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Arnold Östman, born on December 24, 1939 in Malmö, is a Swedish conductor and music director.

Arnold Östman
Born (1939-12-24) 24 December 1939 (age 79)
Malmö, Sweden
Years active1971–present


Early lifeEdit

Östman studied art history and musicology at Lund, Paris and Stockholm.[1] As a musician, he concentrated on the piano and the harpsichord, being largely self-taught.[2] During his years as a researcher, he focused on the subject of early opera, bringing to light a number of theretofore unknown or little-known baroque operas.[3]

Östman was a teacher at the Operahögskolan i Stockholm (then called the Statens musikdramatiska skola) in 1969. He was theatre and museum director at the Drottningholms Teatermuseum (later known as Sveriges Teatermuseum) in Stockholm starting in 1979.[4]

Conducting careerEdit

Drottningholm Palace Theatre

Östman was artistic director and conductor of the Vadstena-Akademien from 1971until 1981, while also serving as conductor and artistic director of the NorrlandsOperan in Umeå from 1974 until 1978.[4]

He was made artistic director of the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in 1980 and remained in that role until 1992.[2] He gained an international reputation as a champion of the period performance movement in classical music,[5][6][7] a movement that insists on the performance of repertoire from c. 1600 to 1820 (i.e., baroque, classical, and early romantic) using instruments (or modern replicas), techniques, and stylistic sensibilities from the appropriate period.[8] In particular, Drottningholm's productions of Mozart operas with period instruments caused a considerable stir in the early days of the historical-performance movement.[9][10][11] To Östman, use of historically appropriate instruments is vital to developing an understanding of the Mozartian style:

It's so important to use classical instruments. We make mistakes with them, but we keep trying because it is really important complementary information, which has a scientific value. Yet we don't use it as Scientists, we use it for artistic freedom. The more information you have, the more freedom you have.[12]

Outside Sweden, Östman has conducted a wide range of repertoire at the opera houses of Covent Garden, Vienna, Parma, Trieste, Cologne, Bonn, Toulouse, Nice, Wexford, Madrid, Washington, Lausanne, Paris (Garnier and Bastille) and at the Schwetzingen and Vienna Festivals, among others.[13]

As a symphonic conductor, Östman has worked with many major European orchestras, including the German radio orchestras in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart and Baden-Baden; the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne; the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; the Orchestre National de France; the Academy of Ancient Music; the Geneva Chamber Orchestra; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmoniker Hamburg.[13]

Operatic recordings (audio)Edit

Composer Work Soloists Chorus Orchestra Date Notes
Mozart Così fan tutte Rachel Yakar (Fiordiligi)
Alicia Nafe (Dorabella)
Gösta Winbergh (Ferrando)
Tom Krause (Guglielmo)
Georgine Resick (Despina)
Carlos Feller (Don Alfonso)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra (on authentic instruments) 1985 L'Oiseau-Lyre, 3 discs
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro Arleen Auger (Countess)
Håkan Hagegård (Count)
Petteri Salomaa (Figaro)
Barbara Bonney (Susanna)
Della Jones (Cherubino)
Alicia Nafé (Cherubino)
Carlos Feller (Bartolo)
Della Jones (Marcellina)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra (on authentic instruments) 1988 L'Oiseau-Lyre, 3 discs, 186 minutes
Mozart Don Giovanni Håkan Hagegård (Don Giovanni)
Arleen Auger (Donna Anna)
Barbara Bonney (Zerlina)
Della Jones (Donna Elvira)
Gilles Cachemaille (Leporello)
Bryn Terfel (Masetto)
Kristinn Sigmundsson (Commendatore)
Nico van der Meel (Don Ottavio)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra (on authentic instruments) 1990 L'Oiseau-Lyre, 3 discs, 171 minutes
Mozart Die Zauberflöte Barbara Bonney (Pamina)
Kurt Streit (Tamino)
Gilles Cachemaille (Papageno)
Sumi Jo (Queen of the Night)
Kristinn Sigmundsson (Sarastro)
Håkan Hagegård (Speaker)
Martin Petzold (Monostatos)
Lillian Watson (Papagena)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra (on authentic instruments) 1990 L'Oiseau-Lyre, 2 discs
Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice Ann-Christine Biel (Orfeo)
Maya Boog (Euridice)
Kerstin Avemo (Amore)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra (on authentic instruments) 1998 Naxos, 1 disc, 67 minutes. Vienna (1762) version.
Gluck Alceste Teresa Ringholz (Alcestis)
Justin Lavender (Admetus)
Jonas Degerfelt (Evander)
Miriam Treichl (Ismene)
Lars Martinsson (Herald; Voice of Apollo)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra (on authentic instruments) 1999 Naxos, 3 discs, 147 minutes

Operatic recordings (video)Edit

Composer Work Soloists Director Orchestra Date Notes
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro Per-Arne Wahlgren (Count)
Sylvia Lindenstrand (Countess)
Georgine Resick (Susanna)
Mikael Samuelson (Figaro)
Ann Christine Biel (Cherubino)
Erik Saedén (Dottor Bartolo)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Göran Järvefelt (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1981 Studio: Image Entertainment. 179 minutes
Mozart Così fan tutte Ann Christine Biel (Fiordiligi)
Maria Höglind (Dorabella)
Lars Tibell (Ferrando)
Magnus Lindén (Guglielmo)
Ulla Severin (Despina)
Enzo Florimo (Don Alfonso)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Willy Decker (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1984 Arthaus Musik, 160 minutes.
Handel Agrippina Günter von Kannen (Claudio)
Barbara Daniels (Agrippina)
David Kuebler (Nerone)
Janice Hall (Poppea)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Michael Hampe (stage)
London Baroque Players 1985 Euroarts, 150 minutes
Mozart La clemenza di Tito Stefan Dahlberg (Tito)
Lani Poulson (Sesto)
Anita Soldh (Vitellia )
Pia-Marie Nilsson (Servilla)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Göran Järvefelt (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1987 Arthaus Musik, 127 minutes
Mozart Don Giovanni Håkan Hagegård (Don Giovanni)
Helena Döse (Donna Anna)
Anita Soldh (Zerlina)
Birgit Nordin (Donna Elvira)
Erik Saedén (Leporello)
Tord Wallström (Masetto)
Bengt Rundgren (Commendatore)
Gösta Winbergh (Don Ottavio)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Göran Järvefelt (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1987 Virgin Video. 186 minutes
Mozart La finta giardiniera Stuart Kale (Don Anchise)
Britt-Marie Aruhn (Sandrina)
Richard Croft (Comte Belfiore)
Eva Pilat (Arminda)
Annika Skoglund (Ramiro)
Ann Christine Biel (Serpetta)
Petteri Salomaa (Nardo)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Göran Järvefelt (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1988 Kultur Video. 149 minutes
Mozart Die Zauberflöte Ann Christine Biel (Pamina)
Stefan Dahlberg (Tamino)
Mikael Samuelson (Papageno)
Birgit Louise Frandsen (Queen of the Night)
László Polgár (Zarastro)
Petteri Salomaa (Speaker)
Magnus Khyle (Monostatos)
Birgitta Larsson (Papagena)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Göran Järvefelt (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1989 Image Entertainment, 160 minutes
Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail Aga Winska (Konstanze)
Marianne Hellström (Blonde)
Richard Croft (Belmonte)
Bengt-Ola Morgny (Pedrillo)
Tamás Szüle (Osmin)
Emmerich Schäffer (Selima Pasha)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Harald Clemen (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1989 Kultur Video, 133 minutes
Mozart Idomeneo Stuart Kale (Idomeneo)
David Kuebler (Idamante)
Ann Christine Biel (Ilia)
Anita Soldh (Elettra)
Jan-Erik Jakobsson (Arbace)
Thomas Olofsson (video)
Michael Hampe (stage)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra 1991 Arthaus Musik, 142 minutes
Antonio Salieri Falstaff John Del Carlo (Sr John Falstaff)
Teresa Ringholz (Mrs. Ford)
Richard Croft (Mr. Ford)
Delores Ziegler (Mrs. Slender)
Jake Gardner (Mr. Slender)
Agnes Meth (video)
Michael Hampe (stage)
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra 1995 Arthaus Musik, 144 minutes

Awards and recognitionEdit

Arnold Östman was awarded the newspaper Expressen's Spelmannen in 1974. He was awarded an honorary doctorate at Umeå University in 1979[14] and he is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.[15] He was awarded the Litteris et Artibus 1990 and was elected to the Kungl. Musikaliska akademien May 14, 1992.[4] In 2010 he was awarded the Hans Majestät Konungens medalj, "for significant contributions to Swedish music".[16]


  1. ^ Salander Mortensen, Jill (1997). Vem är det: svensk biografisk handbok. Stockholm: Norstedt. ISBN 91-1-960852-7.
  2. ^ a b Åstrand, Hans (1979). Sohlmans musiklexikon. 5, Particell-Øyen. Stockholm: Sohlman. ISBN 91-7198-025-3.
  3. ^ Ericson, Uno (1883). Myggans nöjeslexikon: ett uppslagsverk om underhållning. 14, Talm-Över. Höganäs: Bra böcker. ISBN 91-7752-272-9.
  4. ^ a b c Nyström, Pia (1996). Kungl. Musikaliska akademien: matrikel 1771–1995. Stockholm: Musikaliska akad. ISBN 91-85428-99-X.
  5. ^ Rockwell, John (July 11, 1989). "Review/Opera; In Europe, 2 by Mozart On Early Instruments". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  6. ^ Sadie, Stanley (September 1985). "Review – Così fan tutte (audio recording)". Gramophone: 97–98. Retrieved 5 July 2012.[dead link]
  7. ^ Balthazar, Scott L. (2013). Historical Dictionary of Opera. Metuchen NJ: Scarecrow Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-0810867680.
  8. ^ Bernstein, Tamara. "Period instrument movement". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Historica-Dominion. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  9. ^ Gruber, Paul (1993). The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera. New York: W.W. Norton. pp. 296–297, 313, 314, 324–325. ISBN 0-393-03444-5.
  10. ^ Davis, Dan. "Gluck: Orfeo/Drottningholm". Classics Today. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  11. ^ Finch, Hilary (December 1990). "Review – Don Giovanni". Gramophone: 138. Retrieved 5 July 2012.[dead link]
  12. ^ Jamie, James. "Taking a New Look: The conductor Arnold Ostman talks to James Jamie". Gramophone. Retrieved 3 July 2012.[dead link]
  13. ^ a b "Arnold Östman". Haydn Rawstron Limited. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Hedersdoktorer vid Umeå universitet". Umeå universitet. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  15. ^ Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. London: Europa Publications. p. 1265. ISBN 1 85743 217 7.
  16. ^ "Medaljförläningar 6 juni 2010". Sveriges Kungahus. Retrieved 3 July 2012.