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Richard Doty

Laura Baich

Last modified: Monday, October 29, 2001


The American premiere of a work by composer Sven-David Sandstrom of the Indiana University School of Music faculty is scheduled for Nov. 14.

The High Mass will be performed by the IU Concert Orchestra and Concert Choir, with John Poole directing, at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center. The program is part of the "Concert in the MAC" series and will be open to the public free of charge.

Sandstrom, a professor of composition, is internationally acclaimed in his field. His catalog of published and performed compositions includes more than 90 works. Sandstrom is considered an artistic rebel in his native Sweden who surprised his musical contemporaries when he composed The High Mass in 1993. Because of his strict non-conformist Protestant background, it was a surprise to his colleagues that he was drawn to the Catholic liturgy in writing the piece, which has been compared to Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and the mass settings of Bruckner.

The High Mass was recorded live in a performance at the Berwald Hall in Stockholm in 1994 with Leif Segerstam, who recently appeared at IU during this year's Summer Music Festival, leading the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Radio Choir. The recording was later released on the Caprice label.

Before Sandstrom came to IU in 1999, his background included 10 years as a composition professor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where he studied with Ingavar Lidholm. His composing breakthrough came in 1972 with Through and Through, a work which received international acclaim when performed by the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. He was a member of the Hagersten Motet Choir for 20 years and has written numerous works for the stage, including several ballets. Sandstrom has studied with Gyorgy Liget and Per Norgard, and he has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Christ Johnson Prize and Major Award, the Nordic Council Award and the Buxtehude Award.

Poole is a visiting professor of choral conducting at IU. He is from Great Britain and has served as conductor of the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Singers. He has been a guest conductor for major choirs and orchestras in Europe, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The "Concert in the MAC" series is sponsored by Hirons and Company, T.I.S. Music Shop, the IDS, WFIU and Insight Communications.