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Christoffer Sundqvist (b. 1978,) has been principal clarinettist in the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2005, makes regular solo appearances with orchestras and in chamber repertoire and teaches the clarinet at the Sibelius Academy and in master classes. A versatile musician, he has a repertoire ranging from the standard works to new commissions.
In recent years Christoffer has been the soloist with almost all the professional Finnish orchestras. Topping the list of solo engagements with orchestras abroad have been the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Basel Symphony, the Estonian National Symphony, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds, Sakari Oramo, Okko Kamu, Hannu Lintu, Anna-Maria Helsing and Eugene Zigane. He is also a regular visitor at European music festivals.
Also an active chamber musician, Christoffer was one of the founders of the Arctic Hysteria wind quintet in 1997. Another line-up important to him is the Plus Ensemble. He has played with many other chamber ensembles, given recitals in Finland and abroad and premiered works by Finnish composers Pehr-Henrik Nordgren, Atso Almila, Magnus Lindberg and others.
In order to generate new clarinet repertoire, Christoffer works in close partnership with composers. His collaboration with Sebastian Fagerlund has resulted in a Clarinet Concerto that has won widespread international acclaim, and he has also premiered the works Fuel (2010) and Sonata (2011).
Christoffer has been Artistic Director of the Jakobstad Sinfonietta and is, together with composer Sebastian Fagerlund, Artistic Director of the Rusk Chamber Music Festival founded by them in Pietarsaari/Jakobstad in 2013. The idea of this festival held at the end of November is to bring together top musicians of international renown. In the space of a few days, sometimes surprising events bring people and the arts together in joint experiences.
Sebastian Fagerlund (b.1972) has established himself as one of the most prominent European composers of his generation. He studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the guidance of Erkki Jokinen and received his diploma in composition in 2004.
Important aspects of Fagerlund’s work are his interest in large-scale forms and a profound view of music expressing fundamental questions and existential experiences. Fagerlund was described in BBC Music Magazine as displaying ‘boundless technical resource at the service of a considerable imagination.’ A highly virtuosic instrumental feel and strong sense of musicianship is noticeable in all of his works, creating musical dramas in which powerful expression is combined with intensity and vivid communication, as well as an openness towards different musical traditions.
Works by Fagerlund have been commissioned and performed by numerous major orchestras, outstanding conductors and musicians all over the world. His output spans opera to chamber and solo works, the most significant pieces being his concertos and works for orchestra. Performers of his works include the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sakari Oramo), Bergen Philhamonic Orchestra (Edward Gardner), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hannu Lintu), Singapore Symphony Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä), Buffalo Symphony Orchestra (JoAnn Falletta), Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Hervé Joulain (horn), Bram van Sambeek (bassoon), and Christoffer Sundqvist (clarinet).
In 2011 Fagerlund was awarded Finland’s renowned Teosto Prize for his orchestral work Ignite. The same year Ignite was also selected as a recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers 2011 in Vienna.
Since 2013 Fagerlund has been artistic director of the RUSK Chamber Music Festival in Jakobstad, Finland.
Fagerlund is published by Edition Peters.
Recordings of Fagerlund’s music are available on the Record label BIS.