Page 1


Brochure focusing on Masterclass and Lectures


STUDENTS about Nordic Song Festival Ida Andersson (Finnish-Swedish pianist). The repertoire of lieder has always had a special place in my heart, but it is so easy to forget that the Nordic lieder are of just as high quality as the German and French. I have never been to a masterclass with so much teaching and coaching. The timetable was filled from 9 in the morning to 17.30 in the evening. But it really gives you new knowledge and new perspectives on how to work – also when you return home again. The breathing exercises can for example be very useful also for pianists. Pianist Mats Jansson was teaching on a very high level and another inspiring meeting I had was with Mette Borg, director. With very small means she would make the texts, the artists and the lieder suddenly come alive.

Agnes Auer (Swedish soprano) "Nordic Song Festival was a new acquaintance for me the summer 2015. To have the opportunity to immerse oneself in the art of the Lieder together with competent teachers from all the Nordic countries was very rewarding. It was a nice context to be part of, not only when they participated in master classes and private instructions but also in the festival, which meant that we could draw inspiration from the concerts that the festival arranged. I am also very grateful for the professional contacts I got in connection to at the festival – they are priceless! I can warm heartedly recommend Nordic Song Festival for singers and pianists who wish to improve themselves in the great treasure of Nordic lieder.

Ylva Gruen (Swedish mezzo soprano) Working with Lieder musically and analyzing and performing them, gave a deeper insight into the possibilities of expression. By meeting knowledgeable and inspiring teachers from different Nordic countries, we could work specifically with the repertoire from their home countries which of course is invaluable when it comes to, for example, pronunciation, but it also brings out many different ideas on how to interpret a single song. In addition, we worked with a dramaturge who gave us new perspectives and tools that I continue to use in my daily life as a singer. Most inspiring, however, was properly getting to know, cooperate with and listen to other young talented singers and pianists who enjoy working with Nordic lieder as much I do. Martin Hatlo (Norwegian bass baritone): I did not know what to expect when I traveled to Hudiksvall, but to me,

the exchange that I got from the course was incredible. The teaching staff that Gitta Maria had put together was held at a very high level. It was diverse, uncomplicated and immensely inspiring. Our focus laid in singing and expression. I felt that all the Master Class teachers really wished for us to grow in many areas, which actually I did. It was a small-knit community, and within the group we worked in even smaller groups of two singers and a pianist which made it possible for us to provide feedback and inspire each other. I had not previously tried to work so closely with a pianist before. It was something that gave me tools for future cooperation. The days are busy with teaching and I also experienced a tremendous generosity and guidance from the teachers if I had any problems with my technique that needed help, or if I had a song that needed extra coaching. I warmly recommend Nordic Song Festival Master Classes.

Martha Prewitt (American soprano, at Face Book, in the middle of the masterclass 2016): I am SO enjoying my time with the Nordic Song Festival in Sweden. It is renewing my love for performing and making music. Can't wait to bring this repertoire back to the States! Martha in spring 2017): Yes, I did a recital in March of all Nordic songs, and it was very well received! I hope to do more in the future. - I had such a wonderful trip and gained a great deal of both musical and cultural insight that I would never have experienced here in the US. I would most definitely participate again if I could!


A Summer-Academy in Sweden with concerts, lectures, research, debate and masterclass-coaching for both SINGERS and PIANISTS. •

focusing on The Treasure of Nordic Song 28.6 – 6.7 2018

Nine days with music and happiness in Hudiksvall, Söderhamn, Norrbo, Musik vid Dellen

AN ACADEMY Nordic Song Festival is unique in so many ways! During the 9 days a variety and multiplicity of topics and perspectives are presented. Both students (from all over the world), teachers, soloists and audience experience a feeling of being part of an academy, inspired by Greece in ancient time! Every day consists of many hours of coaching in singing, piano accompaniment and dramaturgy. Furthermore, concerts are being held every night. Two of these concerts are primarily with students. The academy offers intense reflection through lectures on music, philosophy, history, dramaturgy, sociology, psychology and methods of working. An afternoon debate concerning the importance of art and music in modern society is also an important part of the academy. Last, but not least, the students are easily able to make valuable contact with people, crossing the frontiers of national and cultural borders. (please visit: for further information about the program of the festival etc.)


MASTERCLASS TEACHING/COACHING Gitta-Maria Sjöberg Soprano and vocal coach Gitta-Maria Sjöberg – for many years among the most significant soloists at the Royal Opera House, Copenhagen and a world artist – began in 2010 to plan a festival for the Nordic Song tradition. She was worried that the classical Nordic lied (Sibelius, Grieg, Stenhammer, Heise etc.) was somehow neglected by aspiring singers, who seemed to prefer the German and French lied. Therefore, she began building the foundation for a festival around the Nordic treasure of songs – with its center in Hudiksvall in beautiful Hälsingland. The Festival opened in 2014, and since then it has grown considerably in size and success. Singers and pianists from the Nordic countries and from around the world are seeking to indulge themselves in the colorful repertoire – even new and newly composed music. The Nordic Song tradition is growing more beautifully than ever, and sometimes it has even been combined with jazz and folk music during concerts. The overall objective for the festival is to strengthen the Nordic cultural heritage and identity, but is by no means a nationalistic project. In fact, it is the complete opposite. The festival is characterized by its recognition of the complexity of the Nordic cultural identity, which is seen in the fascinating diversity that exists between the Nordic countries. Having that as starting point, the concept “Nordic” will always endlessly surprise, challenge, wonder and inspire all who take part in the Nordic Song Festival.

TOPICS in the masterclass-lessons

The festival masterclass offers a broad variety of topics: Physio-training (warming-up, mental training, techniques of grounding and posture, breathing-exercises, yoga, improvisation, physio-drama) Singing-technique Accompaniment-technique Interpretation Textual analysis and research of material of inspiration Knowledge of acting and performing Reflection/lectures


THE MASTERCLASS lessons guide the student towards opening a box of many new tools, giving them a larger knowledge and a more detailed understanding of both the musical material and the way one works– and deals with art. The purpose is not to produce “results”, but to work deeply in a process of research surrounded by an atmosphere of trust and enthusiasm. To have moments of doubt and struggle is of course welcome and is looked upon as something positive and necessary for the artistic recognition. The lessons consist of groups containing two singers and one pianist, which also means that singers and pianists are combining both song and accompaniment. In this way, they acquire more profound knowledge of each other’s “instruments”. Among the many concerts performed during the week, there are also two concerts held with the students as soloists. With Mette Borg directing, the students will also experiment with performative expression exploring a combination of form and content that focuses on the power of expression inside the material and the dramatical possibilities it can offer. The festival is very much aware of the necessity of reforming the classical concert form – hoping that the students will be inspired to continue in the same tendency of innovation after having left the masterclasses.

The REPERTOIRE in the masterclass Each student prepares at least 6 songs. At least one of the songs must have been written within the latest 50 years. The songs can be: Lieder composed by Nordic composer with texts of Nordic or foreign writers and/or Lieder composed by foreign composers but with texts by Nordic writers and/or Opera-arias from works of Nordic composers

COACHES/TEACHERS Song The masterclass coaching of the 10-12 singers is divided up by a coach/teacher who will be there for the whole week working as a principal who is responsible for the educational backbone. There are also 2-3 guest teachers who often also perform as soloists in one or more concerts during the festival week. This summer in 2018, the Swedish world soprano and song-coach, Katarina Karnéus, is among the guest teachers, and the festival is looking forward to welcoming her! In 1995, she won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and since then, the whole world has been open to her, giving her engagements at Metropolitan, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Opera National Paris, Deutsche Oper Berlin etc. She has also been very successful as a concert- and lied singer. She has worked with many leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic. She has also recorded a lot of music in many genres, among it also lieder, and her Brangæne in "Tristan and Isolde" from Glyndebourne can now be seen on DVD. Furthermore, Katarina is a member of the ensemble at the Gothenburg Opera and was 2015 awarded the Litteris et Artibus medal by H.M. The King of Sweden. Another guest teacher the festival proudly welcomes is the Norwegian barytone Johannes Weisser who since his debut 2004 has established himself as one of the most exciting Scandinavian singers of his generation. His engagements at leading opera houses and festivals are countless and has brought him to e.g. Staasoper Berlin, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Theater an der Wien, Royal Danish Opera, Norwegian National Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, and Festivals as f.ex. Salzburg, Aix en Provence, Edinburgh and Bergen. He is also a superb interpreter of lieder, and among the many CDs and DVDs he has recorded, there is a highly acclaimed CD with songs by Grieg.


From left to right: Katarina Karnéus, Matti Borg, Mats Jansson, Mette Borg, Johannes Weisser

Singing lessons (continued) The principal responsible for the department of song is the Danish-Finish Matti Borg, b.1956. Matti has a profound musical knowledge that he has acquired both through his education and work as a composer in many different genres (song, works for choir, chamber music, experimental musicals etc.) and as a classical singer. With his two-folded know-how, he has been a song-coach for more than 30 years and is a very sought-after teacher. He has been working all over the Nordic countries, and lately finished the famous master class at the Museum for Birgit Nilsson where he is a very appreciated guest-coach.

Piano/Accompaniment The coaching of pianists is run by Mats Jansson. Mats is educated at the conservatories in Hannover, Salzburg and Berlin by professor Hans Leygraf. He has, Furthermore, a soloist-diploma from Mozarteum in Salzburg and Hochschüle der Künste in Berlin. A part of his impressive level of education also contains a degree in the interpretation of lieder. In the Renaissance, people talked about a “homo universalis” and Mats is exactly that kind of man! He has a profound knowledge of music, philosophy, art and history and is an inspiration to work with.

Analysis/ dramatic interpretation Mette Borg, MA, teaches textual analysis and how to work dramatically with a lied. For 30 years she has been educating many of best actors in Denmark, and she works in Copenhagen as teacher of culture-history and dramaturgy at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, the Opera Academy and the classical Conservatory. She also works as a director. Additionally, Mette has been teaching at the University of Copenhagen and at the School of Film and Design. As teacher at the festival masterclass, she wants to give the students the tools to open and interpret a text by intensely drawing inspiration from poetry, philosophy and paintings.

LECTURES and DEBATE Nordic Song Festival is very much invested in making room for reflection through lectures and debate. Singers and pianists are offered the possibility of mirroring their material and artistic work in the knowledge of epochs, style, thoughts, aesthetics and the current research in the field of music and musical topics.


This summer 2018 Mette Borg will hold 3 lectures. She will introduce the rich history and dramaturgy of the lied. Furthermore, she will discuss the topics: artistic creativity and song/music as an eternal source of inspiration.

Peter Vuust

Hans Gefors

The famous cognitive scientist and music Professor Peter Vuust (also from Denmark) will give lectures on how brain and music are influencing each other. Vuust has recently published the very successful book: “Musik på hjernen” (music on the mind). He is also a well-known jazz musician, and he and Gitta-Maria Sjöberg will perform a concert together in the festival week! The great Swedish composer Hans Gefors is visiting the festival, giving lectures about his music. Furthermore, he will attend the part of masterclass where students work with his songs. This will be an exciting addition to the music that he is writing at the moment, which will be performed for the first time this summer at the festival. The topic of the debate with composers, pianists, singers, students and teachers in 2018 will be: “How can we make the Nordic tradition of songs flourish and still keep it alive in modern society?”

Laurits Dragsted, Ida Andersson, Fei Nie, Bernhard Greter, Mats Jansson


PRACTICAL INFORMATION The Dates of the festival/masterclass: 28.6 – 6.7 2018. The students arrive 28.6 and will begin lessons 29.6 in the morning. Students perform concerts of their own twice: 2.7 in Söderhamn Theatre and 6.7 in the hall of Läroverket, Hudiksvall, thus ending the festival week with festivity. Check-out is at 7.7.

Where: The festival has its center in the town Hudiksvall, North of Stockholm – in the middle of the beautiful natural environment of Hälsingland. The classrooms are located in the local school of Culture, “Läroverket”. The facilities of the school are very good. They even a hall for lectures and concerts. The concerts will be held both in Hudiksvall, Norrbo and Söderhamn.

The masterclass fee: 9.500 SEK. Following items are included: * All meals, rooms in shared rooms (additional cost for single room) * 7 days of individual singing- and piano lessons and lessons in textual analysis * Workshops with performative interpretation, textual analysis, pronunciation, physio drama and contemporary music * At least 5 lessons are masterclasses with audience * Tickets for all festival concerts * Participation in two concerts

Repertoire: In order to participate in masterclasses, each active participant must study and prepare at least 6 Nordic songs/romances (please read page 5). The repertoire must be known by heart. The Nordic countries Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway must be represented and at least one piece must have been written within the last 50 years. Pianists work with 2 singers each. The teachers can give advice and provide suggestions to the repertoire. We can also, in case of problems, help with sheet music.

DEADLINE for Application 1.4 2018 You will find the application sheet at: Please write and send digitally. CONTACT regarding further information on the festival:


Nordic song festival broschyr  

Nordic Songfestival 2018

Nordic song festival broschyr  

Nordic Songfestival 2018