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Bergman, Erik (Valdemar)

helsinki finnish music received

Bergman, Erik (Valdemar), eminent Finnish composer, conductor, music critic, and pedagogue; b. Nykarleby, Nov. 24, 1911. He received training in musicology at the Univ. of Helsinki (1931–33) and in composition from Furuhjelm at the Helsinki Cons, (diploma, 1938). Following further studies with Tiessen at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1937–39), he studied with Vogel in Switzerland. Returning to Helsinki, he was conductor of the Catholic Church Choir (1943–50), the Akademiska Sangfòreningen at the Univ. (1950–69), and the Sàllskapet Muntra Musikanter (1951–78). As a music critic, he wrote for the Nya Pressen (1945–47) and Hufvudstadsbladet (1947–76). From 1963 to 1976 he was prof. of composition at the Sibelius Academy. In 1961 he received the International Sibelius Prize of the Wihuri Foundation. In 1982 he was made a Finnish Academician. In 1994 he was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize for his opera Det sjungande trädet (The Singing Tree), which received its premiere in Helsinki on Sept. 3, 1995. Bergman ranks among the foremost Finnish composers of his era. He cultivates varied techniques, ranging from medieval modality to serialism. His major works have evolved along expressionistic lines.

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