends with a pizzicato, before the piece slips into the mist and a dreamy state, which is broken by the third movement's triplet motions and tempo changes.

The composer himself imagines "a roman fresco", but it suffices to speak of a euphonious work with the middle movement as a resting point. Neither did Sundén have to use any tricks to lend character to the solo part and the norwegian conductor Christian Eggen showed a fine sense for the dynamics.

New art music has a tendency to scare off the audience, but Dafgård has the sort of hospitable tone language that gives Berwaldhallen confidence to make room for a whole portrait program with the composer of spring. His music is firmly grounded in steady structures, but without being harsh even in a courser and formally stricter piece like "Sinfonia No 1" with sharpened trumpet details and developing polyrhythms.

… the concert's introductory piece "Esprit"… is skilfully ochestrated with an elegant surface… a minimalistically constructed "American in Paris" music."»
Article in Sydvenskan
04 May 2013
Before Jörgen Dafgård's portrait concert as composer of spring at Berwaldhallen on May the 4th at 15:00 p.m. the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan published an interview with Dafgård, where he among other things tells about his new clarinet concerto. It will be premiered at the portrait concert by Andreas Sundén together with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the conductor Christian Eggen, who will also begin the concert with Dafgård's Esprit and after the break will perform his Sinfonia No 1.

Portrait concert with premiere
29 Apr 2013
Composer of spring Jörgen Dafgård will be presented at a portrait concert on Saturday the 4th of May, at 3.00 p.m. at the Berwald hall in Stockholm. This will be the premiere of his newly written Clarinet Concerto with Andreas Sundén as soloist together with the conductor Christian Eggen and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, which will also be heard in the first piece of the concert, Dafgård's Esprit and, after the intermission, in his Sinfonia No 1. One hour before the concert a pre-concert talk will be held with Katarina Lindblad and Jörgen Dafgård in the foyer of the Berwald Hall. The publisher Gehrmans will also have an exposition of Dafgård's scores in the foyer in connection with the concert. Jörgen Dafgård found inspiration for his Clarinet Concerto during a stay on Capri, where the isle's rocky terrain, the famous blue cave and the mythical history of the isle gave inspiration to one each of three movements of the almost half an hour long work. Originally written for an ensemble of eleven instruments, Esprit will be played by a larger force at the concert. It starts playfully, but gradually the course of events gets more and more adventurous and filled with excitement and drama, to finally reach a euforic ending. Like Esprit, Sinfonia No 1 is written in one continuous movement which can also be heard as a sequence of linked movements. Sinfonia No 1 develops towards a polyrhythmic synthesis of the two- and four-part rhythms of the introduction and the three-part rhythms introduced in the second movement. A lot happens on the way. The Clarinet Concerto was commissioned by the Berwald Hall. Esprit och Sinfonia No 1 were both commissioned by the Nordic Chamber Orchestra. More exhaustive programme notes to the latter two can be found on this site under "works". Here is a short trailer where Jörgen Dafgård tells a little about the Clarinet Concerto:

Jörgen Dafgård in Berwaldhallen's monthly programme magazine
29 Apr 2013
As an introduction to Jörgen Dafgård's portrait concert as composer of spring on May the 4th, the latest issue of Berwaldhallen's monthly programme magazine has two articles about the composer. Carlhåkan Larsén makes a both broad and thorough characterization and Mikaela Kindblom focuses on the works that will be performed at the portrait concert: Esprit, Sinfonia No 1 and a new Clarinet Concerto that will be premiered by Andreas Sundén. Christian Eggen will conduct the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra at the portrait concert at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on May the 4th at 3.00 p.m.

Berwaldhallens programme magazine can be read in your browser here or be downloaded as a pdf file here.

Jörgen Dafgård portrayed in Nordic Highlights
28 Apr 2013
The latest issue of Nordic Highlights has an article by Carlhåkan Larsén about Jörgen Dafgård and his music. In addition to some biographical information and some interview reflections from the composer, it focuses to some extent on the works that will be performed at Jörgen Dafgård's Composer of Spring portrait concert at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on Saturday the 4th, at 3:00 p.m. On that occasion the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Christian Eggen, will perform Jörgen Dafgård's works Esprit and Sinfonia No 1, as well as his newly written Clarinet Concerto, which will be premiered with Andreas Sundén as soloist.

The article can be opened as a pdf in English on this link. On the linked page there are also some samples of Jörgen Dafgård's music.

Jörgen Dafgård tells about his composing
27 Apr 2013
Composer of Spring Jörgen Dafgård is presented in a section of his own on the website of the Stockholm Berwald Hall. Among other things this short movie by Bilbo Lantto can be found there where Jörgen Dafgård tells about his composing (in Swedish, but also including music, paintings, drawings, scores etc by Dafgård). Highly recommended for those interested!

Mahler Revisited published by Gehrmans
24 Apr 2013
The score and parts of Jörgen Dafgård's Mahler Revisited are now available through Gehrmans.

Mahler Revisited is a short recomposition of the second movement from Mahlers Fifth Symphony for a small chamber ensemble consisting of flute, violin, cello and piano. The beginning and ending of the Mahler movement are recognizable, but in between, most of it is completely different. Only a small portion of the thematic material is used – and in a very different way, emphasizing the inherent mechanical and polyrhythmic tendencies a lot. Clockworks, cogs and gear mechanisms may come to mind. Sporadically and at the end, the contrasting lyrical character breaks through.

Mahler Revisited was written for The Peärls Before Swïne Experience as a commission from the newspaper Dagens Nyheter for a series of remixes of classical masterpieces that was published on the newspaper's website www.dn.se in 2010. A studio recording of the piece was released on CD by Chamber Sound in 2011.

Veils and more on the (web) radio
15 Apr 2013
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra's performed Veils/Slöjor at two almost sold-out concerts at the Stockholm Berwald Hall under the direction of Manfred Honeck on April the 12th and 13th. The concert on April the 12th was broadcasted live on Swedish Radio P2 and will be sent again on April the 17th at 10.30 a.m. The live broadcast can be heard in recorded form on the web radio. At the time 00:27:05 in the broadcast the concert starts. Preceding the concert, an interview with Jörgen Dafgård starts at 00:03:12. In the intermission the Berwald Hall's head of planning Hanns Rodell then says a few words about Veils at 01:14:53.

On April the 12th the Swedish Radio P2 also brodcasted Jörgen Dafgård's choir piece My Garden – Like the Beach, in a recording with the Mikaeli Chamber Choir conducted by Anders Eby. This can be heard here. On the day before the Swedish Radio P2 also aired Jörgen Dafgård's piece For the Sleeping – Dream Sonata for viola and electronics, in a recording with Henrik Frendin, published on CD by Phono Suecia. This can be heard here at 00:48:57.
Review of Veils
14 Apr 2013
Today Svenska Dagbladet published a review of Friday's concert at the Stockholm Berwald Hall with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Manfred Honeck. This is what Sofia Lilly Jönsson writes about Veils/Slöjor: "Jörgen Dafgård is Composer of Spring at the Berwald Hall. Friday's concert therefore started with his Veils from 2000, a visual music that reminded me more of film noir than of the Orient (or wherever the veils came from). I am looking forward to hearing more from him."

Veils with SRSO and Manfred Honeck 12 and 13 April
05 Apr 2013
On April 12 and 13 the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform Jörgen Dafgård's prize-winning piece Veils/Slöjor at the Stockholm Berwald Hall under the direction of Manfred Honeck, who led the premiere of the work in 2000. This will be the tenth and eleventh performance of Veils. Also on the programme: Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with Truls Mørk on cello and Bruckner's fourth symphony. The concert is part of the presentation of Jörgen Dafgård as Composer of Spring at the Berwald Hall.

Here the concert is presentad by Andreas Sundén (who will be the soloist in the premiere of Jörgen Dafgård's newly written Clarinet Concerto on May the 4th):

Clarinet Concerto by Jörgen Dafgård finished
03 Apr 2013
Jörgen Dafgård has written a Clarinet Concerto which is now finished and delivered. It will be premiered at the Berwald Hall on Saturday the 4th of May at 3.00 p.m. with Andreas Sundén as soloist and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christian Eggen. Jörgen Dafgård's Esprit and Sinfonia No 1 will also be preformed on the same concert, where Dafgård, as composer of spring in the Berwald Hall, is portrayed

The Clarinet Concerto is a bit over 28 minutes long and written in three movements with a total of 898 bars. The cooperation between Jörgen Dafgård and Andreas Sundén started around a year ago. Jörgen Dafgård found inspiration for the Clarinet Concerto during a stay on Capri for three weeks in Spring 2012. After having written the clarinet quintet Whims and Wizardry, which was premiered at Stöde Musikvecka in July 2012, Dafgård started to write seriously on the Clarinet Concerto in August 2012. The final barline was reached on March the 12th 2013. The Clarinet Concerto is published by Gehrmans.

Volo in Swedish Radio P2 including an interview with the composer
20 Feb 2013
Today at 10.30 a.m. Jörgen Dafgård's Volo can be heard on Swedish Radio P2 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Jukka-Pekka Saraste. It is a recording from the live radio concert at the Stockholm Berwald Hall on Friday, February 15. The whole broadcasting from Friday can also be heard on the web radio until the middle of March. Included there is also an interview with the composer (with excerpts from Dafgård's Veils and Through Fire and Water).
Reviews of Volo
17 Feb 2013
The two leading Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet reviewed Friday's concert in the Stockholm Berwald Hall with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jukka-Pekka Saraste. About Volo Johanna Paulsson from Dagens Nyheter wrote: "The concert also provided an opportunity to get a bit acquainted with Composer of Spring Jörgen Dafgård, also by himself an expert of both joining and keeping apart two different musical heritages. The night's opening piece 'Volo' for string orchestra was characterized by rhythmical figures in rousing dance, finely captured in flight over both strings and life's pressing treadwheel."

Jörgen Dafgård about the writing process behind Volo
14 Feb 2013
In the Composer of Spring series the Stockholm Berwald Hall this year presents a number of works by Jörgen Dafgård, starting off the 15 and 16 February with two performances of Volo by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jukka-Pekka Saraste. In this article, publiched 2009 in the periodical Nutida Musik, Jörgen Dafgård tells about the writing process behind Volo.

Volo to be played at the Berwald Hall by SRSO and Saraste on February 15 and 16
06 Feb 2013
Jörgen Dafgård is composer of the spring at the Berwald Hall. Next week the first work will be presented. Jukka-Pekka Saraste will conduct the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in two performances of Volo for strings, on February 15 and 16, at 7.30 pm and 3 pm respectively, at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm.

Here is a trailer where the composer tells about composing and the piece Volo:

Frames and Flow to be performed in Denmark
31 Jan 2013
Now on Sunday, February 3 the Gustav Klimt Quartet will perform Jörgen Dafgård's Frames and Flow for string trio and other contemporary Swedish and Danish works at a concert at 4 pm at Ribe Kunstmuseum in Ribe, Denmark.
Veils in Swedish Radio P2
03 Nov 2012
Today Jörgen Dafgård's Veils for orchestra will be broadcast on Swedish Radio P2 at 4:10 pm. Manfred Honeck conducts the Swedish Radio Sympony Orchestra in a recording from the first performance in April 2000.
Review of Esprit
28 Sep 2012
Susanne Holmlund wrote a praising review in Sundsvalls Tidning after the premiere of Jörgen Dafgård's Esprit with the Nordic Chamber Ensemble. Under the headline "Esprit in Three Ways" she wrote:

More people should have listened to such a program. First two of the great classics of the chamber music litterature and then a premiere that hopefully at least will become a classic for the ensemble. … Jörgen Dafgård wrote a great part of his Esprit out in the nature, but for me it became a town painting depicting how the evening descends over the never stopping flow of the traffic. It starts not unlike Poulenc: the same lightness, the same undercurrent of swinging pulse and some kind of confident, warm soft jazz harmony. But here it never gets cheeky. Instead the instruments set off to more and more frisky adventures, build drama and insistent rhythm in the manner of The Rite of Spring, form a teeming swarm, sometimes run into eachother – but always return to the safe velvety dusk mood. It is full of effects and witty rhythms that can drive a musician crazy, but get audiences to sway in their chairs from enjoyment; thus the piece is as easy to listen to as it is hard to play. This is a piece which we hope to hear again and which has its own spirit, its own joie de vivre. Like the other two.

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