Swedish music out of the refrigerator

“An ideological icebox in which sado-modernism reigned supreme.” This is Anders Hillborg’s definition of the musical scene, and he knows what he is talking about. Hillborg is one of Scandinavia’s most successful composers, one of the few whose music is played by the leading symphony orchestras in continental Europe, Britain and the US and released on Deutsche Grammophon’s prestigious yellow label, and the only Scandinavian to be published by the venerable Edition Peters.

Anders Hillborg is referring to the cultural environment that flourished when he was a young composer, at the time he first appeared on the concert scene. Today, a generation later, the refrigerator door is wide open, with much of its ideological content rotting away. Hard-core modernism in the tradition of Arnold Schönberg and Theodor Adorno has lost its omnipotence.

And yet. Anyone with a penchant for “sado-modernist” music can still have their needs m...

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Camilla Lundberg

Journalist och musikkritiker, tidigare musikchef på Sveriges Television.

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