Magnus Lindberg

Composition Jury 2017


Born in Helsinki, Magnus Lindberg studied composition at the Sibelius Academy with Paavo Heininen, who encouraged him to look beyond the prevailing Finnish conservative and nationalist aesthetics, and to explore the works of the European avant-garde. This led to the creation of an informal collective called Ears Open Society, which aimed at encouraging a greater awareness of mainstream modernism. With conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, he founded an experimental ensemble Toimji, in which he played piano and percussion.

Laureate of the Wihuri Sibelius Prize, his composition breakthrough came at the beginning of the 1980s with two large-scale works, Action-Situation-Significa- tion and Kraft. His works at this time combined experimentalism, complexity and primitivism. In the late 1980s it transformed itself towards a new modernist classicism, in which many of the communicative ingredients of a vibrant musical language were reinterpreted afresh for the post-serial era.

His work has been commissioned by a number of orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. His orchestral work, Era, was premiered by the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, upon the occasion of its 125th anniversary. Lindberg was Composer-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic between 2009 and 2012. He was then appointed Composer in Residence of the London Philharmonic Orchestra for three years from the 2014/15 season, with commissions including a second violin concerto for Frank Peter Zimmermann.