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Eskil Hemberg (1938–2004) was a Swedish composer and conductor. He held positions including CEO and artistic director of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, as well as president of the International Federation for Choral Music.[1]


Life and careerEdit

Hemberg studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he received a Music Teacher's degree in 1961, a higher cantor's degree in 1961, and a higher organist's degree in 1964. Together with Herbert Blomstedt he also conducted the orchestra at the Royal College of Music during this period.[citation needed]

Hemberg became an executive producer for the Swedish Radio's choir, from 1963 until 1970.[2] From 1970 to 1983 he was the planning manager and director of foreign relation at the National Institute of Concerts[3], and from 1984 to 1987 the general manager and artistic director of the Gothenburg Opera.[4] During this period, he was also the director of the Stockholm University Chorus (1959–84).[5][6]In 1968-78 Hemberg wrote Messa d'oggi , a choral piece with texts by Quasimodo and Dag Hammarskjöld. Furthermore, in 1970 he wrote a choreographic choral suite, which Hemberg described as "an opera in four acts" based on poems by Robert Graves.[7][8]

Hemberg served as general manager and artistic director of the Royal Swedish Opera from 1987 until 1996.[9] During his time he put up many notable performances including Ingmar Bergman directing The Bacchae by Daniel Börtz, in 1991.[10][4]

Hemberg was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since 1974, the chairman of the Swedish Society of Composers from 1971 until 1983, Vice President of STIM, as well as a board member from 1972 to 1983.[citation needed] He was the president of the International Music Council of UNESCO, as well as chairman of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM)[11], and in 2000 he was made The Bud Pearsson Distinguished Professor in Swedish Studies at the Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, USA.[12]


  • 1974 – Member nr. 789 of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music
  • 1974 – Musical Society in Stockholm, stipend
  • 1978 – Norrby Medal
  • 1998 – Atterberg Prize
  • 1997 – Culture stipend and prize from The Swedish–Finnish Cultural Foundation

Selected worksEdit

  • "Psalm" (1999)
  • "Anthem" (1998)
  • "Thou Who Art Over Us" (1992)
  • "Psalmus XCVI" (1992)
  • "Concerning My Negotiations With Myself and With God" (1980)
  • "Messa d'oggi" (1972)
  • "Symptoms of Love" (1970–1972)
  • "Signposts" (1968)
  • "Zoo" (1962/1965)


  1. ^ "Eskil Hemberg Biography – GIA Publications". Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  2. ^ New music of the Nordic countries. White, John David, 1931-, Christensen, Jean, 1940-. [Hillsdale, NY]: Pendragon Press. 2002. ISBN 9781576470190. OCLC 49775382.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ 1971-, Smith, Frederick Key, (2002). Nordic art music : from the Middle Ages to the third millennium. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 9780275973995. OCLC 614546247.
  4. ^ a b "Eskil Hemberg kunde sina sångare". DN.SE (in Swedish). 2004-06-30. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  5. ^ "Eskil Hemberg död – Kulturnytt". Radio Sveriges. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  6. ^ "Eskil Hemberg avliden". HD (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  7. ^ James., Murdoch, (2002). Peggy Glanville-Hicks : a transposed life. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press. ISBN 1576470776. OCLC 49225744.
  8. ^ Nick., Strimple, (2005) [2002]. Choral music in the twentieth century. Pompton Plains, NJ: Amadeus. ISBN 9781574671223. OCLC 61528768.
  9. ^ 1929-, Bergström, Lasse, (1998). Bokmärken. Stockholm: Norstedts. ISBN 9789113005287. OCLC 57516731.
  10. ^ Sutcliffe, James Helme (1991-11-06). "Bergman, Euripides and Opera". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  11. ^ Liber amicorum Paul Wehrle. Lindemann, Klaus E. R., 1944-. Karlsruhe: Info Verlagsgesellschaft. 1998. ISBN 388190221X. OCLC 223290332.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ Strimple, Nick (2002). Choral music in the twentieth century. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 1574670743. OCLC 49565144.