ALBERT SCHNELZER ”one of Sweden’s foremost composers” (Classical Music Magazine, UK), made his international breakthrough at the Présence Festival in Paris 2004. His music is often described as energetic and forwardgoing, lyrical and fragile, but also directly accessible and intensly personal.
Albert Schnelzer was born in Värmland, Sweden on June 3 1972. Between 1994 and 2000 he studied at the Malmö Academy of Music and he has also studied at master’s level at the Royal College of Music in London. In 1998, while still a student, Albert Schnelzer won the competition Composers of Tomorrow with the orchestral work ”Erupto”, which was premiered by the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.
During the 21st century he has taken his place among the most widely noticed younger Swedish composers, and in 2004 he scored an international breakthrough when his Predatory Dances, commissioned by Radio France, was premiered at the Présence Festival in Paris. Albert Schnelzer’s successful concert opener A Freak in Burbank is one of the most performed contemporary pieces from Sweden and has been performed at the Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms 2010), Berliner Philharmonie, Kölner Philharmonie, Sibelius Hall to name a few. His listed works include orchestral compositions, concertos, one full length opera and a wide spectrum of chamber music. Albert Schnelzer is represented on several CD recordings, including portrait CDs on record labels BIS and Daphne, and is published by Gehrmans Musikförlag. His music has been performed by orchestras worldwide such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, The Swedish Radio Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Stockholm and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Daniel Harding, Thomas Dausgaard, Mark Wigglesworth, Kirill Karabits, Thomas Sondergaard, Nikolaj Znaider, Lionel Bringuier, John Storgårds, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Jaime Martin and many others. Albert Schnelzer has also composed for ensembles such as The Brodsky Quartet and musicians such as Francois Leleux, Conrad Tao, Ilya Gringolts and Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Albert Schnelzer’s music has been described as ”forwardgoing”, ”aggressive”, ”instrumentally demanding” but also as ”fragile and vibrating” and ”an aestetic that is more about personal expression than being modernistic correct”. The music press have praised his inventiveness and personal musical language and he has a firm reputation among musicians for his ability to write idiomatic, but at the same time highly original. The interest in dance has resulted in a suite of works, where ”Dance with the Devil” for solopiano is the first. The composer called this piece ”a cross between Franz Liszt and Iron Maiden” and that might give you an idea what is channeled in his music. Another important ingredient is folk music, for instance the Balkan influenced ”Limpin’ Dances” for accordion, cello and piano where the composer have fused Klezmer scales with Swedish ”polska” rhythms.
”There is an immediacy here, and there is a storytelling which I really like. There is a tension, probably most important for me, which carries right through the piece and it has a very rounded feeling performing it. It has a natural way of flowing along with inspiring and interesting things all along the way. So there is something touching us on a very basic level here and that is done in a very sophisticated way.”
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
”New music has to speak to people, but if the sound world is too familiar, there is no point playing the piece at all. I think Schnelzer achieves an ideal balance between innovation and tradition. Plus it sounds fun – not the most common quality in contemporary music!”
Mark Wigglesworth, conductor