Piano and music

I have always had as a sort of parallel career to play piano. I play mostly classical piano, but I also like to improvise based on beautiful melodies. I give about one concert a month, and below you find some information about some of these. All lunch concerts are between 12.20-12.50 and in Berzelius-salen, at the University Hospital (between café Örat, and the library, i.e. walk in through the big glass doors, and then to the left after about 50 meters)

Lunch concert on Monday February 25, 2013: Beethovens last movement!

On this lunch concert I will continue with the exploration of Beethoven's 32 sonatas, by moving all the way to the end: to his very last movement. This is from his two-movement sonata, op 111, and this movement alone is quite remarkable, and worthy of a concert of its own. To start with, it is more than 20 minutes long, which is signifantly longer than many of the previous sonatas (for instance, all the 3 movements of the Moonlight sonata are only approx 15 min combined). More importantly, however, this movement is one-of-a-kind in terms of its richness in human emotions and depth and serenity. I will therefore spend some 5 or more minutes explaining the piece before I play it. At the end of the year I will play the entire sonata, but then there will not be any time for explanations...


Lunch concert Tuesday December 18, 2012: A classical Christmas

On Tuesday Dec 18, 12.20-12.50 I and the flutist Madeleine Johansson, from Stockholm, will play the final lunch concert of the year. Similarly to the Christmas themed lunch concert last year, this concert will be a mixture of classical Christmas songs in various arrangements and other pieces from the ordinary classical flute repertoar. As usual the concert is free of charge and in Berzelius-salen, close to the HU library.

Music soiree on November 24, 2012: Vienna!

Vienna was been the capital of music for over 100 years, and probably more than half of the most influential composers spent most of their lives there. Some examples are Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn. A little bit less known is that there is a second Vienna school, which was active in the first half of the 20th century, featuring composers like Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg, and Anton Webern. During this soiree, we had a closer look at both of these schools, and also at some of the contemporary artists like Hasseåtage, who have made use of their music in new and innovative ways. Artists included Madeleine Johansson and Dan Larsson.

Lunch concert November 19, 2012: Chopin's 1st and 4th Ballade

This time, I will play two of the most multi-faceted and extraordinary pieces ever written: the 1st and 4th ballade by F Chopin. The idea of writing a ballade for piano solo was actually invented by Chopin, even though many others have followed him since then. The characteristic of these ballades is that they are pretty long (about 10 minutes each), and that they are structured like a journey, a story, an adventure, with different phases and athmospheres that comes and goes in a long sequence of events. These different phases are also very different: some are beautiful, some are dramatic, some are expansive with large chords bombarding the piano, and some are very subtle, with just a single note playing a lonely melody. Chopin himself said in a letter to Schumann that his first ballade was his favorite piece, of all he had written at the time (then he had not written his fourth ballade, which is my own favourite).

October 8, 2012, Emily Bear: the Mozart of our times

This time I will focus the entire concert on the music of a little girl: Emily Bear. She is often referred to as the Mozart of our times, and in this case it is actually not that far from the truth, at least if considering his early years. Just like Mozart did when he was a child (read: 6 years old), Emily Bear already then played for some of the most powerful people in the world (the US president), played both really difficult pieces (e.g. Mozart's 23rd piano concerto together with a full-scale orchester), and - most importantly - was writing a seamingly endless flow of wonderful music. She is now 11 and released 5 CDs; I will on this concert play some of my favourite music from those CDs. There is much music that is even more recent than that, and that I cannot play tomorrow, because it has not yet been published (much is available on youtube, e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssu3U6VlKP8) - but that somehow makes the whole thing even more interesting to me. This will hence be a snap-shot musical photo of the early developments of our probably most promising new composer in a long time.

May 21, 2012, Beethoven's Sturm sonata (lunch concert)

It is again time for a new lunch concert! This time, I will continue my journey through the 32 Beethoven sonatas, and we will this time visit the wonderful Sturm Sonata, op 31:2. This is one of the most played and loved of all the Sonatas. In the first movement, he plays a lot with different tempi, and with the sustain pedal, which was being developed at the time. In the second movement, time virtually stands still, and you can feel how the greatness of the human spirit shines through. This stillness is being released in the final third movement, where a continuous movement of semi-quavers moves around in ever more beautiful formations, until they - in a typical Beethoven manner - suddenly just run out into nothingness.

January 4, 2012, "America" (music soiree)

This Wednesday we had a new big music soiree (konsertfest), nr 21 to be precise. It was located in Johannelund's församlingshem, which is a location we hadn't been in before. Some of the main artists were Daniel Ralphsson (song and hand-percussion), Johnny Jannesson (clarinet), Red Hot Jazz-band, Christina Larsson (song), Robert Blomgran and Hanna Julinder (tango and salsa), an ensemble from Ad Libitum, but there were also many others. More information and pictures will come up here in a few weeks.


November 21, 2011, Beethoven's first sonata (lunch concert)

Since I am still holding on to my ambition of playing all the Beethoven sonatas (see April 18, below), I thought it would be appropriate to play the first one. It is actually the second piece he ever published: op 2 no 1. Nevertheless, it is one of the more played sonatas, and he actually didn't really write any bad sonatas. So, if you want to find out how it all started with the writing of Beethoven's 32 sonatas, please come to this event.

October 17, 2011, B-composers (lunch concert)

B-composers sounds like something less than the best, but in the case of composers it is actually the opposite: almost all of the best composers starts with the letter "B". A commonly mentioned trio of outstanding composers starting with the letter B are "Bach, Beethoven and Brahms". However, I am playing Beethoven in a separate series, so I have for this concert updated the trio to "Bach, Brahms and Emily Bear". Emily is a wonderful, and astonishingly young, composer, who has written around 500 really beautiful pieces although she is just 10 years old. It is not impossible that this will be a Swedish premier for her music! :)

September 24, 2011, "French evening" (music soiree)

This Saturday we had a new music soiree, nr 20 to be precise. It was a smaller version, so it was in my parents' apartment, and the theme this time was "France". Some of the main artists were Karin Westberg (with whom I did some nice interpretations of Edith Piaf), Dan Larsson (with whom I ended the evening by playing a clarinet sonata by Poulenc), Ida Lod (with whom I did some free interpretations of Eric Satie), and a special feature this evening was Firetasia, who did a fire show outside on the inner yeard. Apart from the chamber music, I also did some solo, by Satie, Debussy and a French Suite by Bach. Food included a French onion soup, baguettes, and of course some French wine. All in all, it was nice to be back again with a classical soiree; this was the first one we planned more or less completely on or own, i.e. after my father died last December (in the 19 previous soirees, he was very much involved in the planning)

May 16, 2011, Baroque and impressionism (lunch concert)

On this occasion I will play a mixture of some of my favourite baroque and impressionistic works. You will hear for instance some of the wonderful - and much underrated - sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, a few dances from the French suites by J.S. Bach, and some pieces by Claude Debussy and Eric Satie. I will also highlight some of the similarities and differences between the two music epochs.

Time: May 16, 2011, 12.20-12.50
Where: Berzeliussalen, HU, University Hospital (close to the HU library)
Price: Free entrance!
Pianist: Gunnar Cedersund

April 18, 2011, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (lunch concert)

On this occasion I will play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, his perhaps most famous sonata. This sonata is interesting and worthy of notice by itself, but in this particular concert it represents the start of something much bigger, perhaps the biggest single project I have embarked on as of yet. The reason is that this concert will be the start of a series of Beethoven piano-sonata concerts that will last another 16-17 years. As you might know, Beethoven has written 32 sonatas, and my plan is to devote one lunch concert per semester to a new sonata, meaning that I will have played all of them in the year 2026. Then, on the year 2027, it is Beethoven's 200th (death) anniversary, then I will celebrate this by playing all of them both in a recording studio, and in an intensive series of concerts. This is sort of the holy Grail for most pianists, and it is something that quite few actually manage. For instance, neither of Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein - two of my biggest heroes, and two of the most prominent pianist of the previous century - has done such a series, and in Denmark there is only one pianist ever who has managed the feat. The Beethoven sonatas are also, in my view, one of humanities biggest treasures, and I am looking much forward to digging into the 32 different worlds that these sonatas constitute - and to play them for you when you feel like listening.

Time: April 18, 2011, 12.20-12.50
Where: Berzeliussalen, HU, University Hospital (close to the HU library)
Price: Free entrance!
Pianist: Gunnar Cedersund

Music soirees

About 3 times a year I together with my family (father, mother, brother) arranges a concert series that we call music soirees or concert parties (sv: konsertfester). These two concert forms take place in my parent home which accepts around 40 people, and in a larger place which accepts around 110 people, respectively. We have had 20 of these events, and over the years they have grown in complexity and quality, so that nowadays they usually feature some of Sweden's most prominent artists, and are highly treasured by both performing musicians/dancers/artists and by invited guests, who are also actively contributing to the events by other means: cooking food, doing decorations, etc. The first one this year was held on January 4, 2011. It had the theme "Satire", but also served as a memorial concert to my father, who passed away in December last year. We will, however, despite his passing away keep arranging these events also now, and we just finished the first of these (a smaller one, with the theme "France"). In early January 2012, a bigger version with the theme "America" is under intensive planning. These are semi-private events, but if you are interested in attending, please send me an email and I will try to find you a place.