Short biography

Gunnar Idenstam is a concert organist, composer and folk musician. He comes from a background of classical music, but has a "distant love relationship" with the folk and symphonic rock of the 1970s. Today he has brought these influences into the context of organ music when he builds bridges between French cathedral tradition, symphonic rock and Swedish folk music. To develop the wide-ranging music he creates and performs today he studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and then studied the virtuouso French tradition in Paris, under Marie-Claire Alain and Jacques Taddei. He achieved the highest honours in both countries. In 1984 he was the first - and to date, the only - musician from northern Europe to win the prestigious international competition in improvisation, the "Grand Prix de Chartres". Since 1986 he has pursued an international career as a concert organist. His arrangements of orchestral works by Ravel (Bolero, La Valse) and Debussy (La Mer) are greatly admired at recitals at home and abroad. Those works are included in his latest solo CD on BIS Records. In 2012 he was awarded the "Interprete of the year" prize by the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. The Prize was presented to him by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. In June 2013 he received the Litteris et Artibus - a royal medal for recognition of eminent skills in the artistic field. Idenstam is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since May 2013.

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