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     Alfven, Hugo Emil (1st May 1872-8th May 1960)

    He was a painter, author, conductor, violinist and composer born in Stockholm, Sweden.  He was the fourth of six children, with his father being a master tailor and a choral director, and after his father died in 1881, his family was supported by his mothers income from her grocery store.    Although he learned the piano in 1883, he went to study at the Stockholm Conservatory in 1887 where he concentrated on the violin and he took private lessons in composition.  After leaving education he worked as a violinist in the Swedish court orchestra and at Stockholm's Royal Opera, performing his first solo concert in 1893 at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.  He moved into conducting around 1897 and over the next decade he took further studies in violin and conducting on a Jenny Lind scholarship, and took up the posts of music director for a male voice choir and at the University of Uppsala, coupled with touring extensively.  For much of his career he composed music that has been described as in a "late-Romantic idiom" and likened to Richard Strauss.  His compositions include five symphonies, the ballet The Mountain King, three "Swedish Rhapsodies", many art songs and numerous pieces for a male voice choir.  The guitarist Chet Atkins recorded the theme of "Swedish Rhapsody No. 1" which became one of his most successful releases and the artist Ritchie Blackmore covered it in the Deep Purple Song "Lazy".  Aside from his work with music he was known as a gifted watercolour painter and writer who wrote a 4-volume autobiography.  He died in Falun, Sweden, in 1960 after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage in 1958.  He was 88 years old.  The Hugo Alfven Society has been set up to inform people about his life and work.


    Festival Overture recordings

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra/N. Willen - NAX 8.553962


    Mountain King, The recordings

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Niklas Willen - Naxos 8.553962


    Swedish Rhapsody recordings

    Swedish Rhapsody No. 1 (Midsummer's Vigil/Midsommervaka)  recordings

    Minnesota Orchestra / Eiji Oue - Reference Recordings RR-80CD


    Swedish Rhapsody No. 1

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Niklas Willen - Naxos 7 30099 47292 0


    Swedish Rhapsody No. 3, (Dalecarlian Rhapsody)

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Niklas Willen - NAX 8.553729


    Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Opus 7 recordings

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Niklas Willen - Naxos 8.553962



    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Alfv%C3%A9n
    2. http://hemsidor.torget.se/users/s/SMIC/engindex.htm
    3. http://hemsidor.torget.se/users/s/SMIC/comp.htm












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