Sven-David Sandström

Document Type



Following his international breakthrough in 1972, Sven-David Sandström quickly established himself at the forefront of Swedish art music, a position he retained until his death in 2019. One of the country's best known and most respected composers, Sandström was celebrated for his mastery of many contrasting styles and genres, from the radical and experimental works of the 1970s and 1980s to the Neo-Romantic style of the 90s, and from the gigantic scale of his controversial 1982 Requiem Mute the Bereaved Memories Speak and the 1984 opera The City, to the intimate settings of his many chamber and choral compositions.

In this biography the writer and musicologist Per F. Broman charts Sandström's life from his childhood in the closely-knit protestant community of Borensberg, Sweden, via the major successes on the national and international concert and opera-house stages, to his later years teaching at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington, and his position as composer in residence at Stockholm cathedral, where following the example J.S. Bach Sandström composed new music for the entire church year. Written with a careful eye, and ear, for the turbulent musical and cultural currents of the era, Broman combines an expert's understanding of Sandström's prolific and varied musical output with a friend's sympathetic and intimate knowledge of the man and the ideas and beliefs which motivated him.

Building on the original Swedish edition, published in 2012, this richly illustrated and newly translated, revised and expanded translation also includes a hyperlinked listening guide, a comprehensive work list and select discography.

Publication Date

Fall 10-17-2022


Royal Academy of Music