Born in a provincial Swedish town in 1947, Anders Eliasson started playing the trumpet at the age of 9 and soon after formed his own jazz band. In his teens he began to study classical music, however, and aged 19 he was accepted into the composition class at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Here modernism reigned supreme, and Eliasson felt out of touch with a style that he later described as petrified and intellectualized. His own idea of music was completely different, and he went so far as to say that he did not, in point of fact, compose music but merely assisted in its birth. Eliasson first came to wider notice during the second half of the 1970s, with his Disegno per quartetto d’archi and Canto del vagabondo for boy soprano, choir and orchestra. But as he himself acknowledged, it was in the early 80s that he truly began to find his own voice, for instance with chamber works such as Notturno and Senza risposte. During the rest of Eliasson’s career, it would be compositions for large forces that attracted the greatest attention, in Sweden and abroad: from Symphony No. 1 (1986), which received the Nordic Council Music Prize, to the great oratorio Dante Anarca and Symphony No. 4, premièred by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2007. He continued writing chamber music throughout his life, however, and the Trio from 2010 was to become one of his last works. Specializing in contemporary music, the seven members of Norrbotten NEO have devised a programme that includes the first recordings on CD of Notturno and the Trio for violin, vibraphone and piano, and at the same time offers the possibility of following a unique voice in contemporary music over the course of four decades.
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