Erland von Koch (1910–2009)

Erland von Koch (1910-2009), one of Sweden's most prominent and versatile composers.

He studied composition at the Stockholm College of Music between 1931 and 1935. Koch spent the next few years continuing his studies in Germany and France with Paul Höffer (composition), Claudio Arrau (piano) and Clemens Krauss (conducting). He became a teacher of harmony at the Stockholm College of Music in 1953, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and was awarded professorial status in 1968.

Awards: 1958 The Christ Johnson Price (USA), 1957 the Royal Swedish Vasa Orden, 1979 Litteris et Artibus, 1979 Atterberg Prize, 1981 Alfvén Price.

From his rich work catalogue: 5 symphonies, 12 solo concertos, 6 string quartets, several orchestral pieces: "Oxberg Trilogy", "Impulsi Trilogy", the often performed childrens opera "Peter Tailless, the Cat", 5 ballets, solo and choral songs, incidental music to several films by Ingmar Bergman.

As a composer, Erland von Koch has been a firm traditionalist. He is an advocate of the simplicity and rhythmic vitality of tonal language. He has never compromised in matters of style and dignity, but this has in no way prevented him from also cultivating polyphony, 12-tone music and advanced harmony. Folk music has been an important source of inspiration to him since the early 1940s.

(Stig Jacobsson, Phono Suecia)