Fabian Svensson

The music of Swedish composer Fabian Svensson has been described by the New York Times as “dazzling” and by the Los Angeles Times as “an odd merger of Bartók and Radiohead.” He strives to create works integrating such seemingly disparate qualities as incessant energy, austere beauty, and wry humour.

Unusual instrumentations are a recurring feature of Fabian’s music—his work list includes a ukulele duo, a piece for the combined forces of a saxophone quartet and an electric guitar quartet, and a large-scale work for an all-toy instrument ensemble. In his hour-long work Tillvaratagna effekter he reinvents the violin concerto, with sopranino recorders, melodicas, electric guitars, bass guitars, and timpani backing up the soloist.

Fabian’s music has been performed at venues ranging from obscure garages to the Sydney Opera House, and has been featured at festivals such as MATA, SONiC, Carlsbad Music Festival, Denison TUTTI, Forum Wallis, Sound of Stockholm, Nordic Music Days, and ISCM World New Music Days. Over several years, he worked with the Non-Piano/Toy Piano Weekend in Hamburg. His works have been performed by ensembles such as the Calder Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble Klang, Ensemble Offspring, Sentieri Selvaggi, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, and many others.

Born in 1980, Fabian studied composition at the Piteå College of Music, the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. During his student days, he attended workshops such as the Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute in Massachusetts. He has been shortlisted for the prestigious Gaudeamus prize no less than four times and has received support and recognition from the Society of Swedish Composers, the Swedish Performing Rights Society, and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

His Toy Toccata for solo toy piano has been recorded by Phyllis Chen for her album Little Things (New Focus Recordings). Scores to Fabian’s music are published by BabelScores (Paris), Abundant Silence (Denver), and Black Dot Press (London). Besides composing, Fabian is also an avid melodica player and can sometimes be seen playing melodica parts in his own works.